Transport Action Ontario
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On August 30, 2022 Federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced a one-year study by a 3rd party advisor on enhancing passenger rail services in southwestern Ontario (SWO). The advisor will examine both near-term improvements and longer-term integration into High Frequency Rail. While this news was welcomed, our concern is that there have already been numerous studies on SWO passenger rail, and this latest study means that additional services are still years away. See our post on the Transport Action Canada website for more details.
One September 26, representatives from Transport Action Ontario (TAO) and Transport Action Canada (TAC) met with senior staff at Transport Canada to review the scope of the advisor’s work. The procurement document was posted on the buyandsell.gc.ca website on September 9, and can be viewed by searching for “T8080-220058”.
We learned that
- Advisor will examine previous studies and welcomes additional input
- Advisor will consult with Metrolinx to understand their plans for SWO and any track access issues
- Advisor will largely focus on the South Main Line (Toronto – Brantford – London – Windsor) and London-Sarnia, recognizing provincial interest in the North Main Line (Toronto – Kitchener – London)
- Advisor will contract with CN for it to assess what infrastructure investments are needed for 2-3 service enhancement scenarios
- Advisor will develop demand forecasts, as that is needed for Business Case development
- Advisor will be made aware of Amtrak Chicago – Toronto interest
Transport Action will continue to engage with Transport Canada staff on this issue. We have sent them material from TAO’s submissions to the province’s SWO Transportation Task Force that lists lower cost infrastructure improvement ideas. We also anticipate participating in a stakeholder roundtable to be held in early 2023.