Everybody’s Got a Plan

The agenda for the July 27 GTTA Board meeting includes overviews of the transit plans from all of the GTA regions plus an GO Transit’s schemes.  This material has been updated to reflect the MoveOntario2020 announcement, but not the current budget crisis at the TTC.  In the timescale that these plans operate, that crisis will only be a memory long before any of this is actually built.

Queen’s Park is looking for “quick success” stories, projects that can show some concrete return in very short order.  They actually hoped, at one time, to be able to have photo ops before the election, but that’s not very likely.

Having all of these plans in one place is useful both for people who are not familiar with what each region has been thinking, and to show just how far the entire GTA has to move to make any serious dent in the rising car traffic.  Some regions don’t plan to be above 10% transit share by 2031 and, given their development and travel patterns, how that can be improved is a mystery.  We can extend the reach of GO Transit, but travel within and between regions travel is quite another matter. Continue reading

GO Ottawa? (Updated)

On July 27, David Cavlovic passed on another Ottawa Sun article in this thread.  He comments:

Well, NOW it’s getting really ridiculous.

That’s all we need. It’s not enough that resources are stretched in the GTA, let’s stretch it in other cities as well.

Toronto Transit CORPORATION. Oh dear. Harbinger of the future?

[The article’s author is not in touch with Toronto’s transit system as we saw yesterday.]

 Fortunately, there is a bit of good sense on Council:

River Coun. Maria McRae, who is also the chair of the city’s transportation committee, said there is no reason why GO Transit and OC Transpo can’t work together.

“We can do both,” said McRae. “We should pursue that GO model for outside the city, but not lose focus on Ottawa’s transit issues.”

[Original post follows] 

David Cavlovic passed on the following item of interest from the Ottawa Sun.

Ottawa could be moving from the O-Train to the GO Train.

With Mayor Larry O’Brien mapping out an ambitious inter-regional commuter transit plan for Eastern Ontario, the province’s biggest regional commuter carrier, GO Transit, is expressing interest in helping the city with its plan.

“It’s definitely something we would look at,” said Jamie Rilett, communications director for Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield, whose department operates the Government of Ontario (GO) network in the Greater Toronto Area.

“When it was first brought up to us and we discussed it with various mayors and members from the Ottawa area, it was made clear to them we would look at any proposal they had and if they were interested in having GO participate in whatever way then it’s definitely something we would consider,” said Rilett.

[The full article goes on to talk about how wonderful GO is, and manages to get some of the facts wrong.]

Amusingly, this is yet another situation where a comment comes not from the GTTA but from the Minister’s office.  At tomorrow’s GTTA meeting, maybe they can discuss a small eastward expansion of their territory.

More to the point, Ottawa has to decide whether it wants a commuter rail network providing relatively infrequent service oriented to peak demand, or a transit network.  These are two completely different things.