Category Archives for "Latest News"

Jan 23

High Speed Rail in Ontario – Opposition, not NIMBYism

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

Transport Action Ontario (TAO) recently became aware of a student project at Western University from March, 2020 that addressed NIMBYism. One of the case studies was “High Speed Rail in Ontario and the 2014-2018 Opposition Movement”. The study alleged that groups like TAO and InterCity Rail were engaged in NIMBYism.

We have taken the opportunity to write back to the university, indicating we are strongly pro-rail and that our opposition was due to the total absence of technical, financial and suitability evidence. Our concerns were:

  • Costs understated
  • Ridership overstated
  • Road closure social and economic issues not considered
  • Urban tunneling not considered
  • Travel time improvements overstated
  • No preliminary studies
  • Scope exclusion, in that alternatives like High Performance Rail not considered
  • Hidden energy costs

We concluded by offering further engagement and dialogue. Our letter can be viewed below:

Jan 05

Save the Orangeville-Brampton Railway(OBRY)!

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

In a distressing parallel to the Barrie-Collingwood Railway (BCRY) (see earlier post, Nov. 5, 2020), a second short line railway in the Greater Golden Horseshoe is slated for closure. The Orangeville-Brampton Railway (OBRY) runs from Mississauga through Brampton to Orangeville.

Closure of such short lines is extremely concerning for numerous reasons. Transport Action Ontario has written to the Minister of Transportation and Metrolinx recommending protecting these corridors. Our letter can be viewed below:

Jan 03

Critique of Ontario’s draft transportation plan for Northern Ontario

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

As readers know, Ontario released a draft transportation plan for Northern Ontario in December, 2020, and Transport Action Ontario prepared a response (see posting December 24, 2020). In view of likely federal interest in elements of jurisdiction and financing, we also sent comments on this draft plan to key federal ministers. Our letter can be viewed below:

Dec 01

Submission to Ontario Standing Committee re Budget 2021

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

Transport Action Ontario has submitted a brief to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, in preparation for Ontario Budget 2021. The brief discusses two recommendations:

(a) Immediately improve passenger rail in Southwestern Ontario with municipal and business inputs

(b) Work in conjunction with the Federal Government to institute High Performance Rail across Ontario

The brief can be viewed below:

Nov 10

Ontario moves to deregulate intercity bus services

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

The Ontario government has introduced Bill 213, an omnibus bill that includes a proposal to dissolve the Ontario Highway Transport Board. This board was set up decades ago to regulate intercity motorcoach service. It provided exclusive franchises on profitable routes with the expectation that those profits would subsidize less profitable services to rural and remote areas. The system has not worked well in recent years, in that companies were allowed to drop low-performing routes while maintaining their monopolies on lucrative routes.

Transport Action Ontario has long advocated for modernizing the Ontario regulatory framework. However, we recognize that the most widely raised concern about motorcoach services is ensuring province-wide service, with safe places to wait for the bus, not facilitating cutthroat competition on the busiest routes. A further concern is the damaging impact of an out-and-out bus war between private operators on a corridor parallel to VIA Rail or GO Transit.  For rural and remote routes. it is likely to continue to be necessary for publicly-owned carriers such as Ontario Northland to operate the routes, or for the province to ensure service provision using community transportations grants.