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RE: [carfree_cities] Miles to go before we're done ...

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  • Ronald Dawson
    ... I wouldn t be surprised if that happens to the Tories, let s hope it s the same fate for the Parti Quebecois in Quebec. ... That was never meant to be,
    Message 1 of 10 , May 2, 2001
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      Lanyon, Ryan wrote:
      >> >The good news is there's more
      >> >talk of tolling 400-series highways in Ontario.
      >> That's a good idea (for those that don't know, any
      >> #400-series highway in
      >> Ontario is well simply put, a motorway), but do think the
      >> Tories are really
      >> going to do such a thing?
      >> After all they're the ones who got rid of "photo radar".
      >Strangely enough, I think they're going to pursue it, and then get booted
      >out of office in the next election.

      I wouldn't be surprised if that happens to the Tories, let's hope it's the
      same fate for the Parti Quebecois in Quebec.

      >The 'Common Sense Revolution' has devolved into a dogmatic agenda of
      >deregulation, even if it does not make sense.

      That was never meant to be, besides common sense ain't that common.

      >Our hydro rates are increasing by 12% in order to make it more
      >attractive for private companies when power generation is deregulated.

      I'm surprised that they would want to do that, but what's left of
      Ontario-Hydro has had problems with management/power
      production/distribution, you name it, in other words "Welcome to
      In my province, Hydro-Quebec made over billion dollars last year and with
      the energy crisis south of the boarder, that will mean more money flowing
      back to Canada.

      > It does not matter what services are provided to 'taxpayers' or how
      >economically/environmentally disadvatnaged it makes the Province, as long
      >government isn't doing it. I suspect the same approach will be taken to

      Personally, I don't think private sector is necessarily much more efficient
      or competent than the public sector. It's just better able to cover things

      For instance, I'm a share holder of Canadian Pacific and I fear what is
      happening to the company right now isn't for the best long term wise.
      http://www.cp.ca (It's being broken up.)

      Together the company is more self financing and can weather a business storm
      much better. I think "brass" are off to make a quick buck, while the little
      guys are going to be left in the dark.

      >> I still think that it would have been far better just to
      >> implement tolling
      >> on the 401 then building the 407, because it's made Toronto
      >> into a "Orange
      >> County of the North". http://www.407etr.com/intro/index.html
      >Probably would have been much more effective to manage demand, but that's
      >not the goal.

      You're right, that would be much more effective, it would also be much more
      "cost" effective as well. Hey, look at what happened to Walkerton with their
      drinking water and the lack of management by the province there.

      Also when it comes to management or the lack there of, we don't have to look
      much further than Ontario Northland. http://www.ontc.on.ca/
      *More about this at the bottom.

      > The goal is to reduce what government spends so that it can
      >cut income taxes, plain and simple.

      Yeah, well for whom?

      > This government doesn't care how many
      >cars drive on roads, as long as it doesn't pay for it!

      Now that's something that surprises me.

      > In Ottawa, we had a
      >controlled-access freeway downloaded to us during MegaWeek, and the
      >is even talking about having the municipality pay for portions of new
      >interchanges ('cost-sharing').

      Oh that sounds like a barrel full of monkeys.

      >Not to mention that all funding for public
      >transit has been eradicated (unless you live in Toronto, of course).

      Even in Toronto, funding has pretty much well, dried up. The Tories have
      downloaded such much to the point, that the city is near bankruptcy.

      P.S. As I was saying earlier about Ontario Northland.

      From http://www.railspot.com/gif/mail/allaboard/jan01/msg01706.html

      Transport 2000 Ontario, a volunteer group advocating environmentally,
      socially and economically sustainable public transportation policies,
      regards the potential abandonment of rail passenger service by the
      Northlander between Cochrane and Toronto as shocking and unnecessary.

      The service has been consistently demarketed by its operator, the
      Ontario Northland Tranportation Commission, an agency of the Ontario
      government. Abandonment would be the final chapter in a long series
      of cutbacks and train cancellations. "No real attempt has been made
      to make rail passenger services viable on the Ontario Northland," said
      Mr. Dale Wilson, past president of Transport 2000 Ontario and official
      spokesperson for the organization. Mr. Wilson provided several examples
      of the Commission's demarketing, undermining or failure to market the

      * Passenger train schedules were changed so as to make travelling
      almost impossible for most people.

      * No effort was made by ON to co-ordinate with VIA and Amtrak to offer
      services in a wider market.

      * For some time, ticket sales in Toronto Union Station have been
      carefully hidden in a kiosk selling electronic gadgets. [I can confirm
      this; said kiosk is itself not hidden--it's in the middle of the
      concourse--but it is not especially obvious that it sells ONR tickets.]

      * The ON is competing with itself; its bus services run parallel to the
      train and don't function as feeders to augment rail passenger loadings.

      * Baggage and parcel services, offered on the Commision's buses, were
      dropped from the passenger trains a few years ago. The absence of
      these services make rail losses larger than they need to be.

      * The carriage of bulk and first class mail by passenger trains, as is
      done in the United States, was never sought; this would have added
      significantly to passenger train revenues while removing trucks from
      the Highway 11/400 corridor.

      Speaking from his home in Sudbury, Mr. Wilson went on: "In spite of
      the clear legislative mandate of the Commission to promote the northern
      economy, the tourist development potential of the train service has
      been ignored by ON management. No private sector partners were sought
      to develop traffic, operate local stations, etc. Northern ecotourism
      has never been considered as a means of attracting riders to the train.
      The loadings on the Northlander have not yet been explored. And now
      they want to cut it.

      Transport 2000 Ontario believes there should be a proper all-weather
      alternative to driving along the Cochrane-Toronto route. "As we know
      from last year's experience [Ontario had much more snow than usual last
      year], snow removal has been spotty on northern highways and safety is
      in question. Seriously ill northerners requiring medical care in the
      south do not find it convenient (and sometimes it is impossible) to
      travel by bus, while air travel is prohibitively expensive," Mr. Wilson
      added. Discontinuing a passenger train does not mean riders move to
      bus services in the same corridor, as has been proven with VIA's
      abandonment of some services, and on the occasion of the ONTC dropping
      the overnight train between Cochrane and Toronto. [The latter was one
      of the January 1990 cuts to VIA service; the former is probably a
      reference to the January 1990 VIA cuts in Nova Scotia, after which
      ridership on competing bus lines dropped rather than rising.]

      No study has been made of the environmental impact of continuing
      highway construction compared to retention and improvement of rail
      passenger services. No comparative cost study between continuing
      highway construction and funding rail passenger services in the
      Cochrane-Toronto corridor has been released. Transport 2000 Ontario
      believes that such a study would indicate a huge wastage of public
      money for highway construction in the past half century and more.

      "Transport 2000 Ontario is calling for an immediate and wide-ranging
      inquiry on northern passenger transportation to examine the effects
      of current policy (highway spending as well as the demise of Norontair
      and now the threat against ONR passenger services)," said Dale Wilson.

      Transport 2000 Ontario is seeking a meeting on this issue with
      Minister [of Northern Development and Mining, Jim] Hudak and the
      transportation critics of the Liberal and New Democratic Parties.
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