Rural transportation, Free transit, Colloque ferroviaire

Nickel Belt Rails
Rural transportation in New Brunswick, Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia, en Gaspésie, Meadow Lakes, Saskatchewan and the UP of Michigan and more in this week's Transport Action Hotline.

Road budget, Transport Actions calls for cash for the Maritimes' only interurban bus service 

Transport Action's John Pearce asks: "If Acadian Lines is "only" losing a reported million dollars per year in the Maritimes, and this would only build under 1 km of all weather highway somewhere in the 3 provinces, why can't N.B. (or other Maritime province) cut $1 million from their massive road construction programs costing hundreds of millions of dollars each year to save our only interurban and rural bus system? Acadian Bus Lines locked out its New Brunswick and PEI workers and passengers on Dec. 2.

Le Colloque ferroviaire annuel du Québec des 28 et 29 mars 201

La participation d’un nouveau joueur sera très importante cette année. Il s’agit de « DELOM Services » qui, depuis plusieurs années, fait l’entretien, la réparation et le suivi de vos moteurs, générateurs, réducteurs de vitesse et autres. Ceux-ci seront au kiosque No. 11 et vous invitent à venir les rencontrer. D’ici quelques années, la compagnie aimerait ajouter une section traction pour les locomotives. Leur fiabilité n’est plus à refaire! Le Colloque annuel du Groupe TRAQ y tiendra également sa 11e exposition de fournisseurs de matériel ferroviaire et il reste quelques kiosques de libre à louer. Informez-vous! Pour ceux qui voudront participer à ce 16e colloque annuel, des documents seront postés à la mi-janvier et des avis seront placés sur notre site Web vers la même date.

Annapolis County sets up its own rural transport service, leaves Kings Transit
"County council plans to sever its partnership with Kings Transit and hook up with a local bus provider to save money and expand service to other areas. … The Municipality of the County of Annapolis has been with Kings Transit since 2005, but ridership has been declining in the western end of the county with last year’s closing of the Convergys call centre in Cornwallis."We hope to increase ridership by offering service to some folks in the outlying districts, like Bear River, Nictaux and other areas not serviced by the bus route now," Ritchie said. … The main bus route would be taken over by a new service called Annapolis Transit. The municipality owns two buses that will revert from Kings Transit to the new service," Gordon Delaney reported for the Halifax Chronicle Herald on Jan. 5, 2012.

Nickel Belt Rails, New publication, Northern Ontario rails in colour 

Almost 300 Colour Images Covering Rail Operations Between the Borders of Manitoba & Quebec and from Lake Simcoe north to salt water at Moosonee.e book has 128 pages with soft covers and each section of the book leads off with a map defining the area covered. These maps are from the 1990 edition of the Canadian Railway Atlas published by the Railway Association of Canada. Text in each section further defines what is and what has changed while detailed captions fill in the significance. The book costs $55.00 plus $8.00 shipping & handling per order. It is available by sending a cheque or money order to Nickel Belt Rails Box 483, Station “B” Sudbury, ON, P3E 4P6, CANADA.

Michigan bus service provider's five intercity bus routes show ridership growth

Harry Gow writes, "Atlantic Canada, with a declining bus system in at least two provinces, would do well to look at Saskatchewan, Québec and British Columbia for examples of support for bus transport between cities, towns and rural areas.  There are examples of successful state support for such bus services south of the border, with Michigan providing a good example for Eastern Canada, with its similar  geography divided by large bodies of water, and a dispersed rural and small town population.

In the Autumn issue of The Michigan Passenger, the journal of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers, which is closely allied with Transport Action Canada reports Indian Trails' Five intercity bus routes show ridership growth in Michigan . MARP reports "Intercity bus routes in Michigan have experienced significant ridership growth for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, and collected $1.8 million in ticket revenue according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. In figures for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the Straits service between East Lansing and St. Ignace saw a 27 percent increase with 17,166 passengers using the intercity busservice in FFY 2011.  Ticket revenue was up by 35.7 percent to $415,263. The Huron service between Bay City and St.Ignace experienced an increase of 7,691  passengers, an increase of 17.1 percent from the same period a year ago. Ticket revenue was up by 22.8 percent to $202,868."

Transport Action founder Harry Gow notes "the Indian Trails bus system is coordinated with Amtrak rail  passenger services, also contracted by the State, and shares intemodal passenger stations with Amtrak, Greyhound and municipal transit services."

Free transit, Halifax and Winnipeg

On Jan. 3 Transport Action's John Pearce reported "pressure from seniors' advocates is growing in Halifax for free rides during off-peak daytime hours at least one day a week. Proponents are citing similar programs with Codiac Transit in Moncton-Riverview and OC Transpo in Ottawa. Halifax Metro Transit and City Council advisors are luke-warm to the scheme, but seniors' groups note that costs would be minimal as buses have lots of space in mid-day and services are running anyway. The same day CBC radio reported on the free, at the driver's discretion, transit policy in Winnipeg.

Saskatchewan, 320 kilometres of rail line

"A meeting scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 5 in Prince Albert would determine whether mills in northwest Saskatchewan will ship their product by truck or rail.OmniTRAX, the company that owns the Carlton Trail Railway, was to present a new offer to North Central Rail, the company that wants to buy 320 kilometres of rail line between Meadow Lake and Speers. "We have to see what they've got to say," said North Central Rail chairperson Ray Wilfing. The two sides have been negotiating since OmniTRAX announced it was selling the line for $11.4 million more than two years ago," Janet Gibson wrote for the Meadow Lake Progress on Jan. 5.

TransLink’s 2011 Year in Review

"It has been, for the most part, a year of consolidation and making the most of what we have, but as 2011 pulls into its terminus, TransLink is looking back on major accomplishments and ahead to another period of growth. 2011 was a year when record numbers of people chose public transit and TransLink’s strategic road improvements drove network efficiencies.  All of this happened while TransLink operated with no overall growth, maximizing services within in a set budget by promoting efficiency and effectiveness," Stephen Rees blogged on Dec. 27.

"Among the highlights of 2011 (was) Transit Ridership – proof of the need to increase service in any way possible can be seen in the amazing increase in ridership on the entire TransLink system. From January through October, 2011, the number of revenue rides was 192.1 million – an increase of 5 percent over the same period in 2010, which includes the extraordinary increase associated with the Winter Olympics. The fact that these additional customers have been accommodated without an overall increase in service hours indicates the success of TransLink’s Service Optimization Initiative.  Overall customer satisfaction with transit services remained at a record high 7.7 out of 10 throughout 2011," Stephen Rees reported.

VIA Rail fait des mécontents en Gaspésie

« Monique Leblanc et Jean-Claude Guimond, de Saint-Omer, en Gaspésie, ont été renversés de constater à quel point le transporteur public VIA Rail néglige les services aux passagers de leur région, par rapport à ce qui est offert entre Ottawa et Montréal» Gilles Gagné a écrit pour le Soleil le 4 janvier.

TRAQ, Annual Railway Symposium in Quebec on March 28, 29th, 2012. 

TRAQ welcomes a new participant. "DELOM Services," supplies maintenance, repair and monitoring services for motors, generators, gear-boxes and other machines. They will be at booth No. 11 and invite you to meet them. In a few years, the company would add a new shop for traction motors for the locomotives. Reliability is well again! This 16th Annual Symposium will also hold its 11th exhibition or RailShow of “Suppliers of Railway materials” and  still has a few kiosks to rent. Please ask us: For those interested in participating at thin annual railway Symposium, documents will be posted in mid January and also, information will be placed on our Web site around the same time.

Controlled flight into terrain, First Air 737 crash Resolute Bay, Nunavut 

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released a progress report about its  investigation into the August 20, 2011, air accident in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. "Currently, the TSB is classifying this occurrence as a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accident. CFIT occurs when an airworthy aircraft under the control of the flight crew is flown unintentionally into terrain, obstacles or water, usually with no prior awareness by the crew. CFIT is one of the issues identified in the TSB Watchlist," the Board reported on Jan. 5.

CP corporate shakeup, Former CN boss courted

"Bill Ackman, head of New York-based activist hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP, has recommended to CP’s directors that Mr. Harrison replace Fred Green as CEO of Calgary-based CP. “Hunter Harrison loves challenges and loves running railways,” Brent Jang wrote for the Globe and Mail. "Greg Gormick, a transportation policy consultant, said on Friday. “If he were a small boy, CP would be a big train set dropped onto his lap. He would run CP as efficiently as he could, and he certainly has the track record to prove that he can do it,” the Globe reported on Dec. 30, 2011.

London Free Press, Caterpillar Loco-Motive plant, Canada's loss will be Mexico's gain

Slate, High-speed rail is dead in America. Should we mourn it?

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1146, Jan. 6, 2012
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
(613) 594-3290
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28 et 29 mars 2012, Québec. TRAQ, Le Colloque ferroviaire annuel du Québec
les 26 et 27 avril, Granby, Le Colloque 2012 de l'Association des Transports collectifs ruraux du Québec (ATCRQ) se tiendra à Hôtel Spa et Confort
à Granby, Québec