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
Feb 04

Stop the Highway 413 Campaign Continues

By Transport Action Ontario | Highways and Bridges , Latest News

The campaign to stop this proposed 50 km new expressway just west of Toronto continues in full swing. As readers know, the project was revived by the Ford government, and is rapidly proceeding with studies under a streamlined Environmental Assessment process. The campaign is lead by Environmental Defence (ED), with strong support from other non-government organizations including Transport Action Ontario (TAO). One of the foundations is the report  issued last summer co-authored by ED, TAO and Sustainable Vaughan (see our post of August 20 under “Highways”). It summarized the costs and impacts of the Highway and identified viable transportation alternatives, including new rapid transit lines and truck priority on the nearby Highway 407.

The campaign includes extensive mainstream media coverage, social media, lawn signs, letters to elected officials and public meetings. To date, both the Provincial NDP and Green parties have come out in opposition to the Highway. Recently, Ecojustice, a legal group acting on behalf of numerous groups including TAO, submitted a well-researched brief to the federal government requesting a federal Environmental Assessment. The report can be viewed below.

For further information and to join the campaign , please go to www.stopthe413.ca.

Feb 03

Where is the Funding for the “Northlander” Passenger Train?

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

Our affiliate, the Northeastern Ontario Rail Network (NEORN) has issued a release about funding for the “Northlander”. It demonstrates that there MUST be approval and funding of the Ontario Northland/Metrolinx business plan in the upcoming March 2021 Ontario Budget, in order to implement the plan an reinstate the train service prior to the next election.

We’ve launched a joint letter writing campaign to remind the provincial government of the importance of keeping this promise.

The NEORN release can be viewed here.

Funding for the Northlander was also highlighted in our 2021 pre-budget submission.

Jan 31

Input to Ontario 2021 Budget Consultation

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

Transport Action Ontario was invited to provide a short verbal presentation on recommendations for the 2021 Ontario Budget to Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy on January 29. We also submitted the same remarks plus supplemental information to the Ministry of Finance.

We proposed a list of 9 items. These are described in the supplemental material, and can be boiled down into 4 overarching themes:

  • Fulfill promises on intercity public transport
  • Continue to invest wisely in GTHA transit
  • Cancel the GTA West expressway (Highway 413)
  • Support Short Line Railways

Our submission can be viewed here:

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:

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