Category Archives for "Latest News"

Apr 06

Truck Subsidy on 407ETR versus Building Highway 413

By Transport Action Ontario | Highways and Bridges , Latest News

The idea of providing a toll subsidy for trucks on 407ETR during busy hours is being proposed as an alternate to building the GTA West (Highway 413) expressway. An analysis by Transport Action Ontario shows that the costs of such a truck subsidy are less than half the costs of constructing and maintaining Highway 413. Furthermore, due to its better location, 407ETR would also be more useful to truckers, with commensurate benefits to air quality and climate change.

The analysis can be viewed below.

Mar 08

Urgent Time-out Needed for Scarborough Subway Extension

By Transport Action Ontario | Latest News , Urban Transit

The Ontario government has announced the selection of the consortium that will construct the tunnels for the Scarborough Subway Extension. Transport Action Ontario (TAO) has long expressed concern with this project.

One claimed advantage of tunneling was that the existing Scarborough RT would not have to close during subway construction. With the revelation that a new deep-tube subway would not be finished until 2030, and that the RT will not run past 2023, that argument is moot. TAO continues to engage with elected officials at the City and Provincial level to advocate for consideration of various surface options, particularly the approach of constructing a branch line (“Smart Spur”) from the existing GO Transit commuter rail line. As this is a provincially-uploaded project, the Province has the final say.

A recent op-ed by noted transit experts Stephen Wickens, David Crowley, Bern Grush, Ed Levy and Richard Soberman points out the folly of the current subway plan and the much better alternatives that exist, including “Smart Spur”.

Feb 04

Stop the Highway 413 Campaign Continues

By Transport Action Ontario | Highways and Bridges , Latest News

The campaign to stop this proposed 50 km new expressway just west of Toronto continues in full swing. As readers know, the project was revived by the Ford government, and is rapidly proceeding with studies under a streamlined Environmental Assessment process. The campaign is lead by Environmental Defence (ED), with strong support from other non-government organizations including Transport Action Ontario (TAO). One of the foundations is the report  issued last summer co-authored by ED, TAO and Sustainable Vaughan (see our post of August 20 under “Highways”). It summarized the costs and impacts of the Highway and identified viable transportation alternatives, including new rapid transit lines and truck priority on the nearby Highway 407.

The campaign includes extensive mainstream media coverage, social media, lawn signs, letters to elected officials and public meetings. To date, both the Provincial NDP and Green parties have come out in opposition to the Highway. Recently, Ecojustice, a legal group acting on behalf of numerous groups including TAO, submitted a well-researched brief to the federal government requesting a federal Environmental Assessment. The report can be viewed below.

For further information and to join the campaign , please go to www.stopthe413.ca.

Feb 03

Where is the Funding for the “Northlander” Passenger Train?

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

Our affiliate, the Northeastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) has issued a release about funding for the “Northlander”. It demonstrates that there MUST be approval and funding of the Ontario Northland/Metrolinx business plan in the upcoming March 2021 Ontario Budget, in order to implement the plan an reinstate the train service prior to the next election.

We’ve launched a joint letter writing campaign to remind the provincial government of the importance of keeping this promise.

The NEORN release can be viewed here.

Funding for the Northlander was also highlighted in our 2021 pre-budget submission.

Jan 31

Input to Ontario 2021 Budget Consultation

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

Transport Action Ontario was invited to provide a short verbal presentation on recommendations for the 2021 Ontario Budget to Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy on January 29. We also submitted the same remarks plus supplemental information to the Ministry of Finance.

We proposed a list of 9 items. These are described in the supplemental material, and can be boiled down into 4 overarching themes:

  • Fulfill promises on intercity public transport
  • Continue to invest wisely in GTHA transit
  • Cancel the GTA West expressway (Highway 413)
  • Support Short Line Railways

Our submission can be viewed here: