Transport Action Canada: Hotline 1115

Transport Calendar:
14 months late: high speed rail study
14 months late: Canadian Transportation Agency decision on upgrade to Toronto-London rail connection

May 2 Federal Election Results

CON 166    39.6%
NDP  103   30.6%
LIB     34   18.9%
BQ       4     6.0%
GRN    1     3.9%

Election promises

LRT could be ready by 2018: Ottawa mayor Jim Watson

"The planned rail line will run 12.5 kilometres from Tunney's Pasture in the west to Blair station in the east, and will include a 3.2 kilometre tunnel under the downtown," reported on May 6.

"David Jeanes, the president of Transport Action Canada, a transit advocacy group, said the shortened timeline isn't good enough. "That's not soon enough because Canada is going to be celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, and we could be in a situation where not only is light rail not ready, but most of our transitway is shut down due to the conversion," reported. >

Conservative Corneliu Chisu takes Pickering airport riding

"As for a possible Pickering airport, Mr. Chisu said it's still just an idea and a decision has not been made. He said it's in the hands of Transport Canada, which has to put forward a business case and be able to prove whether it's something to go ahead with or not," Metroland's Kristen Calis reported on May 3, 2011.

Sierra Club loses court bid to derail $5.5 billion DRIC highway bridge

"The decision to have a second bridge in a different location was decided in case of a terrorist attack or mishap that caused one bridge to become unavailable. … The court determined that the decline in bridge traffic does not affect long-term projections," the Windsor Star reported.

The Sierra Club alleged the federal "responsible authorities" breached a precautionary principle under the (Canadian Environmental Assessment Act) which did not specify feasible opinions of studying adverse environmental effects against endangered species during the construction of the new road. The court was satisfied with the measures taken," Dylan Kristy, wrote for the Windsor Star on May 5.

US road bill maintains truck size freeze

On May 3,the Association of American Railroads (AAR) lauded the introduction of both House and Senate versions of the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA) which propose to freeze national truck size and weight limits on the U.S. interstate highway system.

“Big, heavy trucks today don’t pay their full share of damage to our nation’s highways, costing American taxpayers billions of dollars each year for pothole and bridge repairs,” said AAR VP of Communications Patricia M. Reilly.

Paul Langan: APTA High Speed Rail Practicum 

Paul Langan, Founder of High Speed Rail Canada spoke at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) 2nd International Practicum on Implementing High Speed Rail in Baltimore, on May 4. He reports delegates were impressed by the Turbo Train short film.

Ottawa Transit commission: Route changes the first week of school  

A number of last-minute tweaks were made to some local routes in the plan approved by the transit commission on April 20. David Jeans of Transport Action Canada, said: “The timing of these changes will be very disruptive (because the week after Labour Day is when people return from vacation, start the new school year and perhaps new jobs) and that will be the first day that most people hear about these changes,”  Laura Mueller, wrote for Your Ottawa Region on Apr 28. 2011.

Waterloo region:  $818-million plan

"Tim Mollison looks at 38-per-cent public support for trains — and sees victory for light rail transit. … (He was) reacting to a Record poll showing a community deeply divided over an $818-million plan to put electric trains on streets in Kitchener and Waterloo. “We’re very glad to see this, because what this says is light rail would win a referendum in this community,” said Mollison, spokesperson for the pro-rail Tri-Cities Transport Action Group," Jeff Outhit reported for the Waterloo Region Record on May 4.

Transport Action's George Bechtel says, "We need a referendum. If everyone understands the benefits of an electric motor over a diesel or gas engine we win. Same thing applies for a steel wheel over a rubber tire. We need to know the real cost. You can'tpave your way out of traffic congestion."