Transport Canada duty to protect, kapton burns, S-92A needs oil

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1122, June 24, 2011

When a full bus passes people waiting at a stop, Transport Action BC

"The Vancouver Sun analyzed transit passenger “pass-up” data (provided by Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC – TransLink’s main bus service operator). The newspaper found four routes where “pass-ups” occur much more frequently than all other routes," Rick  Jelfs wrote for Transport Action BC on June 19.

"The ultimate solution, according to TransLink, is the “Compass” smart card that will be implemented in 2013. This will allow TransLink to offer different fares at different times of the day. Higher fares in the peak periods could encourage some customers to shift their travel times, potentially providing some relief on overcrowded routes.

"However, the article doesn’t question if CMBC is making the most efficient use of TransLink’s buses. Regular transit users know that Vancouver’s buses spend much time at terminals and certain intersections not moving. There are valid reasons for idle time; it allows vehicles to get back on schedule and provides operator breaks. But, given overcrowding problems, is so much slack time the most effective way to solve these issues? Are there other ways to keep buses on schedule and provide operator breaks but keep buses moving and picking up customers? Experience elsewhere suggests there is," Jelfs reported.

Transport Canada, duty to protect, kapton burns

In August 1999 Transport Action (Transport 2000 at the time) was the first watchdog group to identify kapton insulation as the likely cause of the Swissair 111 tragedy. Kapton burns. This week Postmedia New's Ian MacLeod reported: "Thirteen years after faulty wiring downed Swissair Flight 111 off Nova Scotia, the risk remains because the federal government still does not require aircraft wiring to be tested under realistic operating conditions, the Transportation Safety Board charges."

"Now, after a decade of pressing unsuccessfully for the change, the independent federal transportation safety agency has issued a statement alleging the "risk remains" because Transport Canada has so far failed to act," Postmedia News reported on June 20, 2011. 

$59M boosts O-Train capacity by 80%

 "Ottawa's transit commission unanimously approved a $59-million project to expand the O-Train service, including the purchase of six new trains. The expanded service, expected to be in place in 2014, should allow trains to run every eight minutes instead of the current 15. Capacity will also be expanded by 80 per cent to more than 2,000 passengers per hour in each direction," Joanne Chianello reported for the Ottawa Citizen on June 16, 2011.

Transport Action members including National President David Jeanes have played a key role in the O-Trains development and success. Transport Action affiliate Friends of the O-Train delivers strong grassroots support.

Inspiration, 39 slides, Sustainable transportation 

This week Transport Action's Barry Wellar posted an excellent slide show on sustainable transportation.

À Charny,  20 et 21 août, FESTIRAIL

Savez-vous que Charny doit son émergence au monde ferroviaire? Venez donc découvrir la riche histoire de ce quartier de Lévis lors du FESTIRAIL des 20 et 21 août prochain, au parc de la Rivière. Cette 3e édition est une réalisation de la Corporation Charny Revit, en collaboration avec le groupe TRAQ, et fait partie de la cuvée spéciale de Célébrations Lévis 2011.

Unique dans l’offre touristique de la région, le FESTIRAIL permet la découverte du patrimoine ferroviaire de Charny dans une ambiance festive. En plus d’être l’un des plus grands rassemblements de trains miniatures au Québec et de proposer une foule d’activités d’animation, cette cuvée spéciale offre plusieurs nouveautés : promenades en petit train sur roues, kiosques de collectionneurs, présence de grutiers, messe commémorative des cheminots, visite de la rotonde (unique au pays!), caricaturiste Métyvié, échassiers et tours de magie, fermette,  tours de poney, etc.

Vous y trouverez également des jeux gonflables, expositions d’objets ferroviaires de tout genre, sculptures de ballons et maquillage pour toute la famille. Le samedi soir, venez vous divertir en assistant gratuitement à un spectacle de variétés : Hommage à Johnny Cash (groupe Tendance Alcoolique) et Max Summer sauront vous faire bouger! Émilie Têtu, chargée de projet, Corporation Charny Revit 3341 avenue des Églises, Charny (Lévis), QC C.P. 45011, G6X 3R4

Hamilton continues LRT planning

"Light rail transit news in Ontario lately has been dominated by the Waterloo region, but Hamilton, Ontario, on the western edge of Lake Ontario, has quietly continued advancing its own LRT plans, with an environmental assessment due for completion by year’s end on a 10-mile route. Full funding for the project has yet to be identified, unlike the nearby project in Waterloo and vicinity, which has secured provincial and federal funding," Railway Age reported on June 20.

Who’ll champion transit in Hamilton?

"Those advocating a big investment in Hamilton’s transit system say the project needs a political champion. None was to be found at a workshop luncheon series Tuesday called Why Transit Matters! No Hamilton city, provincial or federal politician was in attendance," Meredith MacLeod reported for the Hamilton Spectator on June 22.

"Keynote speaker Paul Bedford, a member of the Metrolinx board of directors and a former chief planner for Toronto, bluntly pointed out the absence. “There are no politicians here and that disappoints me. The mayor should be here and the whole damn council. Political leadership is essential. You need champions who push and make a lot of noise,” the Spec reported.

Transport Canada, duty to protect, Sikorsky S-92A helicopter can't fly for 30 minutes without oil 

"For helicopters certified in the future, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Canada (TC) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have all agreed to review the certification rules. "But it is going to take more than promises to solve the safety problems we found," said TSB Chair, Wendy Tadros.  … Tadros was clear, "For those who rely on these helicopters today and in the future, the TSB needs a firm commitment that they will all be capable of flying for at least 30 minutes following a massive loss of main gearbox oil," The Transportation Safety Board of Canada reported on June 23.

"While the immediate cause of the crash off Newfoundland has been resolved with the replacement of the titanium studs, today's S-92As can still only fly for 11 minutes in the event of a total loss of oil. "That is why the Board is seeking prompt clarification from the FAA on whether it will require improvements to the S-92A's main gearbox," adds Tadros.

Montréal, Une situation intolérable

« La fermeture soudaine de deux voies du pont Mercier a mis en évidence la fragilité du réseau routier de la région métropolitaine de Montréal. … La congestion permanente de nombreuses artères chamboule la vie professionnelle et familiale des gens de la région. En perturbant le transport des travailleurs, des touristes et des marchandises, elle nuit à l'économie de Montréal et mine sa réputation. Bref, la situation est devenue intolérable » André Pratte écrit pour La Presse et The Gazette le 22 juin.

« Les gouvernements doivent investir plus et mieux dans les transports collectifs. Le réseau de transports en commun de la région est désuet et encore mal intégré. Il faut notamment exploiter beaucoup plus intensivement le réseau ferroviaire. À l'heure actuelle, l'Agence métropolitaine de transport ne peut utiliser son matériel roulant à son plein potentiel parce que le CN et le CP donnent priorité au transport des marchandises. Le gouvernement du Canada doit convaincre ces deux sociétés de tenir davantage compte des besoins des grandes villes du pays dans l'organisation de leurs activités. Si elles se montrent récalcitrantes, il devra les forcer à le faire au moyen d'amendements à la Loi sur les transports »  Pratte écrit pour La Presse et The Gazette.

La Presse et The Gazette declare a state of emergency 

"The sudden closing of two lanes on the Mercier Bridge has highlighted the fragility of the Montreal metropolitan region's roads network. It has also provoked the anger of the network's users, who are fed up with being hostage to a poorly conceived system that is badly maintained," The Gazette and La Presse in a joint editorial published June 22, 2011.

"At present, the Agence métropolitaine de transport is unable to use its rolling stock to its full potential because the railway companies, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific, give priority to freight hauling. The federal government must persuade these two companies to take better account of the needs of large cities in organizing their activities. If they resist, they should be forced to comply by way of amendments to the Transport Act," The Gazette and La Presse said.

Amtrak privatization plan a bad idea for workers, passengers

In a June 20 letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce expressed the organization's complete opposition to a Republican plan to privatize and dismantle Amtrak.

Introduced by Reps. John Mica (R-Fla.) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), the Competition for Intercity Passenger Rail in America Act would dismantle Amtrak and privatize the Northeast Corridor, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen reported.