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Commuter alert: CN Derailment @ Pickering. All VIA trains to Montreal/Ottawa affected, GO Trains running normally

By shost at 5:37 pm on Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Due to a CN freight train derailment at pickering, all VIA trains to/from Ottawa or Montreal will be affected until the site is cleared. GO train service is operating normally, with the exception of the Pickering station which will be temporarily closed.

Some delays may occur to VIA trains in Guelph or Kitchener that depend on equipment from Ottawa/Montreal, you would be advised to check with VIA before boarding or picking up passengers.

It is expected the site will be cleared by Wednesday evening.

- Steve

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Ontario Budget: 2010, Transit funding takes a major hit

By shost at 10:17 pm on Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quoting from the budget (which PDF did not allow you to cut and paste)

“In the current fiscal environment, the government has revised the scope and timing of some capital investments. To help manage infrastrucure spending over the coming years, the government will:

* Working with Metrolinx, phase construction of transit projects, which would result in approximately $4 billion in appropriation savings and reduced borrowing over the next five years

* Eliminate the Ontario Bus Replacement Program and include bus replacement costs as eligible expenses under the gas tax funding program, which supports municipal transit;

Reading between the lines:

Expect some Metrolinx projects to be delayed. Which ones? Good question. We’ll find out soon I think..

What about bus transit? What does this funding mean for systems replacing their aging fleet? Granted I have noticed many a new bus in even the smallest transit sytems, but this would probaly put a damper on some expansion plans in some areas.

According to the budget, I count about $5 billion to be spend in 2010-11 on all transpotation related subjects. $13 million is allocated to the Huron Central Railway for freight operations, some of this would be allocated for some Metrolinx and Toronto area rail projects, but how much of this is for purely highway plays? I would think the number is quite high, in excess of 80-90%… Anyone know more?

Either way…..  while the Kitchener expansion has not been announced as delayed, there seems a very good chance it may be.. and let’s see if the GTA West expansion gets money, or Highway 7 from Guelph to Kitchener in the meantime. A fraction of this  money would be better spent on our Rail network (GO expansion) to alleviate the need for these costly highways…

- Steve

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Service changes to GO Effective april 3 – Afternoon Georgetown line trains cancelled, and more..

By shost at 9:40 pm on Tuesday, March 16, 2010

All users of the GO network are being advised to double check their schedules as a systemwide tweaking of schedule times as well as other changes are being implemented:


 Weekend and holiday service adjustments:

  • Eastbound bus trips departing from Georgetown will leave two minutes earlier.
  • Eastbound bus trips departing from the University of Guelph will leave five minutes earlier.
  • Westbound trips arriving at the University of Guelph and Guelph Bus Terminal will arrive five minutes later. “

The following weekday trips will no longer be operating:

  • The 6:30 p.m. bus from Union to Mount Pleasant, and the 6:35 p.m. bus from Union to Georgetown.
  • The 10:50 a.m. weekday eastbound bus departing from Brampton to Union.
  • Eastbound bus trips departing Brampton at 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m, and 5:00 p.m. to York Mills GO Terminal.
  • Eastbound trains departing Bramalea at 10:25 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. are discontinued, along with the buses that the connected to these trains.

Weekday westbound trains departing from Union to Bramalea at 9:40 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:00 p.m. are discontinued, along with the buses departing from Bramalea to Guelph at 10:22 a.m., 12:12 p.m. and 1:42 p.m.”

For more , click the link above, there is just too much to summarize here unfortunately..

Rumour is the Train cancellations on the Georgetown line are to give the West Toronto construction project more contiguous time rather than be interrupted throughout the day as trains pass.

- Steve

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Interesting thoughts from Paul J. Bedford, Metrolinx Board member

By shost at 9:35 pm on Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From the November/December 2008 Ontario Planning Journal, while this is over a year old, I could not agree more

“It is no suprise that highways constitute only 10 percent of the $50 billion budget, given that the road network we have today will by and large be the same network a quarter century from now. There are very few new road building opportunities left and past experience has shown that any new road capacity is immediately filled without resolving congestion. Lessons from around the world are clear that a major investment in a regional transit network is the only possible way to serve the mobility needs of a 10 million person region”

Well said.

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