Swissair 111 wiring, Ottawa bus terminal rezoning

The success of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company 
Transport Action on rural transportation. 

"STC: Saskatchewan Success Story will be the theme of the annual meeting for Transport Action Prairie on Saturday. The business meeting starts at 2 p.m. and the speakers will be at 3 p.m. It will be held at Knox-Metropolitan Church, 2340 Victoria Ave. Everyone is welcome For more information, call 569-7699," the Leader-Post reported on Sept. 16.

Swissair crash caused by wiring Lynn Romano says

"Allegations by an investigator who looked into the crash of Swissair Flight 111 near Peggy's Cove, N.S., that it might have been caused by an incendiary device are sparking surprise and anger," CBC News reported.

"In an interview with The Fifth Estate, Lynn Romano, who lost her husband in the crash, said she stands behind the investigation "I'm convinced with everything that I've learned that a wiring issue took this plane down," she said," CBC News reported on Sept. 15.

In August 1999 a Transport 2000 symposium identified kapton insulation as a major factor in the Swissair 111 tragedy. Lynn Romano was a keynote speaker at the event and remains a friend of Transport Action.

MP calls for higher speed rail

On Sept. 12  Brian Masse announced the ‘Need for Speed Campaign’ urging the Federal Government to prioritize rail investment in Canada.  The Windsor-West MP  has written the Minister of Transport Infrastructure and Communities Denis Lebel advising him to move decisively toward augmenting Canada’s rail capacity by investing in higher speed rail. "Today I am calling on the Minister to create a working group of stakeholders along the Windsor to Quebec City corridor from government and the private sector to work to ensure that higher speed rail investments become a reality and are implemented effectively,” he said.

Higher speed rail plan is a good Transport Action says

"This is the right way to move it forward: with a vision of where we want to get to, and the manageable steps along the way to make progress. Brian Masse's suggestion of a permanent working group of regional stakeholders is a good start. A project of such scale, that affects so many people, with so many choices to make along the way, needs a stakeholder group to work on it and move it along," writes Justin Bur, Transport Action Canada vice-president.

"Queen's Policy Review Vol. 1, No. 1 (spring 2010) "High Speed Rail in the Quebec-Windsor Corridor: A Case for Public Investment

VIA Fast Report

Ottawa rail service, The demand is there Jeanes says

A group of local mayors says they can start a rail service between the Ottawa Valley and west Quebec before Ottawa's downtown LRT even starts construction.The proposal includes a three-line system between Norway Bay and Casselman, Smiths Falls and Wakefield, and Arnprior and Montebello. ... "The demand is there for people to leave their cars at home," said David
Jeanes of Transport Action Canada," CTV Ottawa reported on Sept. 10.

Transportation and the environment, 1990-2000

"At the beginning of the 1990s, transportation did NOT seem to be recognized as an important contributor to global warming or environmental degradation. The 1991 Nova Scotia and federal reports on "Action Strategy on Global Warming" ignored the issue of transportation although it had been stressed in submissions by Transport 2000 Canada and Atlantic groups, Transport Action Atlantic John Pearce writes.

"The Transport 2000 reports emphasized that the best way to slow global warming is to improve public transportation alternatives. Citizens were encouraged to leave their cars at home and use public transport. For commercial transport, railroads were noted to be more energy efficient and produce less carbon dioxide, advised Transport 2000. However, the NS Dept. of Transportation was NOT even involved in writing the Action Strategy in 1991 and the issue only appeared on the final page of the appendix.

"In New Brunswick, however, a May 16, 1992 story in the Fredericton Gleaner noted that the NB Plan recommended that: "On the issue of Transportation, the action plan calls for a moratorium on removing rails and railbeds. Indications that rail transport has less environmental impact than vehicles on the highway makes it vital to preserve the infrastructure. In addition to making tax and subsidization levels for road and rail transport more equitable, efforts must be made to integrate the two forms to reap the advantages of both, the report recommends."

'With only main line railroads now left in NB except for the northeastern Intercolonial currently relegated to branch line status, we should remind the NB government of their 1992 enlightened policy, now either forgotten or deliberately abandoned," Pearce writes. He is downsizing his Transportation-Environmental files for the decade 1990-2000 by passing some major documents over to the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax.

Ottawa bus terminal, Rezoning could cost users Transport Action says

"Somerset Ward Coun. Diane Holmes announced today that Greyhound bus lines has renewed its lease at its current location on Catherine Street for an undisclosed period of time, stopping dead in its tracks redevelopment of the site for now. However, the notice of renewal did not stop the committee from carrying a motion to rezone the land from being exclusively a transportation-only zone to one of mixed-use," Rob Nettleton wrote for Centretown News.

“If you rezone this land you are immediately increasing its value as something other than a bus station,” said David Jeanes, of Transport Action. “You are therefore giving an incentive to the owner to pursue those other uses,” Centretown News reported on  Sept. 13.

TTC eyes service, equipment cutbacks

The Toronto Transit Commission will weigh reducing the order it placed with Bombardier Transportation for 204 light rail transit cars by 15 cars, or 7.3%. The cutback would save at least C$71 million. TTC staff says the remaning 189 cars should be sufficient to meet projected ridership demand in the next decade.  As well, TTC may approve service reductions on some of Toronto’s busiest rail transit routes to close an estimated C$101 million budget gap. It may also eliminate up to 1,000 jobs, with termination notices likely to begin as early as next week," Railway Age reported on Sept. 14.

 Vancouver transit advocates launch campaign for property-tax hike 

"A coalition is supporting three possibilities for a new provincial tax mechanism. First choice is the revenue from the province’s carbon tax, available as of 2012.  … The second choice the coalition favours is a vehicle-registration tax, said Mr. Ladner, but one that has some nuances to it, with lower fees for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.  … The third is road pricing in some form: fees for people alone in their cars to use HOV lanes; tolls on every bridge; or some other mechanism that gets money from people who use the system more than others," Frances Bula wrote for the Globe and Mail on Sept. 11.

Steve Munro on the Ontario election, Three Platforms, Little Promise

"Election time in Ontario brings out a fresh batch of promises from political parties, promises they hope will lure our support on voting day, promises that will inevitably be broken no matter who is elected.Transportation is not at the top of anyone’s priority list in an era of bad economies.  The big ticket items (both for votes and for dollars) are health care, education and jobs.  Transit gets the leftovers if it is mentioned at all.  For many ridings, transit isn’t even an issue, if transit has any presence," Steve Munro wrote on Sept. 11. What would the three major parties bring us after October 6? Check Steve Munro's blog.

Hamilton light rail transit showdown set for Oct. 11

"Thanks to a motion from Councillors Jason Farr and Brian McHattie, on Oct. 11 council will have an opportunity to override (Mayor Bob) Bratina’s position and force him to recommit to strongly lobbying the province and Metrolinx for more funding. … There’s no question Bratina’s lukewarm comments have hurt Hamilton’s place in the transit funding queue and pool," Andrew Dreschel wrote for the Hamilton Spectator on Sept. 10.

Transportation: The untapped Ontario provincial election campaign issue
Globe and Mail

Kathy Haley,  New Air Rail Link chief
Toronto Star

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1131, Sept. 16, 2011
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
(613) 594-3290
Recorded Hotline: 1-800-771-5035
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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,

Sept. 22, Global Car-free day, Transport 2000 Québec participating in Montreal events