Mar 28, 2007
Canada NewsWire (press release)
McGuinty government's public transit commitment is delivering results in
Durham Region, announced Parliamentary Assistant Phil McNeely on behalf of
Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield, Durham Regional Chair Roger Anderson, Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge MPP Wayne Arthurs and Oshawa Regional Councillor and Vice Chair of the Durham Region Transit Commission Nester Pidwerbecki.
"The McGuinty government's record transit investments have resulted in an
increase of almost 900,000 more passenger trips in Durham since 2003," said
McNeely. "We're making it easier for commuters to use public transit. These
new buses mean commuters will have accessible, cleaner, more convenient and expanded transit service."
"Durham Region is working hard to make our transit system a viable,
reliable, convenient alternative to the car in our communities. These 30 new
buses will accelerate our program toward that goal," said Anderson.
The 30 new fully accessible and environmentally-friendly low floor buses
delivered today cost approximately $14 million. The Province's contribution
comes from sharing Ontario's gas tax revenue and $10.6 million in one-time
transit vehicle funding.
"This is great news for commuters in Durham Region," said Arthurs.
"Thanks to the successful gas tax program, transit ridership is up by 14 per
cent in Durham Region. By improving our public transit systems, we're
improving our quality of life."
"Newer vehicles with air conditioning, clean diesel engines and
accessibility features are attractive options for new and potential customers.
Public transit is a very affordable alternative to private vehicles," said
"These new buses will mean more accessible routes in Durham Region and
better and easier service for passengers with wheel-chairs," said Walter
Zutell, Durham Transit Specialized Services Dispatcher and Specialized
Services client. "Unlike Specialized Services, these conventional vehicles do
not require a passenger to call ahead and book a trip. The 'kneeling' feature
and ramp allows easy boarding for wheel chairs and a greater sense of
independence for people with a disability in Durham Region."
The McGuinty government has made record investments to increase transit
ridership and reduce commute times. Other transit investments in Durham Region
- $15.5 million in gas tax funding for municipalities in Durham Region
- $2.5 million to help Durham Region develop a regional rapid transit
- $10.6 million to purchase more buses
- $2.9 million this year in funding to replace municipal transit buses
- GO Transit service and infrastructure improvements including over
1,200 additional parking spots at GO Train stations in Oshawa,
Whitby, and Ajax since 2003.
"The McGuinty government has delivered on its commitment to increase
transit ridership, and give municipalities a stable source of funding they can
count on," added McNeely.
Mar 24, 2007
I’ve taken the following excerpts from The Glob And Mail newspaper.
The province's new regional transportation agency met for the first time yesterday to begin drafting a multi billion-dollar plan to fight traffic congestion, providing a glimpse of the tensions between Toronto and its suburbs.
The projections from the IBI Group suggest that with $17-billion in investments in light rail, buses and subways, the proportion of GTA commuters riding public transit would rise from the current 18 per cent to 23 per cent. Many felt these numbers were too low.
Underlying urban-suburban culture clash was evident in the discussion of the province's regional "smart card" initiative, in which the Toronto Transit Commission -- much larger than all of the rest of the GTA's transit agencies put together -- has only reluctantly taken part, even as the rest of the region begins to adopt it.
The TTC insists the card would add $20-million a year in operating costs alone for Toronto. The TTC is so far participating at only a handful of its subway stations.
Mr. Anderson, who oversees Durham Transit's fleet of 147 buses -- the TTC has more than 1,500 -- also complained that his transit system doesn't get as much money as the TTC does, earning a quick correction from Mr. Miller.
"We don't get anywhere near the provincial subsidy you guys get, for some reason," Mr. Anderson said.
Mr. Miller interjected: "You get much more than us per rider."
Measured per rider, the TTC may be the least subsidized transit system in North America, covering more than 75 per cent of its costs with fares.
Mar 23, 2007
The contract will affect 300 workers on the bi-level production line. In all, 20 rail-cars will be built, valued at $2.2 million each. Canadian Auto Workers Union local representative Paul Pugh says this new contract will keep the workers on the line until the TTC contract begins.
''If it hadn't been for these twenty cars there would've been a temporary lay-off of a substantial number of people because the subway car line is still not ready to go into production.''
The construction of new TTC subway cars is scheduled to begin in late fall.
Roger Anderson: Durham Region
Brian Ashton: City of Toronto
Paul Bedford: City of Toronto
Fred Eisenberger: City of Hamilton
William Fisch: York Region
Adam Giambrone: City of Toronto
Hazel McCallion: Peel Region
David Miller: City of Toronto
According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation press release the above have been appointed to the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority Board Of Directors. Read more here…
Mar 22, 2007
You can’t expect some route changes at Durham Region Transit.
- Dial-a-Ride in Whitby will be eliminated.
- Both the Rossland West and the Taunton West will be extended into Ajax and Pickering.
Mar 18, 2007
The Toronto Sun newspaper in their editorial of March 17 summed it up best.
“Before we speed forward, the TTC has to prove to us on St. Clair that light rail can be faster than the buses, can help the neighbourhoods it's going through and can be built economically”.
To me economically should not mean cheaper.
Mar 17, 2007
|After reading |
David Harrison's post about DRT retiring it's 30 ft. buses I thought I should post some photos before they are gone. This one is 8042 an Orion I from 1984. It still has the original colours from Pickering Transit.
|This is what is left of the inside. The bus is being gutted for parts.|
Mar 12, 2007
An interesting article appeared in the Comment section of The Sunday Sun of March 11, 2007. Written by Rob Granatstein editor. He has raised concerns about the York University subway extension.1. He points out that 1,650 buses a day, accounting for more than 40,000 daily trips to York University. That’s a lot of trips!
2. The subway will tunnel through 5 km of dead industrial territory.3. There’s a low population between Wilson Station and York.
4. This not what the TTC wanted. Their goal is to put transit where it's both needed and there's the most potential for future expansion.It looks like people are starting to take note that this is a political decision. So this means that there is no rhyme or reason to it. Over my years working in transit I have seen a number projects go astray because of government getting involved. Will this subway extension be another one?
Mar 10, 2007
After stating my lack of confidence in LRT systems Karem Allen posed the following question to me.
What is your idea transit solutions aside from the ultimate travel by way of "Beam me up" and get vaporized and reassembled at the other end :)My response: I have been a big fan of Star Trek right from the first episode and love it. Anyway,
The Conservative government of Mike Harris became a big let down to transit when it cancelled construction of the Eglinton West subway line in 1995. This was after tens of millions of dollars had already been spent on tunnel construction.
For transit to be successful in
Let us get something straight about Durham Region. Except for the Go Trains there’s nothing in
I do have other things in my mind but I'll save that for another time. I hope this gives you some insight of my solutions for transit. But I’m only a bus driver and my opinion does not count.
Mar 9, 2007
They’ll replace the current trolley fleet, a decision made to continue the pollution-free electric bus tradition in Burnaby. Old trolleys are to remain in service until the problems are fixed. It’s hoped 20 of the trolleys could be repaired and in operation by late March.
Mar 7, 2007
I believe that Adam Giambrone this in case would know better than Premier Dalton McGuinty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Out the three, he is the only one that actually uses public transit.
Personally, I have no faith in Light Rail Transit... but I do believe that completing the Sheppard Subway would have been a good deal.
Read the full report here.
Mar 4, 2007
Rob McIsaac, chair of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority, said transportation is inevitably tied to land use and planning issues. The creation of the GTTA, coupled with recent provincial Greenbelt and Places to Grow legislation, represents a re-entry into the planning field by the Ontario government.“The province is recognizing this economic region and the need to plan and deliver services on the basis of the region rather than in a fragmented way,” McIsaac said.
“The holy grail of smart growth is the marriage of land-use planning and transportation planning, so that’s what we have to do.”The GTTA encompasses Durham, York, Halton and Peel Regions, as well as Hamilton and Toronto. McIsaac, a former Burlington mayor, said a system-wide fare card will be introduced this year to facilitate travel across multiple transit systems.
The GTTA is also looking to have transportation and funding plans in place by early next year.Gary McNeil, managing director and CEO of GO Transit, said many changes are in the works, including extension to the Bradford and Richmond Hill rail corridors, and the addition of track for the Georgetown corridor.
“We are literally constructing new track and new infrastructure on every single corridor we own,” McNeil said.“We are moving forward on an infrastructure expansion program which is intended to bring us up to about the 1990s level, because we have been so under funded for so long.”
McNeil said past experience shows that when new services are offered, the public responds.“A couple of years back, we put an express train out where we flipped the train back from Union Station out to Clarkson Station.
“In one month, that train was filled — we were carrying over 1,200 people on that train.”Toronto councillor and Toronto Transit Commission chair Adam Giambrone said that, with 60 per cent of riders using buses and streetcars, which are often delayed by congestion on city roads, improvements are needed to create speedier modes of public transit.
Giambrone said the TTC plans to spend $1.5 billion on new light-rail vehicles later this year.“This will allow us to expand light-rail across the entire city, to Scarborough, to Etobicoke, to North York, to give Torontonians across the city an actual, real alternative to the car.”
The TTC has secured municipal and provincial funding commitments for a subway extension to York University, but Giambrone said the project is still waiting for federal dollars.“We have the engineers standing by, the project teams have done a lot of work already, and right now, we’re sort of holding, waiting for that last $650 million.”
Giambrone added that the TTC is getting set to implement a multi-million-dollar automated train control project, to allow it to increase the volume of trains that can be run.Initial stages could be completed as early as 2012, he said.
The above has been republished from the Daily Commercial News