Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Jun 30

Engagement with Southwestern Ontario Transportation Task Force

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

In January, 2020, Ontario released its Draft Transportation Plan for Southwestern Ontario, entitled Connecting the Southwest. It recommended several encouraging new actions supportive of improved passenger rail and regional bus services. However, progress on these actions has been largely stalled.

In March, 2021, the province established a Transportation Task Force consisting of mayors, chiefs and other stakeholders, chaired by Mayor Ed Holder of London. The Task Force is charged with providing recommendations to the government by March, 2022, presumably building and improving on the 2020 draft plans.

The Task Force convened a rail workshop on June 29. Transport Action Ontario circulated a presentation prior to the event and actively participated in the workshop with 3 delegates. The workshop went well, with good dialogue on the major issues/steps needed to boost freight and passenger rail in the region. We expect further opportunities for input as the Task Force moves towards a final report.

Our circulated presentation can be viewed below.

GO Train at Bloor station. Photo by Sally Hewson.
May 03

Improving and Expanding Service on Kitchener GO Line

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus , Uncategorized

One of the prime transportation objectives of the Ontario government is to establish 2-way all-day GO service from Toronto to Kitchener along the so-called Innovation Corridor. The recent Provincial budget explicitly discussed progress on a second tunnel under Highways 401/409 and progress on procurement this year of additional tracks and new platforms.

The current operation provides limited service to Kitchener.  Metrolinx has now released the Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC) defining the infrastructure requirements, costs and benefits of reaching the provincial objective.  For the inner portion of the line (Weston Sub), the approved GO Expansion project will provide adequate infrastructure.  However, on the Bramalea – Georgetown portion (Halton Sub), additional track and potentially a rail-rail grade separation will be needed to allow shared use with CN Rail. On the Georgetown – Kitchener portion (Guelph Sub), passing tracks will need to be added on this single track line.  Capital cost is estimated at $1.3B – 1.7B PV, roughly within the provincial funding envelope.  It is also encouraging to note the apparent cooperation between CN and Metrolinx on this project.

The PDBC also mentions other potential future enhancements, such as a direct connection to Pearson Airport, electrification beyond Bramalea and service extension to Southwestern Ontario. Transport Action will continue to monitor this strategic project closely.

The full report is available online: Kitchener GO Rail Service Expansion – Preliminary Design Business Case

Photo of GO Kitchener Line train at Bloor station by Sally Hewson.

Feb 15

The Promise of Modern Passenger Train Service for Northern Ontario should be kept

By Transport Action Ontario | Uncategorized

A recent opinion column in the online site baytoday.ca suggested that the federal government step in and bail out Vic Fedeli and Premier Doug Ford’s promise to reinstate the Northlander passenger train between Toronto, North Bay and Cochrane by stealing equipment from vital services to Sarnia and other communities in Ontario.

Transport Action Canada president Terry Johnson has written a response to this op-ed, also published in baytoday. It points out that federal-provincial cooperation in all parts of Ontario, rather than passing the buck or robbing Peter to pay Paul, is the recipe for success.

Terry’s article can be viewed here

https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/opinion-the-promise-of-modern-passenger-train-service-for-northern-ontario-should-be-kept-by-those-who-made-it-3363147
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: