Mobility and crash risks, Ontario election questions

Stories on STM's Michel Labrecque, electric vehicles,  Louis-François Garceau, aerodynamic stalls and more.

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1129, Sept. 2, 2011

Sept. 8, Public debate, Ontario Political Parties on Transportation Policy

Transport Action Ontario wants your questions for Ontario politicians. The watchdog group is holding a public meeting featuring Ontario provincial election candidates at:
Metro Hall, 55 John St., Toronto, Rooms 308/309 on,
Thursday, September 8, 2011, 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

This week Transport Action Ontario released background information on six key issues:
1. Metrolinx funding
2. Light rail transit versus subways
3. High speed rail
4. Rural transit
5. Sustainability
6. Traffic congestion

Members are urged to promote the event by using facebook, twitter, blogs and emails.  Old fashioned ways of turning out a good crowd like phoning, postering and making your kids come are also encouraged.

Research on Electric Vehicles Won’t Take  One Car off Our Roads  

"Why is Ontario subsidizing Magna International to the tune of $48 million that it admits it doesn’t need, to develop electric cars? The problem is not about clean or dirty cars – it is about the number of cars. Endless streams of traffic have given the Toronto area at eighty minutes round trip the longest commute times among twenty world cities," says Natalie Litwin, Transport Action Ontario president emeritus.

"According to the Toronto Board of Trade, that long commute saps our productivity and lowers our GDP. Even if all our cars were clean, our roads would still be congested. That $48 million and much more should go to building an efficient transit system," Litwin says.

Transport Action President David Jeanes, Emergency Detour Route signage works for Toronto 

If you're confused as to what those new EDR signs mean, you're not alone. … Traffic and transportation analyst and Transport Action spokesman David Jeanes said the EDR program has been very successful in Toronto. He said one sore point locally is a lack of public consultation - not everybody would be happy if their road or street suddenly became an EDR," Doug Hempstead reported for the Ottawa Sun on Aug. 30, 2011.

"Especially if it meant rescinding any traffic-calming measures," he said. Jeanes figures about 90% of highway drivers are unfamiliar with alternate routes and backstreets, and therefore supports the initiative," the Ottawa Sun reported.

Normand Parisien Transport 2000 Québec, New STM trash and recycling plan needs promotion

You'll have to hang on to your trash a little longer when you're on the métro. Waste bins are being removed from the platforms in all 68 stations, forcing riders to shlep their junk upstairs to throw it out. … Normand Parisien, executive director of Transport 2000 Québec, a transit users lobby group, said the STM must ensure commuters don't end up littering the platforms more than they do now. "There needs to be a sustained awareness campaign and they should provide the same level of service and bins as before," Max Harrold wrote for the Montreal Gazette on Aug. 30, 2011.

"The Toronto Transit Commission made a similar move in 2005, removing bins from platform levels in the TTC's 69 stations in part out of concern that
the large trash containers could be used to hide bombs, Danny Nicholson, a TTC spokesperson, said. But it put trash and recycling receptacles back on
the platforms in 2008, this time with clear plastic bags showing the contents more easily," the Montreal Gazette reported.

4 000 participants, Le Festirail continue de cheminer avec succès

« La 3e édition du Festirail, une cuvée spéciale de Célébrations Lévis 2011, présentée par la Corporation Charny Revit, les 20 et 21 août derniers, a été un succès, selon ses organisateurs. Plus de 4 000 participants ont visité les divers sites d’activités » Pierre Duquet a rapporté pour le Journal le Peuple le 25 août 2011.

« Le Festirail 2011 proposait cette année de nombreuses nouveautés qui n’ont pas manqué de séduire les festivaliers. En effet, les visites de la Rotonde Joffre, la seule du genre encore en activité au pays, ont été facilitées par les navettes de la STLévis mises à la disposition des visiteurs. …  Comme toujours, les activités à caractère ferroviaire, organisées en collaboration avec le Groupe TRAQ (Transport sur rail au Québec), ont attiré de très nombreux visiteurs. On y présentait encore cette année l’un des plus importants rassemblements de trains miniatures au Québec, en plus de voir de près la machinerie nécessaire à l’exploitation ferroviaire » le Journal le Peuple a rapporté.

A Comprehensive Analysis Of Traffic Congestion Costs

A new Victoria Transport Policy Institute report critically evaluates the methods used to measure traffic congestion impacts. Current methods tend to exaggerate congestion costs and roadway expansion benefits. This study develops a more comprehensive evaluation framework which is applied to four congestion reduction strategies: unpriced roadway expansion, improving alternative modes, pricing reforms, and smart growth land use policies. The results indicate that highway expansion often provides less overall benefit than alternative congestion reduction policies. Comprehensive evaluation can identify more efficient and equitable congestion solutions. It is important that decision makers understand the omissions and biases in current evaluation methods.

Dr. Barry Wellar, What will Ottawa look like in 60 years?

Dr. Barry Wellar, Transport Action’s Distinguished Research Fellow, comments on transportation and land use futures in the autumn edition of Build by the Ottawa Citizen for the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association. One of his concerns is that “Ottawa doesn’t give any sign whatsoever that it has a 100-year horizon, which is what you need to intelligently discuss something like LRT. They discuss transit in the absence of discussing land use.”

Hommage à Louis-François Garceau, fondateur du Groupe TRAQ

Le Temple de la renommée des chemins de fer canadiens souligne le dévouement de Louis-François Garceau, conservateur du Musée ferroviaire de Charny et fondateur du Groupe TRAQ (Transport sur rail au Québec), organisme francophone sans but lucratif qui a pour mission de promouvoir la connaissance des chemins de fer et de leur histoire au moyen d'initiatives variées.

« Nous rendons hommage à Louis-François Garceau pour son engagement passionné envers la promotion du chemin de fer et pour sa contribution au secteur ferroviaire canadien au Québec », a déclaré Gérald Gauthier, président du conseil et président du Temple de la renommée des chemins de fer du Canada. « Il continue à donner beaucoup de son temps à la promotion de l'élément essentiel de l'activité économique qu'est le chemin de fer et son engagement inébranlable a eu une incidence non négligeable sur le secteur ferroviaire au Québec. »

US freight rail corporations sue the federal government over Amtrak 

"The Association of American Railroads says it is suing the federal government for giving Amtrak the “authority to promulgate binding rules governing the conduct of its contractual partners, the freight railroads.”  Such authority, bestowed to Amtrak by Congress, gives the national railroad passenger carrier an unfair political hammer, hampering host freight railroads due to its “historically poor record of on-time performance and (a) chronic inability to generate revenue sufficient to cover its operating costs,” AAR says," Railway Age reported on Aug. 25.

"AAR is challenging the constitutionality of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), which gives Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration the power to “jointly ... develop new or improve existing metrics and minimum standards for measuring the performance and service quality of intercity passenger train operations,” Railway Age reported.

Transport Canada stalls aviation safety and consumers protection 

This week Transport Action Canada released an edition of Aviation Safety News dedicated to the victims of the First Air Flight 6560 crash in Resolute Bay, Nunavut on Aug. 20. The issue of Aviation Safety News also covers aerodynamic stalls - Continental Connection Flight 3407 and Air France Flight 447 - do pilots need more training? It includes selections from stories filed by top journalists including:

Transport Canada deep sixes floatplane safety
FAA nixes Sikorsky S-92A dry-running requirement
$2 billion awarded by CATSA in airport passenger screening contracts
Pilot fatigue regulations stalled in the US (where are Canada's?)

Aviation Safety News reports consumer protection lags in Canada. In the US, Air Canada is fined for misleading advertising, while an equivalent Canadian law has been deemed too complicated for cabinet to approve.

A mayoral run could be a good fit for the STM's Michel Labrecque

"(Michel) Labrecque's credentials are progressive and hip. He headed Vélo-Québec, the bike advocacy group, as well as the Montreal Highlights Festival (Montréal en Lumière) before becoming a city councillor in Plateau Mont Royal in 2005. As Union Montreal's candidate for borough mayor in the Plateau in 2009, he finished third (with 26 per cent of the vote), losing to Projet Montréal's Luc Ferrandez. He rebounded with the STM appointment 2 years ago, however, and since then he and that agency's director general, Yves Devin, have been compiling an unusually innovative record in adding more buses and métro trains and in tackling pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions," Henry Aubin wrote for the Montreal Gazette on Aug. 27.

Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Mobility and crash risks

This week VTPI released an update of a report which investigates the relationships between mobility (the amount people travel) and crash risk, and the safety impacts of mobility management strategies that change the ways and the amount people travel. Evidence summarized in this report indicates that per capita traffic crash rates tend to increase with per capita vehicle travel, and mobility management strategies can provide significant safety benefits. Conventional traffic risk analysis understates many of these impacts.

Aviation Safety, Justice Robert Wells calls for a strong regulator 

Justice Wells, the lead investigator into the 2009 Cougar Helicopters crash, said on the release of his report on Aug. 15. "I envisage a safety regulator for the offshore as having a mandate to learn about the background of any equipment being used or to be used in the offshore, including helicopters. It should have the knowledge and authority to say when additional measures are needed and the duty to pursue improvements,”
Aviation Safety News, Aug. 31, 2011.

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1129, Sept. 2, 2011
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
(613) 594-3290
Recorded Hotline: 1-800-771-5035
RSS: feed://


Sept. 8, Toronto, Transport Action Ontario, Ontario political parties on transportation,  7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m., Metro Hall, 55 John St., Toronto , Rooms 308/09, featuring Frank De Jong, Green Party candidate, NDP MPP CheriDiNovo, Frank Klees MPP PC.

Sept. 17 Sault Ste-Marie, CAPT Group of Seven Train Event

Sept. 17  Regina, Transport Action Prairie, Annual General Meeting,  Knox-Metropolitan United Church, 2340 Victoria Ave., 2 - 4 pm.

20 septembre, Québec, Acces Transports Viables, Conference On Sustainable Mobility