Ontario Northland not for sale, La Société de transport de l'Outaouais

Northern Ontario vows to fight hard to
keep the rail and passenger bus service public. 
Federal budget cuts Via Rail, devra se serrer la ceinture, Ontario budget privatizes Ontario Northland,  BC Premier doesn't get transit and Rapibus reports in this week's Transport Action Hotline

Federal budget, Transport Canada hit hard

"The transport portfolio was one of the hardest hit in the (budget) downsizing effort. In total, cuts in federal transportation-related activities will amount to $153 million, or 10.7 per cent of total annual spending, by 2014-15. Among the victims was Transport Canada, whose annual budget will be decreased by $62 million. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority will see its annual expenditures shrink by $60 million. At Via Rail, annual expenditures will be cut by $19.6 million. The savings at Via will come thanks to reduced maintenance costs and energy consumption, the government said," Andy Riga wrote for the Montreal Gazette on March 30.

"At the same time, Ottawa is giving Via Rail $105 million in 2012-13 to help the national passenger rail service improve tracks and signalling systems, repair stations and invest in new technologies," the Gazette reported. http://is.gd/aG7fcb

VIA Rail devra se serrer la ceinture

« D'un côté, VIA Rail devra se serrer la ceinture. D'un autre, elle recevra 105 millions cette année pour divers projets d'investissements visant à accroître la sûreté et l'efficacité de ses activités. VIA Rail verra son budget diminuer de 6,5 millions cette année, de 15,1 millions l'année prochaine et de 19,6 millions annuellement par la suite. Le budget de VIA Rail a atteint 306,5 millions l'année dernière: on parle donc d'une compression à terme de 6,4%. » Marie Tison a écrit pour la Presse le 30 Mars. http://is.gd/Wh6Rmd

Dan Nystedt, Keep Ontario Northland public

“They’re selling the store to pay the rent," said Dan Nystedt, who spent three months riding Canada’s rail system to gather footage for his recently-released documentary De-Railed: The National Dream," Michael Purvis wrote for the Sault Star on March 28. 

"Leaders in several Northern Ontario communities were caught off guard last week when the province announced it would be selling nearly all divisions of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, including its rail freight service. …. The move runs counter to what Nystedt said he heard repeatedly making his documentary: that rail is going to play a big part in Canada‘s future," the Sault Star reported. http://is.gd/EoosUT

Ontario Northland Not for sale, Facebook http://is.gd/1qx1ei

Michael Druker, Waterloo Region LRT Corridor Building Strategy

"(The Central Transit Corridor Community Building Strategy (CBS)) is both simple and rather important. The Rapid Transit / LRT project is designed to function as a regional transit spine and to attract and handle a large amount of development as urban infill along Waterloo Region’s central corridor instead of as sprawl. The CBS will set out the vision for land-use planning and street networks around stations," Michael Druker wrote for the Tri-cities Transport Action Group on March 25.

"LRT is already attracting development near station areas, but with the zoning currently in place and without a coherent strategy for LRT corridor development, those buildings may not be creating transit-oriented and human-scale places. The “Northfield Station” development is a likely example of a missed opportunity. It isn’t a given that LRT changes its station areas much by itself. For example, outside of Calgary’s downtown, its LRT appears to have primarily influenced the land-use around its stations through the copious provision of parking," Druker reported. http://is.gd/PyOru9

Pricetags, BC Premier undermines Translink, another audit

"The fifth audit or efficiency review in a decade.The third time the rug has been pulled out from under regional politicians over a vehicle levy. And not the last time for misunderstanding," pricetags reported on March 23. 

"The Premier should know the essential facts before speaking: the Evergreen line’s costs are covered; that was the purpose of the $40 million gas-tax increase.  Nothing has changed.  The additional $30 million that makes up the region’s ‘Moving Forward’ commitment – to pay for improved bus services primarily south of the Fraser, notably the express bus across the new Port Mann Bridge – will come from property tax for another two years," pricetags reported.  http://is.gd/tM0odk

Greg Gormick, Tampering with Canadian Pacific risks Canada’s national dream

"Is it worth risking an irreplaceable national transportation system for a questionable promise of a couple of extra pieces of silver? Pershing Square’s CEO, Bill Ackman, wants shareholders to give him the power to drastically revise CP’s board of directors, its management and their way of running what is already a profitable transcontinental railway. He wants to replace current CP president Fred Green with former CN president Hunter Harrison, who would return from retirement in the U.S. CP profits and dividends would allegedly increase rapidly thanks to a new corporate culture that would include large reductions in locomotives, freight cars and employees," Greg Gormick wrote for the Toronto Star on 

"Pershing Square’s argument rests on its view that CP has not been performing as well as CN of late. There is some truth in this, but there are also extenuating factors that are being addressed by CP now. A new management team totally unfamiliar with CP is unlikely to fix these glitches and miraculously unlock hidden value in something as complex, capital intensive and physically challenging as a 23,700-kilometre, continent-wide railway. It’s like expecting a supersized steamship to pull a 90-degree turn mid-ocean," Gormick wrote for the Toronto Star. http://is.gd/IbAnxk

Steve Munro dissects the Sheppard subway option

"The Sheppard LRT Report (Part IV). Now we come to what I must call “The Chong Dissent”, the reports prepared under the company “Toronto Transit Infrastructure Limited” (TTIL), a dormant TTC corporation resurrected for the purpose because it had $160k sitting in its bank account.  All this and more was spent to argue the case for a Sheppard Subway. Council has already opted for an LRT line on Sheppard, but arguments originating from the TTIL reports continue to haunt the debate.  It’s time to expose their threadbare, self-serving nature," Steve Munro reported on March 27, 2012. His report covers P3 financing, TTC’s cost structure, impact of LRT construction on local business and more. http://stevemunro.ca/?p=6136

La Société de transport de l'Outaouais dégage un autre surplus budgétaire

« Les états financiers de la STO déposés hier montrent un surplus total de 1,83 million$. De ce montant, 500000 $ proviennent de l'enveloppe allouée l'an dernier par la Ville de Gatineau pour le financement du Rapibus. La porte-parole de la STO, Céline Gauthier, assure que ce montant a automatiquement été reporté au budget 2012 du Rapibus. "Ce ne sont pas des économies qui ont été dégagées, mais plutôt des sommes qui n'ont pas été utilisées à cause du report de certains travaux"» Mathieu Bélanger a écrit pour Le Droit le 29 mars.

Blaine train station campaign gathers steam

"The campaign to save an old passenger-train station in Blaine, Wash. gained a little steam this week, thanks in part to visiting Canadians. Councillors from Surrey and White Rock crossed the U.S. border to back a plan that would revive the station as a stop on the Vancouver-to-Seattle Amtrak service," Dan Ferguson wrote for Peace Arch News on March 28, 2012. http://is.gd/WAAUwI

“We have 870,000 people lying on the other side of the border, who right now have to spend an hour to go into Vancouver and then take an hour to come back out on the train, wasting two hours,” Surrey Coun. Marvin Hunt said."

Transport Action Canada
Hotline 1159, April 2, 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 http://www.atcrq.ca