Category Archives for "Urban Transit"

Sep 08

Stouffville Corridor GO Rail Service Expansion

By Transport Action Ontario | Urban Transit



GO Transit has completed the Environmental Study Report for this project in July, which involves studying the infrastructure needed to twin the tracks from Scarborough Junction to Unionville GO station to allow all-day two-way service.


Transport Action Ontario has been following this two-year study closely.  We commented in January, expressing concerns about the narrow scope of the study, which should have also  included components related to Regional Rapid Rail, such as electrification and infill stations.


Our most recent comments reiterated these earlier concerns.  We noted that this corridor is part of the Province’s Regional Express Rail plan and a key component of Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory’s Smart Track plan.  All signs therefore point to this line being a high priority candidate for electrification and frequent service.  We urged prompt amendment of the Environmental Study to incorporate these points.


We also made  comments on the need for  bridge clearances to be compatible with electrification, and the need to consider infrastructure so that train whistle cessation can be achieved.

The full submission to GO can be viewed here:    TAO-GOStouffvilleEA-2014-09




Jul 23

“Surface Subway” Only Part of Solution – Toronto also needs Downtown Relief Line

By Transport Action Ontario | Urban Transit


Transport Action Ontario’s  2013 report “Regional Rapid Rail”, analyzing the benefits and costs of an intelligently electrified GO Rail system to develop a “surface subway” for the GTHA, has received strong endorsement from transit professionals and elected officials.    In 2014, the Ontario Liberals announced their “Regional Express Rail” commitment, and John Tory, a leading candidate for Toronto Mayor, announced his “SmartTrack” platform.  Both are very analogous to our Regional Rapid Rail concept.


Some stakeholders have proposed that this surface subway could replace Toronto’s proposed Downtown Relief Line (DRL) subway.  As discussed in an Opinion column published in the Toronto Star on July 23, 2014,  Transport Action Ontario believes that both the electrified GO service and the DRL are needed, and quickly.


The opinion piece can be viewed here




Jun 24

Move the GTHA – Open Letter to Premier Wynne

By Transport Action Ontario | Press Releases and Open Letters , Urban Transit



On June 24, the Move the GTHA collaborative, including Transport Action Ontario, sent a letter to Premier Wynne congratulating her on her election victory and offering to continue to work with her government  to increase funding for public transportation and active transportation options.

The full letter can be viewed here:   MTGTHA-LettertoWynne2014-06-25



Jun 03

Pembina Institute Issues Updated Report Analyzing GTHA Provincial Transit Investment Platforms

By Transport Action Ontario | Urban Transit



As readers know, Transport Action Ontario is part of the “Move the GTHA” collaborative of non-government organizations that is working towards improving public and political acceptance of new revenue tools for transportation.  The collaborative also includes Pembina Institute.


Pembina has just released an analysis of GTHA transit investment and expansion platforms from Ontario’s major political parties:  Green Party,  Liberal Party, New Democratic Party and Progressive Conservative Party.  This updates their interim analysis released in March and also posted on our website.   Five guiding principles were used as the criteria for the analysis:

  • Rapid transit for the whole region
  • A dedicated fund that puts transit first
  • New dollars to build new transit
  • Encouraging mode shift
  • Fast-tracking transit improvements

Evaluations of the parties’ platforms on each of these five topics were presented, and a score was assigned:  “On track for transit”, “Gathering speed”, “Some forward movement”, and “Stuck in traffic”.


The Pembina Report can be found here:



May 27

Regional Express Rail GO Service forms Plank of Toronto Mayoral Platform

By Transport Action Ontario | Press Releases and Open Letters , Urban Transit


On May 27, Toronto mayoral candidate John Tory unveiled his transit platform.  The flagship component was SmartTrack, an electrified “surface subway” transit corridor based mostly on parts of the GO rail network.   It has the same thrust as the Province’s Regional Express Rail announcement in mid-April, which was virtually identical to Transport Action Ontario’s concept of Regional Express Rail, proposed in its major report released last July.


Transport Action Ontario is very pleased to se the RER concept picked up by one of the top-tier candidates for mayor of Toronto.  Our media release can be viewed here:  TAO-JohnTorymediarelease2014-05-27

The Tory announcement, and Transport Action Ontario’s role in it, was picked up by various Toronto media.  Some links are provided here:



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