Category Archives for "Intercity Rail and Bus"

Oct 28

Reply to Federal Ministers: Improving Passenger Rail in the Corridor and the rest of Canada

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News

On March 24 and May 25, 2020 Transport Action Ontario (TAO) sent letters to key Federal Ministers on recommendations for improving passenger rail in Canada. See posting on this website on those dates. We received response letters referencing the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the Transportation 2030: A Strategic Plan for the Future of Transportation in Canada, and VIA’s High Frequency Rail (HFR) proposal.

TAO has now sent a reply expressing our concerns with the Transportation 2030 Plan. We also discussed the importance of a frequency improvement project in the corridor, be it HFR or another approach using existing freight rail corridors along Lake Ontario.

Our letter is shown below.

Oct 25

Transport Action Ontario AGM and Public Presentation – October 24, 2020 – UPDATED

By Transport Action Ontario | Events , Highways and Bridges , Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario , Southwestern Ontario , Urban Transit

Updated: a video recording of the entire meeting is now available:

View on our Youtube Channel

Transport Action Ontario’s (TAO) annual general meeting, postponed from its usual spring date due to the pandemic, will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020, starting at 1:00 pm Eastern.  As is our usual practice, we will also have a presentation open to the public. Both events will be virtual, and free to join from your computer or phone. Here are the details:

Public Presentation (1:00 pm)

We are pleased to announce that our guest lecturer will be Stephen Wickens, transit researcher and journalist with a four-decade career at four Toronto-based daily newspapers. Steve will summarize his recent report for the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) entitled “Station to Station: Why Subway-building Costs have Soared in the Toronto Region”. This thoughtful report has been well received and hopefully will inform government decisions about at-grade versus below-grade rapid transit projects.

Annual General Meeting (2:00pm)

The AGM will review 2019-2020 performance by the organization and elect the executive and board of directors for the upcoming year. TAO members in good standing will receive an electronic invite and can vote at the virtual meeting, or give a proxy to another member.  Send proxy information to ontario@transportaction.ca.

TAO is always looking for new members to join our board of directors. If you have a passion for public transportation and want to make a difference, contact us at ontario@transportaction.ca.

Oct 16

Submission to Ontario Fall 2020 Budget Consultation

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario , Southwestern Ontario , Urban Transit

The Ontario government is asking for public input into the Fall, 2020 Budget, to be released in early November. Transport Action Ontario has made the following submission, focusing on public transportation.

Northern Ontario

  • Provide funding to implement the Ontario Northland + Metrolinx study on passenger train and bus renewal in Northern Ontario
  • Work with the federal government to save the Huron Central Railway (HCR), ideally under Ontario Northland management

Southwestern Ontario

  • Provide funding to initiate firm steps to implement some of the Action in the recently released draft transportation master plan.  Particularly important are concrete steps on Actions 6 to 8, which deal with improving passenger rail on existing rail corridors owned by freight rail companies.  Work needs to be initiated with the freight rail companies and with VIA Rail. This would include lengthening freight sidings to effectively provide passenger rail priority.

Other Rail

  • Work with the federal government to assist Ontario’s short line railways by providing financial assistance as per our position paper of September 14, 2020. In addition to the HCR above, the Barrie-Collingwood-Railway is currently under threat of closure.

Urban and Rural Transit

  • Continue to work with the Federal Government on emergency funding for transit to bridge revenue loss from Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Increase the gas tax share directed to transit.  This had been promised by the Ford government during the election campaign, but was not kept.
  • Initiate a study to permit Ontario municipalities to use new revenue tools, such as a piece of the provincial sales tax, a land-transfer tax, or authority for road tolls, to fund critical infrastructure such as public transit or roads.
  • Develop a program to subsidize transit fare integration in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Areas in order to reduce two-fare walls between agencies like TTC-GO and TTC-York Region Transit.
  • Expand the highly-successful Community Transportation Grant Program and improve regional coordination/planning/oversight and shared service models. 

General

  • Include environmental and climate change considerations when reviewing transportation modal options.  Any provincial transportation proposals are then more likely to meet with broader public approval.
  • Expand the HOT lane program on Ontario expressways.
Sep 17

Preserving Canada’s Rail Infrastructure and Providing Short Line Railway Assistance

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Major Reports , Northern Ontario , Southwestern Ontario

Transport Action Ontario has sent two recent letters to the Federal Government on Canada’s rail infrastructure.

The first letter (September 8, 2020) discussed an urgent national strategy to preserve rail infrastructure, including financial assistance and a national rail-banking scheme.

The second letter (September 14, 2020) discussed badly-needed financial assistance for short line railways

Both letters can be viewed here.

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