Platform at White River Station in 2021 "Connecting the North", "A more humane way to travel" and "Love the Way" are just some of the marketing catch phrases used by Ontario Northland and VIA Rail Canada to attract and entice customers. Whether by bus, train or a combination of the two modes, these publicly owned … Continue reading ONTC, VIA neglecting Northerners
There was a lot of hype and publicity surrounding Ontario Northland's most recent test train to measure transit times between North Bay and Toronto. For the first time in nine years, a passenger train operated on this route with the purpose of collecting data to support the ONR's latest business case for reintroducing passenger rail … Continue reading Smoke and mirrors checking the choo-choo tracks
The Ministry of Transportation and Ontario Northland have finally unveiled an Initial Business Case for passenger rail in Northeastern Ontario ... and it's about time the public was provided with an update. It only took a mere three years into the current government's term (and a freedom of information request), but Northerners now have a … Continue reading Missing the mark on the North’s passenger rail plan
Secretive ... Aloof ... Lacking Transparency ... These are just some of the terms one might use to describe the provincial government's handling of restoring passenger rail services in north-eastern Ontario. Over the span of a thousand days, various politicians, ministries and agencies of the Crown have provided the public with a series of Coles … Continue reading What is the government hiding in its passenger rail plan for the North?
LEFT : Bloomington GO Station Test Train (Photo : Metrolinx) RIGHT : North Bay ONR Station The Ministry of Transportation has finally unveiled the results of its northeastern Ontario rail corridor survey. Unsurprisingly, two thirds of respondents indicate they would use a future rail service if provided with an option to depart once a day … Continue reading A tale of two transit systems
The Ministry of Transportation will be publishing sometime soon the results of a passenger rail survey it conducted in the region. The government claims this is an integral part of the process of keeping people safe, providing reliable transportation options and connecting communities in the North. Politicians of all stripes have long talked a good … Continue reading Connecting the North : an exercise of consistently getting it wrong
The provincial government unveiled a fancy new proposal titled Connecting the North: A draft transportation plan for Northern Ontario. The MTO has indicated they are exploring options for passenger rail services between Toronto, North Bay, Timmins and Cochrane. However, the proposal fails to answer one obvious question: When exactly is our train supposed to return? … Continue reading Passenger rail policies: procrastination over progress
The Ministry of Transportation is seeking feedback from Northerners to "better understand the unique transportation needs of people and businesses" situated along the Toronto, North Bay and Cochrane rail corridor to "help develop a plan to improve the transportation system" in the region. Remind me again... didn't Ontario Northland just submit its very own business … Continue reading So what’s taking so long to restore the Northlander?
The Northern Policy Institute (NPI) recently published a report titled "The Thin Case for Passenger Rail in Ontario's Northern Regions" which has left me in a state a profound dismay and disappointment. It contains some very misleading information and does little to improve sustainable transportation options desired by Northerners. The document in question attempts to … Continue reading Anti-rail report flawed and counterproductive