Commuter rail governance at AMT, Metrolinx, Translink

Transport 2000 wants elected politicians to run
commuter rail services. 
350 convives, inter-urban and rural bus service in New Brunswick,
L'AMT soit dirigée par un élu, make sure you read the fine print and more news in today's Transport Action Hotline.

Transport 2000 Québec, Le prix Guy-Chartrand

« Fraîchement retraité, l’ancien directeur général de la Société de transport de Laval (STL), Pierre Giard, a été élevé au rang de personnalité marquante du domaine du transport collectif québécois, le 13 février. Devant un parterre de 350 convives, réunis lors d’un déjeuner-bénéfice, M. Giard a reçu la plus haute distinction des prix Guy-Chartrand, remis par Transport 2000 Québec » Stéphane St-Amour  a écrit pour le Courier Laval.

« Directeur général de cet organisme de pression militant pour le transport durable, Normand Parisien ne tarit pas d’éloges à l’endroit de celui qu’il a côtoyé pendant plus de 20 ans. «C’est comme le couronnement d’une carrière», résume-t-il, signalant que Pierre Giard a laissé une «forte empreinte» partout où il est passé » le Courier Laval a rapporté e 16 Février 2012 .

« M. Parisien salue, entre autres, l’important virage que la STL a abordé sous sa gouverne. L’inauguration des trois stations de métro en 2007, poursuit-il, a été le fer de lance du redéploiement de tout le réseau du transport en commun à Laval »  le Courier Laval a rapporté.

New Brunswick, No inter-urban and rural bus service in New Brunswick since Dec. 2

On Feb. 13 Transport Action's Michael Perry reported Acadian Bus Lines broke off negotiations with the Amalgamated Transit Union on Sunday night. No further negotiations are scheduled.

"There has been no inter-urban and rural bus service in New Brunswick since Dec. 2, 2011," Transport Action's John Pearce notes.The lockout affects Acadian operations in NB and PEI but not the company's Nova Scotia operations.

CBC News reported on Feb 12, 2012: "According to the company, Acadian Lines lost around $2 million running buses in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island last year. The union wants at least a cost-of-living increase. The company presented a last-minute contract offer to the union on Nov. 25. Workers voted 88 per cent against the deal."

Rick Jelfs, TransLink’s 2013 Fare Increase

"Transport Action BC has responded to TransLink’s request for a major fare increase in 2013. The following issues were submitted to the TransLink Commissioner for his consideration as part of his review of TransLink’s request.Our concerns are with the timing of the fare increase and about transit service and ancillary operations. We feel these issues should be addressed as part of the fare review process. We are not, a priori, against fare increases, as long as they are justifiable to maintain and improve service on a system that is already efficiently run," Rick Jelfs wrote for Transport Action BC on Feb 16. 2012.

Transport Action BC's submission covers:
1. Timing
2. Transit Service Operations
3. Ancillary Operations
4. Concluding Remarks

The complete submission is at Transport Action BC's blog at .

Transport 2000, L'AMT soit dirigée par un élu

« Hier, la chef de l'opposition à l'Hôtel de Ville de Montréal, Louise Harel, a suggéré la création d'une nouvelle entité: la Société de transport du Montréal métropolitain (STMM) qui aurait un mandat de planification et d'exploitation du transport collectif dans la grande région de Montréal » Jeanne Corriveau a rapporté pour le Devoir le 11 février 2012.

« Autre joueur, autre vision. Normand Parisien, directeur général de Transport 2000, propose que l'AMT soit dirigée par un élu, soit un ministre ou un président élu au suffrage universel selon une formule qui pourrait s'inspirer du cadre de gestion du Syndicat des transports d'Île-de-France » le Devoir a rapporté.

Transport 2000, Quebec’s transport minister should oversee the AMT

"Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay wants the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), which represents municipalities, to make transit planning decisions – not the province, said Martine Painchaud, a spokesperson for the mayor. Vision Montréal, the opposition party in Montreal, is to present a motion next week calling for the creation of a new body to plan and operate bus, métro and train service in Montreal, Laval and Longueuil. A new Société de transport du Montréal métropolitain would replace local agencies and the AMT," Andy Riga wrote for the Montreal Gazette on Feb. 14.

"Transport 2000, a transit users’ group, wants Quebec’s transport minister to oversee the AMT, which should control planning. Cities should have a minority voice. That would help reduce conflicts among cities, said Transport 2000’s Normand Parisien. Municipalities should retain control of operating transit, Parisien said. Vision’s proposal to merge transit agencies would not improve services or cut costs, he said. He fears that scenario would favour off-island transit to the detriment of Montreal," the Gazette reported.

Le ministre des Transports du Québec, Pierre Moreau

« Le ministre des Transports du Québec, Pierre Moreau, a remis en question la pertinence de l'Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) en rencontre avec Transport 2000 le 13 février. À la suite de l'inflation des coûts du projet du Train de l'Est - de 300 M$ à 715 M$ -, le ministre propose de «simplifier» la structure et de créer un organisme «unique», ainsi que d'implanter une «vision globale» du réseau de transport métropolitain » la Revue a rapporté le 14 février.

La gouvernance de l'AMT sera révisée

« Le ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) reverra de fond en comble la gouvernance, la structure et le mandat de l'Agence de transport de Montréal (AMT) dans sa nouvelle politique de mobilité durable dont l'ébauche sera rendue publique d'ici quelques semaines » Sarah Bélisle a écrit pour l'Agence QMI le 13 février 2012.

« Il est en effet essentiel de gonfler le budget du transport collectif de façon importante, revendique le président de Transport 2000, Robert A. Dubé. Celui-ci estime que c'est 3,3 milliards de dollars par année que Québec devrait y injecter plutôt que les cinq milliards investis au cours des cinq dernières années » l'Agence QMI a rapporté.

Rick Ciccarelli, Clean Train Coalition keeps eye on interconnections

"In speaking with Jack Collins [Metrolinx Vice-President, Rapid Transit Implementation] on (Feb. 15) at Councillor di Giorgio’s Kodak Town Hall, he said underground [is] still in play and indicated the loading and unloading of trains at the start and end of service will be a problem for at-grade, and he also expects an interconnecting GO/TTC station to work better. He is not sure if it will go underground past this station. They are also looking at a bridge across Black Creek Drive to service the yards, plus bus connections for both TTC and regional service. The Kodak building could become a bus terminal. He said there are multiple issues to sort through before the design can be finalized including whether they are designing for 3 car LRT or full subway vehicles, and the relationship with the GO rail corridor track expansion project and the new station," Steve Munro quoted Rick Ciccarelli from the Clean Train Coalition in his Feb. 16 blog post.

John Pearce, Airline ads, Make sure you read the fine print

On Feb. 12 Transport Action's John Pearce reported: Yesterday, expanding eastern Canadian airline Porter ran its first full-fare all-inclusive ad showing fares over $200 one way from Halifax to major central Canada destinations of Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto.  I've always been warned to "read the fine print" and so I did and this is what I found (with the aid of my magnifying glass!).
- fares quoted are one way OUTBOUND ONLY in FIRM class.  Inbound fares may differ (e.g. likely higher). FIRM class means fares NOT refundable.
- fees for optional services such as itinerary changes (fee up to $200 per direction may be charged), additional baggage ($20 for second checked bag), advance seat selection, or certain special service requests (special diet, wheelchair service??)
- Fares include all government imposed or mandatory fees which may amount to as much as $150 one-way per passenger depending on routing (intermediate stop landing fees?)

A single transportation agency?

"London, England, population 8.6 million, the financial hub of Europe, has a single agency to implement and manage its transportation services. These services include London’s buses, its Underground, the Docklands Light Railway, Tramlink, London River Services and Victoria Coach Station. The same agency also has responsibility for managing the “congestion fee” charged to auto users, maintaining 580 kilometres of streets and traffic lights, regulating taxis, promoting walking and cycling initiatives, and making the transport system more accessible to the handicapped," the Montreal Gazette reported on Feb. 15.

Worst crash of 2011 killed 12 near Resolute Bay

"Commercial plane crashes reached an all-time worldwide low last year, according to a report released Friday by the U.S.-based Flight Safety Foundation. However, the worst major commercial jet crash in the western world in 2011 was in Canada. The Aug. 20 crash of a First Air Boeing 737 into a hillside outside Resolute Bay, Nunavut, killed 12 of 15 people aboard and was North America's only major fatal commercial jet disaster last year," Ian MacLeod reported for the Ottawa Citizen on Feb. 13.

The Canadian Transportation Agency Launches its Consultations on Air Services Price Advertising Regulations

The Canadian Transportation Agency launched its consultations to seek broad public input on the development of new regulations for air services price advertising (on Feb. 13). The intent of the regulations is to ensure greater transparency for Canadians and allow consumers to easily determine the total price of an air service in order to make an informed choice.

After the Vote: What Does the Future Hold for Council and the TTC?
Torontoist, Steve Munro, Feb. 10, 2012

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1153, Feb. 17, 2012
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
(613) 594-3290
RSS: feed://


March 6, 7pm to 9 pm, New Westminster, Transport Action BC, Waves Coffee shop, 715 Columbia St., near the New Westminster SkyTrain station

28 et 29 mars 2012, Québec. TRAQ, Le Colloque ferroviaire annuel du Québec

April 21, Toronto, Transport Action Ontario Annual General Meeting, Metro Hall, Toronto, 55 John St., Room 303. 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., Business meeting and election of officers for 2012/13. Afternoon program: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. tba.

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