Category Archives for "Latest News"

Jun 25

High Frequency Rail moves a step closer with Canada Infrastructure Bank involvement

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

On June 25th 2019, at the former VIA Rail station in Trois-Rivières, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Cynthia Garneau, VIA Rail Canada President and CEO, and Pierre Lavallée, Canada Infrastructure Bank President and CEO announced $71.1 million in funding from the Government of Canada and the Canada Infrastructure Bank to further explore VIA Rail Canada’s proposal for High Frequency Rail in the Quebec City-Toronto Corridor.

The funding will be used to establish a Joint Project Team, focusing on the following activities throughout 2019 to 2020:

  • finalizing legal and regulatory work related to safety and environmental assessments;
  • consulting with stakeholders and Indigenous communities;
  • examining required land and track acquisition; and
  • completing the technical, financial and commercial analysis required for a final investment decision on High Frequency Rail in the Corridor.

The funding will also support technical work to ensure the interoperability and integration of High Frequency Rail with operating tracks used by local and regional transit providers in Montreal and Toronto. This includes track work in Montreal’s Mont-Royal Tunnel to enable VIA Rail Canada’s heavy rail trains to operate on this segment of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) light rail system.

Transport Action Canada welcomes this announcement. While we would clearly like to see the High Frequency Rail project move forward as swiftly as possible, we’re very pleased to see that the vital question of ensuring interoperability with REM and access to Montreal’s Mont-Royal Tunnel is going to be addressed. An engineering solution should be relatively straightforward now that the political will to make this work has been confirmed, ensuring that Montreal will enjoy both better transit and inter city connections.

Thanks to VIA Rail’s choice of making best use of existing rail corridors and extant rights of way, the project completion risk for High Frequency Rail is much lower than any previous Quebec-Windsor upgrade proposal and many transit projects. This should allow the remaining diligence to be implemented swiftly, and for the work to proceed on the first sections of the new route in time of the arrival of the new corridor fleet in 2022.

While the government frames this work as “de-risking” the project, the characterisation of the project as “risky” is somewhat unfair. The far larger risk, which the government needs to pay more attention to, is the escalating opportunity cost to Canada of falling further behind the rest of the world on this vital aspect of our transportation infrastructure. Infrequent and inadequate inter city rail service both is a constraint on our domestic economic growth and a deterrent to international investors.

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Feb 07

Building upon the Community Transportation Grant Funding

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Ontario

Transport Action Ontario warmly welcomes the Ontario government’s release of $30 million in Community Transportation Grant funding on Friday, January 25th 2019. The investment represents the first tangible step toward restoring inter-community bus services in Ontario since earlier cuts by numerous Ontario bus providers.

This funding, which follows on from $3 million in pilot project funding provided to 22 communities by the previous government, will provide restored and new services that will make a significant difference to the lives of citizens in many smaller communities that have been without any public bus services for six years or longer.

Transport Action Ontario has sent a letter to Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek congratulating him on this announcement and identifying several other issues with intercommunity buses that need resolution.  Our letter can be viewed here:    TAO-MTOCommTransport2019-02

Jan 29

Full Transparency and Public Consultation Needed on Subway Upload

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Ontario

Transport Action Ontario has sent an open letter to Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek and Toronto Mayor John Tory calling for full transparency and public consultation on the proposed subway upload.  We believe the concept is worthy of study, as the status quo is not acceptable.  However, there are many important aspects of the upload that need to be dealt with fairly and efficiently.

Our letter can be viewed here:  TAO-SubwayUpload 2019-01

Jan 22

Intercommunity Public Transportation for Northern Ontario – New Concepts

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Ontario

The Ontario Government intends to “review initiatives to meet Northerners’ transportation needs, including passenger rail and bus services”.  Transport Action Ontario and our affiliate, the Northeastern Ontario Rail Network, have sent a joint letter to key cabinet ministers discussing the need for a Northern Ontario intercommunity public transportation planning authority, and submitting six new concepts that need to be explored in the provincial review.

The joint letter can be viewed here:  TAO-NEORN letter 2019-01

Nov 27

Alternatives added to the Environmental Assessment for High Speed Rail

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Ontario

Our colleagues in Southwestern Ontario, InterCityRail, have issued a notice about the Environmental Assessment study underway for High Speed Rail.  Transport Action Ontario is very pleased with this development, as it is consistent with our own advocacy over the years.    The notice is pasted below:   InterCityRail Improving rail transportation is a good idea. […]
Source: TAO

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