Additional O-Train Line 1 closure on Sunday, June 27

In addition to the nightly Line 1 service closures announced recently by OC Transpo, ending on July 1, O-Train Line 1 rail service will be replaced with bus service all day on Sunday, June 27. This will allow City staff to conduct proactive assessments and testing on OC Transpo's rail system technology, as required under the City's Technical Security Standards. In order to avoid a separate closure of the O-Train Line 1 system in the near future, and to further leverage a period of low ridership, this additional closure is being aligned with the temporary Line 1 service adjustment currently in place.

The current temporary service adjustment to O-Train Line 1 is being amended as follows:

  • From 7 pm until the end of service on Saturday June 26, and the entire day on June 27, O-Train Line 1 service will be replaced by R1 bus service. Rail service will resume June 28 at 5 am.

From June 28 to 30, Line 1 rail service will end each night at 7 pm and resume at its normal time the following morning. Throughout the closure, R1 replacement bus service will run along the entire alignment, with frequent trips to provide additional space for physical distancing.

Source : City of Ottawa

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O-Train Past, Present and Future, with David Bellerive, Rail Fans Enthusiast - June 2021

O-Train Past, Present and Future, with David Bellerive, Rail Fans Enthusiast - June 2021 -

The O-Train is approaching 2 years of Revenue Service in September 2021.

In this June 2021 discussion with David Bellerive (Rail Fans Enthusiast and the Host of the Official O-Train Livestream), we reflect on the start of service, how things went, where things are now and what is to come in the near future with Stage 2.

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Algonquin Wayfinding Wheel unveiled at Pimisi O-Train Station

Earlier today, the first Algonquin Wayfinding Wheel installed in an O-Train Line 1 station was unveiled at Pimisi Station on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Designed by Algonquin artist Simon Brascoupé, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, and inspired by the traditional four sacred directions, the Wayfinding Wheel reflects Algonquin culture and the history of the Algonquin territory. The Wayfinding Wheels are attached to boulders found in Algonquin territory from the beginning of time. They will be installed at all O-Train stations and at Ottawa City Hall along with plaques that describe the significance of the depicted animals and symbols to the Algonquin peoples.

The Wayfinding Wheel was designed through a participatory process involving Algonquin Elders and community members from Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, as well as representatives from the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) organization. The design includes representations for all four compass directions and an orienting arrow that points north, along with important Algonquin symbols such as the canoe for transportation and animals that are important to the Algonquin peoples, including the moose in the centre of the design symbolizing food and strength.

Pimisi Station is near Chaudière Falls, also known as the Kana:tso or Akikodjiwan Falls. The surrounding area has been a significant meeting place between peoples in the region for millennia and the station design reflects the historical and current significance of the Algonquin peoples. "Pimisi" is the Algonquin (Omàmiwininìmowin) word for eel, which is sacred and has been considered a source of spirituality, medicine and nutrition for thousands of years.

Pimisi Station is a key access point to LeBreton Flats and the closest O-Train station to the new Ottawa Public Library-Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, scheduled to open in late 2024. Elders from Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation led a blessing ceremony on the site in October 2020 prior to the start of construction.

O-Train Line 1 service began on September 14, 2019, on the 12.5-km line that connects 13 stations from Tunney's Pasture Station in the west to Blair Station in the east. It features underground stations, including Lyon, Parliament and Rideau in the downtown core.

The development and production of the Algonquin Wayfinding Wheels was funded through the Government of Canada Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) to help accelerate municipal investments to support the rehabilitation of transit systems, new capital projects, and planning and studies for future transit expansion to foster long-term transit plans.

Quotes

"The installation of artist Simon Brascoupé's Wayfinding Wheel at Pimisi Station, and LRT Stations across Ottawa, will provide a unique opportunity for travelers to engage with images and symbols that represent the culture and history of the Algonquin Anishinabeg people. As we all make our way through the Ottawa transit system, and go about our daily routines, this is a beautiful acknowledgement and reminder that we are on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people, and serves as a uniting symbol for travelers while highlighting the historical and contemporary importance of this people and place."

  • The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

"The inclusion of Wayfinding Wheels at all O-Train stations honours the people and land of the Algonquin communities in Ontario and Quebec and provides transit users with a unique opportunity to increase their understanding of Indigenous heritage, culture and traditions."

- Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Ontario

"The installation of Wayfinding Wheels is respectful of traditional Algonquin territory, history and culture and provides general direction and orientation for travellers while subtly exposing them to meaningful Algonquin symbols. I am proud that the City of Ottawa is a partner in sharing this rich Algonquin culture with residents and visitors."

  • Mayor Jim Watson

"The design of the Wayfinding Wheel is an interpretation of what I heard and learned. The design is to help travellers' wayfinding in their journey on the land. The wheels are attached to boulders called Grandfathers that honour Algonquin history in the territory since the beginning of time."

  • Algonquin artist Simon Brascoupé

Video Resources

Please note, video resources were developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source : City of Ottawa

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Transit Commission meeting - June 16, 2021

Transit Commission approves report paving the way for OC Transpo's conversion to zero-emission bus fleet

The Transit Commission today approved a report, Zero-Emission Buses for OC Transpo, which provides a framework to explore the further electrification of OC Transpo's transit fleet. If approved at City Council on June 23, OC Transpo will negotiate an agreement with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and seek funding from Infrastructure Canada that could result in 450 zero-emission buses phased into OC Transpo's bus fleet by 2027, with a full electrification of the bus fleet possible by 2036.

The agreement with the CIB and potential Infrastructure Canada funding will offset any added capital costs for OC Transpo's transition to battery-electric buses, and ensure the conversion is affordable under the City's Long-Range Financial Plan for transit. Energy supply and charging infrastructure for this transition will be supplied through an agreement with Hydro Ottawa.

Upon finalization of partner agreements, OC Transpo will recommend purchasing 74 40-foot battery-electric buses and charging infrastructure as part of the City's 2022 capital budget. These new buses would enter service in 2023 and join the four zero-emission electric buses that are expected to be in service later this year. As part of the report, OC Transpo also recommends that all future bus purchases should be for zero-emission buses, as long as they meet operational requirements and can be purchased in a way that is consistent with the City's Long-Range Financial Plan for transit.

The Transit Commission also received an update on O-Train Line 1 and bus service operations. Train service reliability remains high, and Rideau Transit Group (RTG) continues to make progress on its rectification plan. All remaining work will continue to be validated through a third-party independent assessment. A temporary service adjustment is taking place starting June 17 to perform track remediation work. Wheel inspection and replacement work also continues. The update also confirmed that ridership remained low in May, at 20 percent of normal levels, due to the stay-at-home order.

Finally, the Transit Commission received a report, 2021 Transit Operating and Capital Budget Q1 Status, indicating a $3.1M surplus for the first quarter of 2021, mainly due to lower than budgeted expenditures, as revenue shortfalls and additional expenditures due to COVID-19 are offset by federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement (SRA) funding for transit.

Source : City of Ottawa


Meeting and Media Availability Audio

Transit Commission meeting - June 16, 2021
Media Availability - Transit Commission meeting - June 16, 2021

O-Train Line 1 & Bus Service Update


Zero-Emission Buses for OC Transpo

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Government of Canada supporting the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport with new funding

Helping airports mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to ensure that Canada's air transportation system provides Canadians with choice, connectivity and affordable air travel. Canada's world-leading network of airports has been put under substantial financial strain as a result of the dramatic decline in passenger travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Investments in airport infrastructure are crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for travellers, airport workers and surrounding communities.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, along with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, and the Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, the Honourable David McGuinty, announced new funding to help the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

The Government of Canada is providing the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority with $6.4 million from Transport Canada's Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for the construction of a light rail transit (LRT) station at the airport. The government also remains committed to working with the Ottawa Airport to ensure this important project is seen through until completion.

The airport LRT station will be a three-story elevated structure connecting the airport terminal at the north end of Level 3 to the LRT station platform. The station will provide fully accessible connectivity for all users of the LRT who travel to and from the Ottawa Airport. Construction of the station is underway and is expected to be completed in summer 2022.

In addition to the funding for the LRT station, the Government of Canada is also providing the Airport Authority with $5,690,000 from Transport Canada's Airport Relief Fund to help the airport maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in the National Capital Region and surrounding communities.

Quotes
"As we move forward with the safe gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, both in Canada and internationally, in a way that continues to support the health, safety, and security of all Canadians, it will be imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector. The construction of the light rail transit station at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport will reduce traffic congestion and improve accessibility and connectivity to the airport by offering an environmentally sustainable direct link between downtown Ottawa and the airport."
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"The integration of the Ottawa airport with the LRT will help get cars off the road, reduce emissions and build a better transit system for Ottawa residents and visitors alike. Recognizing challenges for the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport caused by COVID 19, and the importance for this project to go ahead as planned to create jobs and grow the economy, the Government of Canada providing additional funding of up to $6.4 million for the construction of the LRT station at the airport. In great news, once the second phase of the LRT is built, close to 80% of Ottawans will live within 5km of the LRT making it a critical investment in building a clean, livable city."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Infrastructure

"The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is a major local economic engine. The construction of the LRT station will ensure that YOW is better connected to our growing National Capital Region, making our community more resilient and sustainable. Through this funding, our government is investing in critical infrastructure that will create hundreds of jobs and help with our economic recovery."
The Honourable David McGuinty
Member of Parliament for Ottawa South

"Today's announcement and the confirmation of funding for the Airport Terminal Station is welcome news. It will help us fulfill our commitment to build the station and ensure that YOW's passengers, airport employees and surrounding communities are well served by reliable, predictable light rail service well into the future. Connecting the airport with the city centre and beyond by rail will be an important selling feature as the aviation and tourism industries recover and we work to bring major events and conferences back to Canada's Capital Region."
Mark Laroche
President and CEO
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority

Quick facts
  • The total cost of the airport LRT station is $16.9 million. The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority is the project manager and will provide the remaining funding for the project.
  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will distribute $489.6 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security or connectivity to mass transit systems.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, will provide $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.
  • The amount of funding to each targeted eligible Airport Relief Fund recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.
  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport's operations to ensure that the airport remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.
  • First introduced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program and the Airport Relief Fund are part of a federal stimulus recovery plan designed to build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient economy post-COVID-19.

Source : Transport Canada
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O-Train Line 1 temporary closure to begin Thursday, June 17

There will be temporary service adjustments to O-Train Line 1 as Rideau Transit Group (RTG) undertakes remediation and maintenance work. Between Thursday, June 17 and Wednesday, June 30, O-Train Line 1 service will end each night at 7 pm, resuming at its normal time the following morning – 5 am on weekdays, 6 am on Saturdays and 8 am on Sundays.

Throughout the closure, R1 replacement bus service will start every night at 7 pm along the entire alignment, with frequent trips to provide enough space for physical distancing. Every morning, regular rail service on Line 1 will resume. The regular Line 1 schedule will resume on Thursday, July 1.

During this closure, RTG will use specialized equipment to perform rail grinding, install track lubricators and conduct track and rail maintenance that includes guideway material cleaning and inspections.

During rail grinding, nearby residents and transit customers might observe sparks and noise from the equipment. Once completed, nearby residents might notice a difference in the sound of passing trains for up to three weeks, but it is anticipated that noise and vibrations from train movements will improve as a result of this work, enhancing overall ride quality and customer comfort.

RTG will use this opportunity to install sound dampening blocks in the west end to reduce noise for nearby residents. They will complete the switch from propane to natural gas for switch heaters in the east end and complete a number of inspections and cleaning activities. RTG will also start removing propane tanks and remediation work.

Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number. OC Transpo staff will be available to assist customers throughout the temporary service closures.

Source : City of Ottawa

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O-Train Technical Discussion with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations - June 2021

O-Train Technical Discussion with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations - June 2021

The O-Train Confederation Line (also known as O-Train Line 1), is a 12.5km long, fully grade-separated, 13 station rapid transit system, operated in the City of Ottawa by OC Transpo.

In this June 2021 conversation with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations at OC Transpo, we discuss the intricacies of the line's operation.

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Toronto Railway Museum (TRM) to host Virtual Lecture Event, "The Crowd Went Wild!" - Canadian baseball's love affair with the railway

Toronto Railway Museum (TRM), a non-profit organization located in the iconic Roundhouse Park across from the CN Tower, debuts the theme of its third lecture in the 2021 Virtual Lecture Series, Railway Ties: "The Crowd Went Wild! — Canadian Baseball's Love Affair with the Railway". The event takes place on Thursday, June 17 at 7 p.m. and will be presented by Canada's premier baseball historian, William (Bill) Humber.

"Railway Ties aims to stir diverse conversation and curiosity between new audiences; the chance to welcome Bill and spotlight the connection between one of popular culture's most favourite sports, baseball, and its reliance on rail, is incredibly exciting!"" says Kelly Burwash, manager and curator, TRM. "Being located just a step away from Rogers Stadium and typically seeing a lift of visits on home game days, we really miss our baseball fans!"

Bill Humber entered Canada's Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 for championing the game's history. With his expert knowledge, Bill will share the evolution from its folk roots, to how the railway system helped with the independent growth in Ontario between 1854-1873, to African-Canadian team in 1869 being railway porters, to Babe Ruth starting his epic trip to Japan with a rail stopover in Moose Jaw.

"The journey of the ball, like the railway, has traveled long and far and I look forward to bringing its story into the homes of Canadians on June 17 to support TRM," says Bill Humber. As a child growing up in Toronto whose first baseball hero was Rocky Nelson of the minor league baseball club that played in the old Maple Leaf Stadium at the foot of Bathurst, Bill knows all about the area of where the TRM resides. "I couldn't think of a better match-up; to feature a night dedicated to an aspect incredibly important to connecting and growing the game of baseball — the railway—often diamonds and stadiums would be built on the railway to make it easy to come and go."

Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards future programming and support the collection, preservation, restoration of Canadian rail artifacts and important historical interpretation at the TRM.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased on TRM's website here. VIP tickets are $25 with access to Zoom link, plus a live Q&A with William Humber and Toronto Railway Museum Historians. The first 50 VIP ticket purchasers will receive a Blue Jays' Hat and all attendees will have the chance to win multiple prizes, including signed Blue Jays' memorabilia and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada tickets. General admission tickets are $10 with access to live YouTube stream link.

Interviews with Bill Humber and TRM spokespersons, as well as vintage imagery is available upon request.

Subscribe to the TRM monthly newsletter here and follow along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay up-to-date on the schedule and themes of the next topics in the series.

#TRMXRailwayTies #CanadianBaseball

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ABOUT WILLIAM HUMBER

William Humber of Bowmanville entered Canada's Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 for championing the game's history in Canada. Author of 12 books including five on baseball, he is often asked to comment on baseball by amongst others the CBC and the Rogers Sportsnet. For the past 43 years he has taught a "Baseball Spring Training for Fans" course, (on-line this year), preparing fans for the season ahead. He is a respected member of the Society for American Baseball Research's 19th century research community.

ABOUT TORONTO RAILWAY MUSEUM (TRM)

Located in Roundhouse Park, in the heart of downtown Toronto shares stories of Toronto's railway history. The museum's exhibits include the original, fully restored and operational 120-foot-long locomotive turntable and a carefully chosen collection of full size railway equipment. The museum also operates a miniature railway and other outdoor exhibits illustrating Toronto's railway heritage. Exhibits include the original 60,000-gallon water tower, the 650-ton concrete locomotive coaling tower and a collection of historic buildings, including Don Station and Cabin D.

ABOUT TORONTO RAILWAY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION (TRHA)

Established in 2001 to work with the City of Toronto to establish a railway museum at the John Street Roundhouse. The TRHA is incorporated and is a Federally registered charity. Its primary purpose is to promote the development of the TRM

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Up to 100 future weekend closures eliminated as TTC completes final 10-day closure between St George and St Andrew stations

Last week, the TTC completed its third 10-day closure on the portion of Line 1 between St George and St Andrew stations. The closure, which took place from May 17-26, allowed the TTC to take advantage of continued low ridership to make significant progress on critical state-of-good repair work.

The work accomplished during the three 10-day shutdowns will allow the TTC to eliminate between 75-100 planned weekend closures over the next few years as well as eliminate the need to bypass Museum and Queen's Park stations for up to two years.

With the completion of this series of closures, TTC commuters can now look forward to significantly reduced early access, weekend and platform closures. Customers who were surveyed while travelling through the area during the closures reported overwhelming support for the TTC's innovative approach to completing the work quickly and reducing inconvenience.

During the three 10-day closures in March, April and May, the TTC removed and replaced approximately 44,000 sq. ft. of ceiling in the affected stations. Repair work was also completed on the flooring at Museum, Queen's Park and Osgoode stations.

"We've eliminated up to 100 future TTC closures by getting this important work done during the pandemic when ridership levels have been lower," said Mayor John Tory. "Thank you so much to our TTC workers for getting this job accelerated and done during this unprecedented emergency. Thank you to our TTC riders for their patience as we completed these important repairs, including much-needed asbestos removal. This work will ensure we continue to have a safe and reliable transit system for years to come and that we are ready to welcome riders back as we safely reopen."

"Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC has rapidly accelerated extensive system upgrades and state-of-good-repair projects on our subway network to minimize future disruption for transit riders," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "This innovative approach has significantly reduced the need for planned closures, with up to 100 weekend closures avoided over the next few years. Congratulations to CEO Rick Leary and the entire TTC team for this impressive accomplishment. I would also like to thank our TTC riders for their continued patience and understanding."

"By doing this work while ridership is low, we've been able to spare our customers years of disruption and inconvenience," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "I'm very pleased that we were able to accomplish this much in a relatively short period of time - we've done approximately 18 months of work in 30 days. I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work, and thank our customers for their patience."

During the most recent closure, the TTC removed asbestos from the southbound platforms of St Patrick and Queen's Park stations, which completes asbestos abatement in this area. In March and April, asbestos was removed from the northbound platforms of these stations.

Additional work done includes the installation of higher capacity traction power cables, and the removal of old cables. TTC crews also installed new communication infrastructure, including additional Train Door Monitoring conduits for future OPTO implementation at Osgoode and Museum stations.

By completing planned maintenance ahead of schedule, the TTC can now turn its attention to architectural refinishing and modernization of the station platforms. That contract is expected to be tendered later this year for 2022 construction.

The TTC thanks its Board, local City Councillors, and the essential workers based along University Ave., for their assistance and patience with the closures this year.

Source : TTC

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Réseau express métropolitain: semi-annual update - June 2021

With more than 3000 workers and employees deployed on approximately 30 construction sites, REM work is now taking place for the first time on all 67 km of the future light metro system at the same time. The year 2021 will be a critical one in preparation for commissioning the REM's Rive-Sud branch next year. Currently, 23 stations are under construction, 3 of which are nearing completion, 10 km of the overhead structure is complete, 13.7 km of rail has been laid, and a 3.5-km test segment has been commissioned on the Rive-Sud branch for a series of pre-commissioning tests.

"Active REM construction sites and the planned commissioning on the South Shore is the direct result of thousands of workers and professionals who have faced the exceptional conditions of a global pandemic for the past 15 months and found solutions to every challenge that arose. I would like to thank each one of them for their remarkable commitment to this project," said Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra.

The updated project schedule is maintained and the Rive-Sud branch will be commissioned in the summer of 2022, the central segment in the fall of 2023, the Anse-à-l'Orme branch in the spring of 2024, the Deux-Montagnes branch in the fall of 2024, and the airport branch in late 2024.

Ridership projections maintained

The press conference also provided an opportunity to present CDPQ Infra's analysis of ridership projections for the future network, taking into account the potential impact of the pandemic. REM ridership forecasts are maintained over the long term. The characteristics of REM service make it particularly resilient in the post-pandemic outlook analyzed. The project proposes fast and frequent service available 20 hours per day, as well as access to downtown and from suburb to suburb. It also encourages the development of projects on a human scale and densification of the territory.

Financial update: a special allocation for COVID-19

Following the financial analysis of the exceptional events the project has faced since March 2020, CDPQ Infra has allocated $200 million to address issues that arose due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This allocation has made it possible to implement the necessary sanitary measures to ensure the health and safety of all workers on the construction sites. Border restrictions and closures have also impacted the supply of certain materials and the mobility of skilled labour. This special allocation has helped to mitigate both of these impacts.

An additional $150 million is being added to the project budget to address the various change requests received from communities since the start of construction in 2018. These requests specifically dealt with improving access and development around the REM stations to better serve future users.

Taking into account the COVID-19 allocation and improvements made in response to community requests, the total project budget is now estimated at $6.9 billion. Costs related to the Mount Royal Tunnel are currently being negotiated and will be reported at a later date.

Financial parameters maintained

Despite the special allocation for COVID-19 and the amount required for community requests, these contingencies do not affect the main financial parameters of the project.

No additional financial contribution from public authorities

  • No additional investment from public or governmental authorities will be required. As provided for in the 2015 agreement, CDPQ Infra is responsible for the required amounts.

Rate established with the ARTM maintained

  • The fare set at 72¢ in the agreement between the ARTM and CDPQ Infra in 2018 is also maintained. Multiplied by the actual project ridership, this cost defines the annual costs paid by the ARTM to the project. In addition to being a competitive fare, in terms of operating costs, this fare also includes, within the framework of the REM, the long-term capital and maintenance costs, thus offering great predictability.

Performance targets maintained

  • In terms of performance, the targets set for CDPQ Infra at 8 to 9% and for the government at 3.7% are also maintained. Significant project progress and efficiency of execution (in five years, the project has progressed from just a project to a network that will be at least partially commissioned as early as next year) reduce project-related risks and help to optimize costs.
Progress report on the testing period

Since 2018, a test track was construct on the Rive-Sud branch to test all components and rolling stock for the future system. Completion of this 3.5 km segment in just three years demonstrates the quality of project execution and will allow the robustness of the network to be tested before the first users are welcomed.

Following a series of tests in a climatic chamber, which allowed the cars to be tested in extreme winter conditions, REM cars have been circulating on the South Shore since last winter, and more than 200 hours of tests have been conducted. More recently, the speed of the cars was increased to 90 km/h, and automation was tested. Ultimately, each REM car will have travelled more than 500 km before being put into service. In the coming weeks, a carousel will be installed near the Panama Station, which will accelerate the pace of these tests.

A detailed and technical presentation is available below:

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Stage 2 Light Rail Transit (LRT) O-Train South Extension Project - Notice of Construction Acceleration Efforts

As part of the Stage 2 O-Train South Extension project, TransitNEXT will be increasing work hours and days at various locations across the project to maximize the 2021 construction season.

What

Additional staff are being deployed across the project in addition to one or both of the following schedule recovery measures, depending on the site:

  • The addition of a second shift, for two, ten-hour shifts; and,
  • Weekend work.
When

Starting in the next few weeks and extending over the summer/fall construction period.

Why

To maximize the 2021 construction season and accelerate timelines where possible.

Where

Please see the following table.

Please note that this is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of sites where nighttime work will take place. Short-term nightwork may be required at other sites when the scheduled activity makes it necessary. In cases of nighttime work, an individual public notice will be issued to outline dates and impacts.

Anticipated Impacts

  • Sites with a double shift will have work starting at 7 am and finishing at 3 am. In these cases, efforts will be made to divert light from residences.
  • Noise will be intermittent and is expected to be within the limit set in the Project Agreement and Noise By-law exemption permits.
  • Both light and noise will naturally diminish with increased separation from the construction activity. In some locations, light and noise may be naturally attenuated by physical features.

If you have questions about this work, please contact the City's representative:


Michael Brossoit
Stakeholder Relations, Rail Construction Program
City of Ottawa
Email: michael.brossoit@ottawa.ca
Website: ottawa.ca/stage2

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Stage 2 LRT - South Extension - ​Information Session #2 - May 25, 2021

Councillor Diane Deans along with members of the Stage 2 LRT team, held a virtual information session, to discuss the Southern extension of the Trillium Line, as well as upcoming work that is planned. 

Stations covered include Bayview, Corso Italia, Dow's Lake, Carleton, Mooney's Bay, Walkley, Greenboro, South Keys, Leitrim, Bowesville, Limebank, Uplands and Airport. 

This video was recorded from the Zoom informational session held with the community and is archived on Rail Fans for informational purposes.

Please note this information session essentially covers the same elements as the May 13th session, and as such the presentation and connectivity study from the previous session are once again attached below.


Presentations

Connectivity Study

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Minister of Transport investing in railway safety while growing the economy

The Government of Canada is committed to keeping Canadians safe by improving rail safety and increasing public awareness and confidence in Canada's rail transportation system while contributing to the economy during the pandemic.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Member of Parliament for Guelph, Lloyd Longfield, and Member of Parliament for Milton, Adam Van Koeverden, announced more than $21 million in funding for new projects under the Rail Safety Improvement Program – Infrastructure, Technology and Research to enhance rail safety in Canada.

Today's investment contributes to 135 initiatives across Canada that will support a wide range of eligible grade crossing safety improvements, small infrastructure projects such as fencing, pedestrian crossings and overpasses, as well as implementation and research into new safety technologies.

The Rail Safety Improvement Program is key to the Government of Canada's efforts to address ongoing and emerging safety concerns across Canada. Over the past four years, more than $85 million has been invested in the form of grants and contributions to fund projects that have contributed to an overall reduction of risk, and increased safety for Canadians.

Quotes
"Investing in rail safety is one of our commitments to keeping Canada's communities safe. Since its inception, the Rail Safety Improvement Program has provided more than $85 million in funding to enhance rail safety. We will continue to invest in projects that keep Canadians safe, and that also contribute to the economic recovery during this challenging time".
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"Supporting activities such as research and the development of innovative technologies are important parts of the Government's comprehensive approach to reducing incidents and enhancing the safety of Canadian communities on railway properties."
Soraya Martinez Ferrada
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

"As we work to increase frequency and speed of trains to reduce commuting times, and reduce automobile and transport truck traffic and the corresponding greenhouse gas emissions, it is critical we invest in rail safety.
Increasing rail safety awareness and improving lighting, signals, level crossings and separating pedestrians from train traffic are critical to saving lives."
Lloyd Longfield
Member of Parliament for Guelph


"It is crucial that Miltonians are aware of the risks that are associated when trespassing on and around railways, some of which result in devastating accidents and collisions, largely from a lack of public awareness. Our community is grateful that Canada's Rail Safety Improvement Program is launching six projects here in Milton which will work to address the ongoing safety concerns in our community. This investment will improve safety and increase public confidence with respect to our government protecting people and communities from the potential risks surrounding Canada's rail transportation system."
Adam van Koeverden
Member of Parliament for Milton and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport)


Quick facts
  • Through infrastructure, technology and research, along with public education and awareness activities, this program provides grants and contributions to provinces, territories, municipalities, and local governments, road and transit authorities, crown corporations, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations (including academia), Indigenous groups, communities, organizations and individuals to help improve rail safety and reduce injuries and fatalities related to rail transportation.
  • Funding through the Rail Safety Improvement Program enables recipients to improve rail infrastructure, explore innovative solutions, and educate Canadians on railway safety.
  • The Rail Safety Improvement Program funds projects and initiatives that contribute to increasing safety at grade crossings and along rail lines, and increase public confidence in Canada's rail system.
  • This year, the funding will go towards 103 grade-crossing improvements, 18 crossing infrastructure projects, eight grade crossing closures and six technology and research projects across the country.

Associated links

Source : Transport Canada
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VIA Rail in 2020: a year marked by resilience, crisis management and focus on modernization

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ANNUAL REPORT

From January 1st to December 31, 2020

  • Ridership decreased by 77% in 2020 compared to 2019
  • Operating expenses decreased by 21.2%
  • Essential services maintained during the pandemic
  • Continuous implementation of preventive measures in response to the pandemic
  • Sustained progress on VIA Rail's modernization program

After a remarkably difficult year, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) reflects in its 2020 annual report on the unique challenges it faced, and on its responsible and efficient response to the significant disruption in its operations stemming from blockades and the COVID-19 pandemic. VIA Rail experienced in 2020 a 77% drop in ridership and a decrease of 80% in passenger revenues compared to 2019.

"Last year, VIA Rail faced more challenges than it ever had in its 43-year history. As we adapted our operations, procedures and processes in order to manage the impact of the consecutive crises, we remained focused on serving Canadians by maintaining essential services and operating our national passenger rail service. We would like to thank the Government of Canada for its support and guidance during these trying times. Despite the blockades and the pandemic, our passengers showed an unwavering trust in our services and the measures we put in place, hence demonstrating the importance of passenger rail. As we keep dealing with COVID-19, we are committed to regaining the confidence of Canadians by offering a safe, accessible, sustainable and comfortable way to travel. This is the hallmark of the VIA Rail experience, and we look forward to welcoming back more and more passengers as soon as the situation allows it," declared Françoise Bertrand, Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

Adapting services while protecting the health and safety of all

2020 was marked by the continued adaptation of our services. VIA Rail had to suspend most of its operations due to the blockades in February and then continuously adjusted its services according to the evolution of the pandemic while striving to offer an essential service. Throughout this situation, VIA Rail has been following the guidance and recommendations of public health authorities and has since March implemented preventive measures, including the reduction of its capacity on board its trains, to protect the health and safety of its passengers and employees.

"In 2020, teams across the organization had to adapt quickly to an ever-changing environment," said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "From our schedules to COVID-19 measures, the health and safety of all were always at the heart of our decisions. While we regrettably had to temporarily reduce the size of our workforce due to this extraordinary situation, I would like to thank our employees who, whether it be in stations, on board our trains, in our maintenance centres or in our administrative offices, have been delivering an exemplary service throughout this pandemic. Their dedication and agility are the reason Canadians still chose to "love the way" in these unprecedented times."

As a result of the pandemic, VIA Rail was forced to suspend some routes and is aware that transportation options have become more limited in certain areas of the country. The Corporation will continue to adapt its operations according to the evolution of the health crisis and is committed to resuming full service across Canada as soon as the situation allows it.

Managing the financial repercussions of COVID-19

VIA Rail took steps to ensure the responsible management of its operations and the public funds allocated by the Government of Canada. The Corporation implemented a series of measures including, amongst others, the reduction of some of its operating expenses in proportion to the level of operations as well as temporary layoffs. As such, VIA Rail recorded in 2020 a 21.2% decrease in operating expenses.

Acting today for a better tomorrow

Despite the difficulties faced in 2020, VIA Rail moved forward with the implementation of its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan which establishes the values and priorities that drive a modern, accessible and sustainable passenger rail service. The Corporation also reviewed and updated its sustainability strategy which focuses on updated approaches and initiatives that reduce VIA Rail's impact on the environment, enhance its role as a responsible mobility provider, and create lasting value for Canadian society.

"As the national passenger rail service, we have a responsibility that goes beyond simply offering transportation to Canadians. Indeed, we aspire to positively impact the lives of those around us by acting today for a better tomorrow. 2020 was an important year for VIA Rail as we completed the foundational work to truly embed sustainability in all our operations moving forward. The challenges we faced over the past year only strengthen our commitment to help build a more sustainable and mobile Canada," said Ben Marc Diendéré, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer.

Continuing to improve the travel experience of our passengers with disabilities was also a key priority in 2020. In fact, VIA Rail took important steps towards accessibility by launching its first Universal Accessibility Policy and completing 18 projects under its three-year plan and the Canadian Transportation Agency's (CTA) Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations, which came into effect last June.

Providing Canadians with a modern passenger rail service

"Modernization is one way of ensuring that we always go further together. Last year truly demonstrated the limitations of the current transportation system in Canada. As such, we moved forward with our key modernization projects which will contribute to creating a more connected and modern country and enable VIA Rail to better serve current and future passengers. These projects will not only allow us to contribute to playing a key role in the fight against climate change, but also to meet the changing needs of an increasingly mobile population. Through the renovation of an aging fleet, the arrival of state-of-the-art trains in the Corridor starting in 2022, and our High Frequency Rail project, we will convince more and more Canadians that VIA Rail is the smarter way to travel. As we look ahead, our commitment to transform passenger rail service is stronger than ever, and we cannot wait to show what we have in store for the future of sustainable mobility," concluded Cynthia Garneau.

Source : VIA Rail Canada

VIA Rail's annual report is available below:

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Blue line extension – Preparatory work to come in the Lacordaire area

The STM will be undertaking preparatory work on the Blue line extension in the Lacordaire/Jean-Talon area and invites citizens, businesses and other concerned individuals to be prepared. 

Starting on May 25, preparatory work on the Blue line extension will be undertaken in the Lacordaire/Jean-Talon area. The work, which will be done during the day, will involve relocating urban public utilities, such as water pipes, sewers and conduits, and underground cabling, to free up the land for the mass excavation work needed to build the new métro station. Although the STM is concerned about limiting the impact of this work, street closures are planned, and the STM is recommending that citizens be well prepared by getting information ahead of time.

Cooperation between the STM and the City of Montréal to mitigate the impacts
The STM project teams, together with the City of Montréal, have made efforts to establish a scenario that will create the least possible impact on traffic despite the nature of the work to be done, which requires excavation up to six metres deep. Although there will be major closures on Jean-Talon Street, the phases of work are being planned to allow Jean-Talon to be partially reopened as soon as possible. Moreover, to limit the impacts for the public, the City of Montréal has decided to move up the upgrading of the water networks in the area of Bourdaloue Street to minimize traffic obstructions. The City has therefore mandated the STM to perform the work as part of the project that will begin shortly.

Details of street closures
The first phase of closures, east of Lacordaire, will last for approximately six months (phase 1), then west of Lacordaire for one or two weeks (start of phase 2). After that, one lane will be open westbound on the other side of Jean-Talon (rest of phase 2). On Lacordaire, at least one lane will remain open at all times in each direction.

Detours will be in effect, marked by appropriate road signage to help direct drivers. Several bus stops on lines 32, 131, 141 and 372 will be cancelled or moved. Citizens are urged to check bus stop signage or the STM's real-time information tools to learn about all the details and plan their trips.

Access to neighbouring businesses will be maintained at all times during the work. In addition, pedestrian passageways will be set up to make it easier to get around.

Get information to be prepared
By visiting the web page dedicated to the project, at http://www.stm.info/en/info/service-updates/stm-works/lacordaire , those who are interested can access a variety of information on the Blue line extension and the preparatory work to come. Using video clips, the STM's experts will present the nature of the work, obstructions and mitigation measures. Citizens will also be able to ask the experts questions online.

A call for citizen participation is also being launched. To ensure a way of connecting with residents on an ongoing basis throughout the work, a good neighbourhood committee made up of citizens, groups and institutions wanting to represent their community with regard to the project is currently being formed. It is possible to apply by completing the online form at http://www.stm.info/en/info/service-updates/stm-works/lacordaire .

To keep merchants affected by the extension project informed and to better understand their needs and concerns with regard to maintaining the area's economic vitality, the STM has set up a business roundtable that includes representatives from the business community, the STM, and the City of Montréal and its boroughs.

These mechanisms will allow the STM to continue the dialogue begun with the community, in particular during the public consultation on the extension held in winter 2020.

Source : STM

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Transit Commission Meeting - May 19, 2021

Transit Commission receives an update on O-Train Line 1 and bus service and a report on 2020 general accounts written off

The Transit Commission today received an update on O-Train Line 1 and bus service operations. Train service reliability remains high, and staff confirmed that specialized equipment for seasonal track work has been secured by RTM, and that work is expected to take place in June. Wheel inspection and replacement work also continues. Work related to switch heaters, the overhead catenary system, vehicle traction power, vehicle passenger doors, and vehicle HVAC is complete and is being validated by a third-party independent assessment. Coupler inspections and all associated work is largely complete. The update also confirmed that ridership remains low at 19 percent and is expected to remain at this level until the current stay-at-home order and school closures end.

The Transit Commission also received a report on the 2020 general accounts written off, as required by the Delegation of Authority By-law. In 2020, Revenue Services invoiced approximately $43 million in OC Transpo transit receivables, while the Transportation Services Department invoiced approximately $1.5 million in Para Transpo fares. Of these invoiced receivables and fares, $331.75 from 10 individual accounts were deemed uncollectible and have been removed from the City's financial system. This represents a collection rate of 99.99 per cent.

O-Train Line 1 Update

Rectification Plan and Other Works

  • Work related to switch heaters, overhead catenary system, vehicle traction power, vehicle passenger doors, vehicle HVAC is complete 
  • Coupler inspections and all associated works are being finalized
  • Plans for seasonal track work have progressed since the last meeting; RTM have secured the specialized equipment for this work and expect it will take place in June 
  • Work continues on vehicle auxiliary power (CVS units) and on the fine-tuning of vehicle braking systems
  • All completed works are subject to validation through ongoing independent assessment 

Train Wheels 

  • Wheel replacements, inspection and replacement work continues at both sites
  • Daily inspections of our fleet continue until all wheels have been replaced and/or set screws have been adjusted
  • Independent TSB investigation continues; all required parties are engaged, including Chief Safety Officer, RMCO, wheel and metal experts, Transport Canada

The issue with the couplers consisted of error codes stating there was an issue with the coupler. After investigation, it was found there was no issue with the coupler and the problem was due to wires rubbing, causing erroneous fault codes to alert the operator. Work has been done to improve the software so that only codes pertaining to the operator are displayed and taking measures to prevent damage or rubbing of the wiring. In the past months, there has not been any reoccurrence of the issue.

The seasonal work will have a direct impact on ride quality (such as vibration and noise). Some areas of the track are relatively smooth and quiet, while others such as the Hurdman curves are much louder and harsher. Areas such as these should see some level of improvement from the work that is planned.

For more information on the issue with the couplers and the seasonal track work that is planned this summer, please listen to the Media Availability audio below at 22:20 onward.


Source : City of Ottawa

Transit Commission meeting - May 19, 2021
Media Availability.mp3
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TransLink announces Kevin Quinn as new Chief Executive Officer

TransLink today announced Kevin Quinn as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The TransLink Board of Directors made the appointment following a competitive international candidate search and thorough review process. He takes on the role beginning July 19, 2021.

Kevin is currently the Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), overseeing one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. With a mix of six transit modes, including buses, subway, light rail, paratransit, and commuter bus and rail, and over 100 million passengers a year, MTA has strong parallels to TransLink.

"We look forward to welcoming Kevin Quinn to the TransLink enterprise, which will benefit from his bold, innovative and customer-centred approach to leadership," said Tony Gugliotta, Chair of TransLink's Board of Directors. "As TransLink prepares to welcome back more customers to transit and launch a robust ridership recovery plan, we are thrilled to have Kevin lead TransLink into its next chapter."

In his new role, Kevin will lead TransLink's post-pandemic recovery, with an emphasis on rebuilding ridership, achieving financial sustainability, supporting employees, and continuing to deliver a reliable and thriving transportation system for Metro Vancouver.

Kevin has served as CEO of the MTA since 2017, focusing on customer experience and employee engagement, overseeing the development of customer-facing real-time tracking technology for local bus and commuter rail service, and introducing the agency's first mobile payment app. Prior to his role as CEO, Kevin was the Director of Planning and Programming for MTA, responsible for implementing a complete overhaul and rebranding of the core transit system, including the introduction of new, high-frequency bus lines.

Kevin holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Kevin was recognized as a Top 40 under 40 transit professional in Mass Transit Magazine. As an avid runner, he is looking forward to exploring the region's great trails and Vancouver's world-famous seawall. Kevin will be moving to the Metro Vancouver region with his wife and two children in the months ahead, while following all public health guidelines.

TransLink's Board of Directors would like to thank Gigi Chen-Kuo for stepping into the Interim CEO role and providing a tremendous service to the region over the last several months. Gigi has been serving as interim CEO since Kevin Desmond resigned from the role in February 2021, following five successful years leading TransLink through a significant growth phase that included major system expansion, improved reliability and record-setting ridership growth.

Kevin Quinn Biography

Kevin Quinn is the incoming Chief Executive Officer for TransLink, Metro Vancouver's transportation authority.

Kevin is currently the Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the U.S. with six transit modes, including buses, subway, light rail, paratransit, and commuter bus and rail. He also oversees the construction of a new 25-km light rail line outside Washington, D.C., which is currently the largest transit public-private partnership in the U.S.

Kevin started his tenure as CEO of MTA in 2017, focusing on customer experience and employee engagement, overseeing the development of customer-facing real-time tracking technology for local bus and commuter rail service and introducing the agency's first mobile payment app, CharmPass.

Prior to serving as CEO, Kevin was the Director of Planning and Programming for MTA. In this role, he was responsible for all aspects of design and implementation for BaltimoreLink, a comprehensive transit network overhaul of MTA's local and express bus network, which included the restructuring of more than 60 bus routes and the introduction of new, high-frequency lines.

Kevin also has private sector experience, as the Mid-Atlantic Transportation Planning and Policy Manager for STV Incorporated in Baltimore.

Kevin holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) since 2010 and was recognized as a Top 40 under 40 transit professional in Mass Transit Magazine.

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Réseau express métropolitain: a major investment in Québec public art

M. Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra, Chantal Rouleau, ministre déléguée aux Transports et ministre responsable de la Métropole et de la région de Montréal, and Annie Gérin, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, and, representing the agreement with four Montréal universities, today unveiled an innovative public art program for the Réseau express métropolitain (REM). This public art collection will enhance the experience of REM users, foster the next generation of artists and help build important cultural legacies. CDPQ Infra has also committed to making an additional contribution in support of Québec public art.

The "UniR" program was developed by the curator for the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec, Marie-Justine Snider, who has more than 21 years of experience working in the field of fine arts. The initiative will have three major components:

Component 1 - Permanent works

As part of the Politique d'intégration des arts à l'architecture et à l'environnement des bâtiments et des sites gouvernementaux et publics of the gouvernement du Québec, funding has been earmarked to install approximately 10 works in strategic locations across the REM's four branches. These works will celebrate the neighbourhoods along the light rail system's route and will showcase a wide variety of artistic expressions from some of the province's most outstanding and cutting-edge talent.

  • Valued at $4,326,171
Component 2 - Temporary works

As part of an innovative agreement with Concordia University, McGill University, Université de Montréal and Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), students will create a new work or art installation each year. Various temporary artworks will be installed along the REM in the Griffintown area, bringing a plurality of voices, views and experiences to the UniR program and, most importantly, encouraging the next generation of artists.

  • Valued at $500,000
Component 3 - Additional cultural legacies

In addition to its commitment to respect the Politique d'intégration des arts à l'architecture et à l'environnement des bâtiments et des sites gouvernementaux et publics of the gouvernement du Québec, CDPQ Infra has pledged to make an additional contribution in support of public art. The investment will provide additional cultural legacies that will enhance the collection. This funding will also give support to a sector that has suffered greatly under the current pandemic.

  • Valued at $3,000,000
Quotes

"The announcement of the REM public art program represents another step toward the completion of this new transportation network, which will eventually see more than 170,000 trips per day. With this collection, the REM is building strong symbols of local and international identity while making public art a destination in itself. This program will shine a spotlight on talented Quebecers and help foster the next generation of artists. We hope that our additional contribution will also assist local artists during this particularly difficult period."

  • Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra

"Thanks to the Politique d'intégration des arts à l'architecture et à l'environnement des bâtiments et des sites gouvernementaux et publics of the gouvernement du Québec, more than $4.8 million will be devoted to the REM's public art program, in addition to CDPQ Infra's contribution. This initiative will allow Québec artists to shine, while embellishing the landscape of the city for the citizens. The selected works will undoubtedly enrich the cultural heritage of Montréal and all of Québec, of which we are so proud. "

  • Nathalie Roy, ministre de la Culture et des Communications

"The Réseau express métropolitain is the largest public transit project in Québec in the last 50 years. It will not only position Montréal among the great cities of the world with a major automated transportation network, but it will also distinguish itself by offering the population of the metropolitan region privileged access to exceptional artworks, which will make our city and its artists shine, here and elsewhere. "

  • Chantal Rouleau, ministre déléguée aux Transports et ministre responsable de la Métropole et de la région de Montréal

"While the REM will help the metropolis prosper and thrive, the REM public art program will foster connections with and among users, offering a diverse and inclusive collective vision and contributing to Québec's cultural heritage. The REM represents new ways of living and travelling, but also new destinations and meeting points. The collection will enhance users' experience and provide a lasting legacy for Montrealers."

  • Marie-Justine Snider, Curator for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

"The participation of students from four Montréal universities in the REM public art program is an extraordinary opportunity to train and encourage the next generation of public art producers. This exceptional agreement will allow them to mark the passage of the REM through their creativity, and users to discover new perspectives in visual arts, design and architecture."

  • Annie Gérin, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University
An innovative program in partnership with Montréal universities

One of the most innovative aspects of the REM art program is the inclusion of temporary artworks. A new artwork or installation will be put on display each year over a four-year period. The Griffintown area is targeted as the main location for this program. The first student-created temporary work will be installed in 2023.

These temporary works will be produced as part of an inter-university course under an innovative agreement with four major Montréal universities: Concordia University, McGill University, Université de Montréal and Université du Québec à Montréal. The course will be open to students in faculties of fine arts, architecture, film, music and design. The goal is to offer the first course in 2022 and to continue the program until 2026.

This temporary artwork program seeks to provide room for daring and innovative experiments, both in terms of their material and concepts, in order to help future creators hone their skills to participate in major shows, to encourage interdisciplinarity, and, above all, to help nurture the next generation of Québec artists.

The next steps

In 2021, the process of selecting the artists and works will begin. The first artists selected for the South Shore sector will be known early next year (2022). The first works of art will be installed in time for the REM's commissioning in 2022, on the South Shore section.

Source : REM

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O-Train - Stage 2 LRT Quarterly Update - FEDCO - May 18, 2021

Committee receives progress update on Stage 2 LRT construction in the south, east and west

Construction activities continue to ramp up on the O-Train network, extending it farther south, east and west as part of Stage 2 LRT. The City's Finance and Economic Development Committee received an update today on the project from the City's Rail Construction Program with details about upcoming construction activities.

Station construction continues at all locations in the south, with work progressing at the Walkley Maintenance and Storage Facility and on multiple rail bridges and guideways.

In the east, ongoing Highway 174 road work and utility relocation are making way for LRT infrastructure in the highway's centre median. As of the end of April, 21 girders have been installed as part of rail bridge construction between Blair Station and the median of Highway 174.

Work in the west includes progress on the Moodie Light Maintenance and Storage Facility, the Lincoln Fields Station area, Byron Linear Park and the slurry plant at Rochester Field and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. Cut-and-cover tunnel construction has started on the Parkway tunnel and work is ongoing on the trench at the Moodie and Pinecrest interchanges with Highway 417.

Source : City of Ottawa


Stage 2 LRT - Quarterly Update - Presentation and Audio

Stage 2 LRT - Quarterly Update - FEDCO - May 18, 2021.mp3
Stage 2 LRT - Quarterly Update - FEDCO - May 18, 2021 - Part 2.mp3
Media Availability.mp3
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Collective Agreement between VIA Rail and UNIFOR Ratified

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is pleased to announce the ratification of collective agreement 3 by the members of Unifor, Local 100, the union representing approximately 700 VIA Rail employees working in maintenance centres.

This two-year agreement (from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021) was ratified by the membership on May 15 and, just like collective agreements 1 and 2, includes a 2% wage increase for 2021, benefits improvements as well as the review of several work rules.

"We are delighted that all collective agreements have now been ratified," said Martine Rivard, Chief Employee Experience Officer. "I would, of course, like to thank all parties who were involved in this process and who contributed to this positive outcome. In spite of the unprecedented situation faced since 2020, rigour and professionalism have led to this fair and reasonable agreement. Employees in our maintenance centres are crucial in ensuring that we offer a safe and enjoyable travel experience to our passengers and we look forward to continuing to work together in order to keep being the smarter way to travel."

Useful links:

VIA Rail Reaches tentative agreements with Unifor (January 30, 2021)

Collective agreements between VIA Rail and Unifor ratified (March 15, 2021)

Source : VIA Rail Canada

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TTC to complete vital tunnel upgrades and asbestos removal on Line 1 between St George and St Andrew stations

Beginning on Mon., May 17, the TTC will once again take advantage of continued low ridership and close the portion of Line 1 between St George and St Andrew stations. The closure will last 10 days and will allow crews to carry out tunnel lining repairs, asbestos removal, power cable removal and repair and station cleaning.

This will be the final 10-day closure in this section of the downtown "U". The completion of this work will allow the TTC to eliminate between 75-100 planned weekend closures over the next few years, significantly reducing disruptions and customer inconvenience. Customers who travel along the impacted part of Line 1 were surveyed during the previous two closures and the vast majority are supportive of the TTC's approach.

"The City is committed to investing in the TTC and making vital upgrades to our existing transit system as quickly as possible. I want to thank the TTC and all its employees for working throughout the pandemic to get as much of this work done as possible while ridership is low," said Mayor John Tory. "Getting harmful asbestos removed, tunnel linings repaired, power cables repaired and stations cleaned now will make sure our system is ready to welcome back more riders as the pandemic comes to an end."

"The TTC is continuing to make significant progress on major state-of-good-repair projects while ridership remains low due to ongoing COVID-19 public health restrictions. These closures will allow us to rapidly accelerate necessary capital work in a condensed timeframe, saving riders years of future disruption," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson.

"We've taken a different approach to some of our most critical state-of-good repair work and, as a result, we've made significant progress," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "With the completion of this series of closures, we will have accomplished 18 months of work in three weeks and saved customers travelling in this area, a two-year-long inconvenience. I want to thank all our customers for their patience and everyone at the TTC who worked hard to make this work happen and improve the subway system for our great city."

During the closure, customers can expect shuttle bus service every 60 seconds or better during peak periods and very consistent service to continue throughout the day. Service levels have been designed based on current customer volumes. Designated pick-up and drop-off locations will be outside each station, at street level.

East-west service will be available, as usual, on College (506 Carlton), Dundas (505), Queen (501) and King (504) streets, for customers to connect from Yonge St.

Museum, Queen's Park, St Patrick and Osgoode stations will be closed during this work. Customers should note that all subway entrances/exits will also be closed, including TTC connections to hospitals. St George and St Andrew stations will remain open for fare sales and connection to surface routes and Line 2. Customers are encouraged to start their journey at any station on the Yonge side of Line 1 to avoid the closure area.

Customers who require Wheel-Trans service can speak with any TTC customer service staff member for assistance.

Customers are reminded that face coverings are mandatory while travelling on the TTC. More information on how to wear a mask properly is available at ttc.ca. Some exceptions apply.

This is the TTC's fifth 10-day closure while taking advantage of reduced ridership to complete essential system improvements and upgrades. During this closure, asbestos abatement work will be performed on the southbound platforms at St Patrick and Queen's Park stations, which will complete asbestos removal in this area. Similar successful shutdowns were carried out in March and April 2021.

The TTC is using a variety of tactics to ensure customers are aware of this extended closure and to minimize the inconvenience as much as possible. Customers looking for more information or assistance planning their trips are advised to visit ttc.ca or call Customer Service at 416-393-4636.

The TTC thanks its Board, local City Councillors, and the essential workers based along University Ave., for their assistance and patience with this closure.

The TTC is committed to keeping customers informed about work and events that impact service and about alternate routes. For the most up-to-date information, follow @TTCNotices on Twitter or sign up for eAlerts.

Source : TTC

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Stage 2 LRT - South Extension - ​Information Session - May 13, 2021

Councillor Diane Deans along with members of the Stage 2 LRT team, held a virtual information session, to discuss the Southern extension of the Trillium Line, as well as upcoming work that is planned. 

Stations covered include Bayview, Corso Italia, Dow's Lake, Carleton, Mooney's Bay, Walkley, Greenboro, South Keys, Leitrim, Bowesville, Limebank, Uplands and Airport. 

This video was recorded from the Zoom informational session held with the community and is archived on Rail Fans for informational purposes.


Presentation

Connectivity Study

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STO - Announcement of the optimal solution for the dedicated public transit system

The comparative analysis of the different scenarios under study found that the optimal dedicated public transit solution between Gatineau's west end and the Gatineau and Ottawa downtowns is the all-tram scenario, with a tunnel under Sparks Street in downtown Ottawa. This scenario is the one that best meets the needs identified and detailed in the complementary study.

In the event that the tunnel option proves unfeasible (due to cost or technical issues), the optimal solution would be the all-tram scenario with integration at-grade on Wellington in downtown Ottawa. Further details on these two options will be provided in the subsequent pre-project phase.

On the Quebec side, the dedicated public transit system will use chemin d'Aylmer and boulevard Alexandre-Taché in the south (between UQO and the Ottawa River), and boulevard du Plateau in the north.

Now that the route, technology and costs are known, detailed analyses will be conducted over the next few months for the pre-project phases, including the preliminary design of the project, the environmental assessment, the calls for proposals and certain preparatory technical service elements.

The public consultation process will continue in order to update and consult residents and stakeholders about certain aspects that will be highlighted during the pre-project phase.

For additional details, consult the route outline and the technical briefing presentation.

Source : STO


 Route Outline


Technical Briefing - West-End Study

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STM launches challenge combining public transit, physical activity and exploring the city

The STM, with the support of Canada Running Series (CRS), is launching its very first Défi STM to entice Montrealers to go out more, explore their city and use public transit.

The constraints of the pandemic have led many to discover the joys of physical activity or dedicate more time to exercise. That's why the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), with the support of Canada Running Series (CRS), is launching its very first Défi STM. From June 1 to 30, this reinvented footrace will invite participants to travel the length of the Montréal métro network by walking or running through the city, while also using the bus and métro networks to get around.

The total length of the challenge is 66 kilometres over the month of June, a distance of just over two kilometres a day. And whether it's hopping on a bus to get out of a sudden downpour on a walk or taking the métro home after a particularly gruelling run, there are many ways to use STM services while successfully completing the challenge.

In addition to boosting their own physical and mental health, participants will be doing their part by supporting several good causes.

Challenge for a cause
For each registration, a $5 donation will be made to one of four charitable organizations supported by the STM: Centraide du Grand Montréal, the Canadian Red Cross, Partenaire Santé Québec and Réchaud-Bus. Participants will also have the option to start their own fundraisers for the cause or causes of their choice, among those supported by the STM, to increase the amount to be donated.

Additionally, participants who sign up for the $50 registration will receive a free STM-branded running shirt, collectible cup, fridge magnet set and a running belt. The $30 registration option also includes all these items, except the running shirt.

In these difficult times, the STM invites you to complete the Défi STM and find new ways to build exercise into your daily life. Explore or rediscover your city and the transit network that serves it—it's good for your mind, body and soul!

Information and registration

Photos - Credit @Miroslavfilm

Source : STM

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Memo: John Manconi, General Manager of Transportation Services - Retiring on September 30th

Please find attached a memo regarding John Manconi, General Manager of Transportation Services, who will be retiring on September 30.

Source : City of Ottawa


 Statement from Mayor Jim Watson

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