New above-ground subways for Toronto, Le Colloque ferroviaire annuel du Québec

CAPT opposes the Ontario government's
plan to privatize the ONTC. 
A diverse and growing coalition wants to keep the Ontario Northland public,  Le Colloque ferroviaire annuel fut un succès sur toute la ligne and more in this week's Hotline. 

Transport Action BC praises investment in Vancouver Island railway

"The government of Canada announced its half of the $15 million to save and rehabilitate the Vancouver Island Railway. The railway owned by the Island Corridor Foundation has been gradually deteriorating. VIA Rail passenger service was cancelled last year due to poor track conditions. The other half of the money was committed by the BC government with $500,000 of that money used for an inspection of the bridges. The results of the study have just been released. 

Transport Action is pleased to see the governments make investments in rail infrastructure, and is happy that the actions of everyone who contacted their MP or MLA made a difference," Matthew Buchanan, president of Transport Action BC reported on Apr. 12.

Transport Action, Moving Forward: A Public Forum about Transportation 

Transport Action Ontario is co-hosting a half-day public forum on May 12, 2012. The purpose is to educate and empower community leaders (ratepayer associations) and elected officials on the problems of transportation congestion, the solutions, and especially the funding challenges in building the additional infrastructure.  High profile speakers and expert panellists will discuss these aspects.  This will be an interactive forum, with several opportunities for the public to provide feedback and ask questions. 

Speakers and panelists include:
Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham (see report on his plan below) 
John Howe, Vice President, Metrolinx
Matti Siemiatycki, University of Toronto
Richard Joy, Toronto Board of Trade
Paul Bedford, "Urban Mentor"
Eric Miller, Director, Cities Centre, University of Toronto
Roger Keil, Director, Cities Institute, York University

Due to limited seating, participation is by registration. There is no fee. Advanced registration is now available to Transport Action members.  For further information and to register, go to

Clean Train Coalition calls for an "above-ground subway" from airport to downtown Toronto

A big issue in Toronto is the proposed train from Pearson International Airport to downtown. The plan now in place envisions a $25-a-ride, diesel train running virtually non-stop through the west-end of the city.

On April 11 CTC research director Greg Gormick said: "Premier Dalton McGuinty has called upon Mayor Rob Ford and Toronto City Council to act together to set transit investment priorities. (The Toronto city council motion) is an innovative example of how that can be done. At relatively little added expense, the revised, rapid transit-style ARL will deliver a quick win for Toronto and the Province by creating what amounts to an above-ground subway. This is a golden transit opportunity." The city passed the motion overwhelmingly but the idea was almost immediately nixed by Metrolinx.

Louis-François Garceau, Le Colloque ferroviaire annuel du Québec

Le Colloque ferroviaire annuel du Québec des 28 et 29 mars 2012, est chose du passé. Ce fut un succès sur toute la ligne. Le rapport du colloque est en construction et devrait être sur le site Web du Groupe TRAQ vers la mi-mai en format PDF et sera gratuit. Nous avons une publicité à vendre soit la page arrière du rapport. L’an passé, c’est la compagnie Genesse & Wyoming qui l’avait prise … Qui voudrait l’acheter cette année? Merci à tous!

Vous aimeriez voir les présentations filmées au colloque; envoyez-nous un chèque de 30$ libellé à « Le Groupe TRAQ » ou vos numéros de carte de crédit par courriel ou poste et, vous recevrez sur une clé USB du 16 Giga Bytes de marque Verbatin, les treize présentations qui totalisent 14,7 GB.

Les autres présentations telles SOLENO, KWH Pipe, les kiosques, tirages et autres plus le discours de Donald Thompson le jeudi midi, peuvent aussi être placés sur une clé USB au besoin. Le coût serait également à 30$ puisque la clé USB est à elle seule à 25$ (incluant les frais postaux et emballage).

Winnipeg Sun, Rapid transit finally ready to roll

"The city’s rapid transit system — branded RT, complete with a logo — is officially launching on Easter Sunday morning with its $138-million, 3.6-kilometre Southwest Transitway designated for buses between the central business district and Fort Garry. “It’s a grade-separated high-speed roadway for buses only, so we can get them out of the traffic. And they can operate at up to 80 km per hour,” (said) Bill Menzies, Winnipeg Transit’s manager of service development” Ross Romaniuk wrote for the Winnipeg Sun on Apr. 4.

Without intersections or traffic lights, the Transitway is described by Menzies and other officials as a state-of-the-art artery to be used by some 100 buses a day on 13 regularly scheduled routes, reaching from south Main Street and Queen Elizabeth Way to the interchange of Pembina Highway and Jubilee Avenue," the Winnipeg Sun reported.

CAPT,  Stop the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission sell-off

The Coalition of Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT), an organization of communities, First Nations and concerned citizens in Northern Ontario, vehemently opposes the Provincial Government’s decision to sell-off the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission and its several divisions including the Northlander passenger service. It is our opinion that the ONTC is a vital transportation system for northerners and that its sale will jeopardize transportation options in the region. Privatization will ultimately reduce services and critical jobs in the northeast corridor of the Province.

In its haste to reduce the deficit, provincial leaders appear to have not taken the time or the effort to explore opportunities to increase ridership on the Northlander, for example, that would make the service a viable operation. Instead of reduction, the province should investigate adding services to connect with the Northlander such as a new passenger service between Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa through North Bay with connecting passengers to add to the Northlander’s current service. Also, extending services to other communities such as Hearst and Kapuskasing should be studied to see if rail passenger service is warranted.

CAPT has partnered with other groups interested in adding passenger services for the benefit of the northern travelling public such as Transport Pontiac Renfrew, Muskoka’s ‘Cottage Country Now’ and the communities along the Highway 11 corridor. CAPT urges supporters to please sign the on-line petition to stop the selling off of ONR/ONTC at and the on-line petition for reinstatement of passenger trains between Sault and Sudbury at  

Let's work together to build up passenger rail

Robby Gibson wrote: "I joined Transport 2000 in 1986 and we have reached some of our goals for transportation policies and improvements.  There are issues among the members themselves and we need to work with each other to move forward.  We need to reach the public and let them know what we think. We need a Via Rail Act that will allow Via Rail and other passenger carriers to improve service and on-time performance."

"We need legislation to buy up rail lines and operate freight and passenger trains on separate tracks. We also need to construct high speed lines from Edmonton to Calgary, Regina to Saskatoon, Detroit to Quebec City, Toronto to Niagara Falls (Winnipeg to Minneapolis and Vancouver to Spokane). Canada needs to connect with Amtrak high speed passenger services. We must also create commuter lines like  St. Thomas to London and feeder bus lines to connect with the passenger trains," Robby Gibson wrote from Ingersoll Ontario on April 11. His PS said: "We need to have a much smoother process at the border so there will not be long waits."

TransLink Commission nixes supplementary fare increase 

On April 11 TransLink Commission "announced its decision to reject TransLink’s application for a supplementary fare increase in January 2013. This means that there will be no price increase for 1- 2- and 3-zone adult FareSaver ticket books (last increased April 1, 2010). Increases in other types of fare, including cash fares (last increased in January, 2008), should still be expected because by law TransLink is allowed a basic increase of 2% per year without any approval. 

The commission also released its 103-page Efficiency Review of TransLink. The Review identifies potential cost saving measures. Based on this, the commission challenges TransLink to achieve specific dollar savings targets in the coming 3 years, and also in the ten-year time frame.

TRAQ, Annual Railway Symposium a total success

"The Annual Railway Symposium was held in Quebec City on March 28-29. It was a successful activity all the way. The report on the Symposium is now in the works and should be on our web site by mid-May in PDF format and free for all. We still have have advertising space for sale on the back cover of this report. Contact me for more informations," TRAQ's Louis-François Garceau reports.

"If you wish to receive all presentations filmed at the Railway Symposium; please send us a $30 check made payable to “Le Groupe TRAQ” or send us your credit card numbers by email or Canada Post. You will receive a 16 gig USB key of 16 gig with our 13 presentations. The other presentations such SOLENO, KWH Pipe, the booths, draws and the speech made by Donald Thompson on Thursday, can also be placed on an USB key on demand. The cost will also be at $30.00 (including shipping)," TRAQ reports.

Kitchener-Toronto Go Train, Return trip $30

Transport Action's George Bechtel reports 30-40 passengers ready to board the 7:10 April 10 Kitchener-Toronto Go Train. On April 13 about 50 passengers boards the like new 10-car GO train. An inside source told Bechtel there are some days when 70 passengers take the 7.10 a.m. The Transport Action member says the trains are on-time.

I-METRO-E, New transit proposal for the east-side of Toronto could offer relief

"The next Toronto rapid-transit plan involves throwing GO Transit off its Stouffville commuter rail line, electrifying it, tripling the stops, and running it as the relief "subway" experts say the city needs. … Jim Jones, a regional councillor from Markham, has quietly shown his ideas to Mayor Rob Ford's executive committee and selected others," Mike Adler wrote for Inside Toronto on Apr. 12.

"Jones envisions 14 Toronto stations from Union to Milliken on Steeles Avenue East, with a Tax Increment Financing zone around each one for development that in time "could be creating another Yonge Street" in the middle of Scarborough, Queen Street East and the port lands. The plan also includes 10 stations in Markham. There's no freight on the Stouffville line, and no owner but GO, which is run by the provincial Metrolinx transit agency," Inside Toronto reported.

E&N Rail repairs head back on track
By Derek Spalding, Times Colonist, April 9, 2012

Province won’t slow airport train by adding more stops
Tess Kalinowski, Toronto Star, Apr 11 2012

Province has to come on board to help with the air-rail link Toronto needs
Councillors Frances Nunziata and Mike Layton, Toronto Star, Apr 10 2012

Auditing TransLink
Steven Rees, April 11

Is it time to bring back the streetcar to Vancouver?
Steven Rees, April 12

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1161, April 13, 2012
(formerly Transport 2000 / anciennement Transport 2000 Canada)
(613) 594-3290


April 21, Toronto, Transport Action Ontario Annual General Meeting, Metro Hall, Toronto, 55 John St., Room 303. Business meeting 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. : 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Via Rail, LRT in Ontario 

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

April 28, Toronto, Clean Train festival 

May 12, Toronto, Moving Forward: A Public Forum about Transportation" co-hosted by Transport Action Ontario

May 23, Vancouver, Transport Action BC 17:45 to 19:45 at the Vancouver Firehall Library at West 10th and Granville. Annual General Meeting will be from 19:00 – 19:15.

May 31, Toronto, Mobility pricing conference, Metropolitan Hotel,