Category Archives for "Urban Transit"

Mar 23

Briefing Note on CUTRIC Conference

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

Board member Ken Westcar attended the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) conference in November, 2021. His notes were circulated to the Transport Action Ontario board, but are of broad interest, so we felt that members and the general public should have access to them.

Prominent speakers included three Ministers of Transportation and various provincial, municipal and industry specialists. Ken’s briefing note can be viewed below:

Jan 24

Untendered Extension of Presto fare card contract

By Transport Action Ontario | Latest News , Urban Transit

Transport Action Ontario has written Ontario’s Auditor General (AG) expressing our concern about the recent Metrolinx untendered contact extension to Accenture for Presto card support. It is remarkable that this contract dates back to 2006 and has been extended several times without tender. The AG has repeatedly pointed out the dangerous dependence of Metrolinx on Accenture. Metrolinx has apparently accepted these concerns and was moving to reduce reliance on Accenture.

It is therefore hugely disappointing that Metrolinx has again extended the contract to 2025. We urged the AG to again scrutinize this matter.

Our letter to the AG can be viewed below.

GO Train at Bloor station. Photo by Sally Hewson.
Jan 13

GO Rail Expansion in the GTHA – the Path Forward

By Transport Action Ontario | Latest News , Urban Transit

In November, 2021, Metrolinx released an important update on their $27B + GO Expansion Program, announcing that two proponents had submitted proposals in response to a tender request.  The successful proponent is to be announced in 2022.  This Program is vital to the future of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), but has received relatively little publicity and public scrutiny versus the more notorious subway projects. 

The attached article summarizes the status of the Program and identifies some best practices, largely listed in a Toronto Region Board of Trade report of March, 2022,  that hopefully will be incorporated in the Program or in future expansion projects. 

The article can be viewed below:

Jan 03

Response to Mandate Letter to Minister Alghabra

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

Prime Minister Trudeau released his mandate letters to all cabinet ministers in mid December. Transport Action Ontario has written to Minister of Transport Alghabra providing several critical perspectives on the letter he received. They are

-Full due diligence needed

-Improve transparency/reliability/accountability/communication

-Execution skills and talent are a concern

-Rail offers domestic industrial benefits

-Must account for externalities

The letter can be viewed below.


Aug 20

Greater Golden Horseshoe Transportation Discussion Paper – Comments Submitted

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

In late June, Ontario released its long-awaited Greater Golden Horseshow Transportation Discussion Paper for public comment. Following a situation analysis, it described three visions for 2051: (a) getting people moving on a connected transit system (b) enhancing capacity and performance on congested roads (c) efficiently moving goods across the region. It also provided 7 near-term goals and sample actions.

Transport Action Ontario has provided detailed comments to the Ministry of Transportation on this paper, identifying positives, concern areas, and additional topics to include.

  • TAO supports some of the road infrastructure policies and plans, particularly managed lanes and demand management. However, we feel that there is too much emphasis on construction of new 400-series highways, including the GTA-West corridor, Highway 404 extension and Garden City Skyway twinning. Non-road options are usually a better investment and should either replace or augment new highways.
  • TAO supports the listed ideas for goods movement, but recommends also to work with CN/CP to expand rail corridors or remove constraints where needed to benefit both passenger and freight rail. The cooperation agreements between Metrolinx and CN on the shared-use Halton Sub and on Burlington-Hamilton are good examples.
  • The Plan needs to discuss funding sources to finance these many investments, including parking fees, road pricing, federal cooperation and financing, and providing new revenue tools for municipalities.

Our full submission can be viewed below.

MTO’s discussion paper can be found at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/towards-greater-golden-horseshoe-transportation-plan-discussion-paper