Jul 16

Portland-Seattle-Vancouver High Speed Rail “Makes Economic Sense”

By Transport Action | British Columbia , Intercity Rail and Bus

On July 15, 2019 the Washington State Department of Transportation released its Ultra-High-Speed Ground Transportation study and business case, forecasting $355 billion in economic growth, up to 200,000 jobs created, and 3 million passengers annually.   

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/planning/studies/ultra-high-speed-travel/2019-business-case-analysis

Transport Action BC agrees that high speed rail (HSR) linking Vancouver, Seattle and Portland is a great idea, but there are a lot of questions and complexities surrounding this proposal yet to be answered.

First, the line must serve the city centres of Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. BC Premier John Horgan’s suggestion that Surrey be the end-of-the-line would add an extra forty-five minutes to the travel time to downtown Vancouver, and more than an hour to the airport. That would be a serious mistake. Instead, consideration should be given to building a four-track joint high speed and regional rail corridor from downtown towards Surrey that would to better serve regional trips toward Abbotsford, relieve the Expo Line, and increase connectivity to the HSR.

Read the full story on our BC website:
http://bc.transportaction.ca/issues/rail/high-speed-rail/portland-seattle-vancouver-high-speed-rail-makes-economic-sense/

Transport Action will have more to say on this topic in the coming months. Join us and get involved.

Photo of Bombardier Zefiro 380 by Björn König via Wikimedia Commons


Source: TABC

Jul 09

Maritime Bus owner wins 2019 John Pearce Award

By Transport Action Atlantic | Atlantic

Mike Cassidy, president and owner of Maritime Bus, (left) accepts the John Pearce Award for 2019 from TAA president Ted Bartlett.

Transport Action Atlantic has selected Prince Edward Island
entrepreneur Mike Cassidy as the winner of the 2019 John Pearce Award. The
citation was created by the association two years ago to commemorate the
lifetime achievements in public transportation advocacy by Mr. Pearce, a
founding father of TAA’s predecessor Transport 2000 Atlantic, a past president,
and long-time member of the board. John passed away in Dartmouth NS on June 6,
2019.

The award is given annually to recognize an outstanding
contribution to the public transportation cause. This year’s selection
committee chose to recognize Mr. Cassidy primarily for his determined efforts
to rescue and maintain scheduled intercity motorcoach service in the Maritimes.
In the fall of 2012, his company stepped in where others had failed, and is now
in its seventh year of successful passenger and parcel operation from Halifax
and Sydney NS to Rivierè-du-Loup QC, serving most towns and cities in the
region on a daily basis and providing onward connections to Quebec and Ontario.
The citation also noted his success in providing urban transit in Charlottetown
PEI, and his ongoing advocacy seeking government support for a national bus
network in Canada, following the failure of Greyhound West.


Source: TAA

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.

Do you want to see better rail and bus service become a reality? Join Us

Jun 08

TAA mourns the passing of president emeritus John Pearce

By Transport Action Atlantic | Atlantic

John Pearce, May 7, 1934 – June 6, 2019

Transport Action Atlantic mourns the passing of its president emeritus. John Pearce was a tireless crusader for the cause of convenient, affordable and sustainable public transportation.

At age 85, John passed away peacefully in Dartmouth on June 6, 2019. He was born in Toronto to the late Perezel and Helen (Munro) Pearce. John obtained his Masters in Math and Physics at the University of Toronto on his path to becoming a Meteorologist. His career in which he served with distinction for many years would lead him to Nova Scotia. There he met his wife of 47 years at a Sports Car Club meeting.

John joined Transport 2000 Atlantic in the mid 1970s, served for many years as its president, and remained an active volunteer and board member as the organization rebranded itself as Transport Action Atlantic. His primary focus was always passenger rail, and until only a couple of years ago he could be frequently found in the Halifax VIA station, promoting the cause and chatting with passers-by and railway employees. His influence and contributions to the cause have been recognized by an annual award that TAA named in his honour.

The United Church was also a focus of John’s life and he was a fixture in the congregation and choir of St. Matthew’s for many decades. John is survived by sister, Judith (John); wife, Karen; sons, Ian (Maria) and Lorne (Laura); grandchildren, Stella and Owen.

Visitation was held on Monday, June 10th from 2-4pm & 6-8pm in A. L. Mattatall Funeral Home, Dartmouth. Celebration of Life was held on Tuesday, June 11th at 11am in St. Matthew’s United Church, Halifax. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Parkinson’s Society of Canada.

TAA Treasurer Don MacLeod presents the inaugural John Pearce Award, for outstanding public transportation advocacy, to John Pearce on November 18, 2017.

May 15

David Collenette to speak at Transport Action Canada AGM

By Transport Action | Events , Interurban Rail and Bus

Transport Action Canada’s annual general meeting will be held on Saturday, 25 May 2019, at the Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Avenue, Room 110, Ottawa (see map below), starting at 1 pm.

The president will report on last year’s activities. The 2018 financial statements will be presented for approval. (Members may request copies of the financial statement by email or mail). Directors will be elected for 2019-2020. The present board is nominating members to the board of directors and additional nominations may be made at the meeting.


The Hon. David M. Collenette, PC

The Hon. David M. Collenette, PC, formerly Federal Minister of Transport, Defence and Veterans Affairs, Chair of the Mayor of Ottawa’s Task Force on Transportation (2007), and Ontario Special Advisor for High Speed Rail (2015), will be our guest speaker at 2 pm.

Members who are not able to attend in person may appoint a representative (proxy) to vote on their behalf, by email to info@transportaction.ca or by mail to PO Box 858, Station B, Ottawa, ON K1P 5P9. The representative may be the secretary of Transport Action Canada or any member who is attending the meeting. The proxy may be restricted to a particular matter.  

Non-members are welcome to attend.

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