Ottawa Transit Commission meeting - October 20, 2021

OC Transpo provides an update on O-Train Line 1 return-to-service plan and reports on its performance measures for July 2020 to June 2021

Today, Transit Commission received an update on plans to safely return O-Train Line 1 to service after a September 19 derailment resulted in the suspension of Line 1 service. Staff confirmed that Rideau Transit Group (RTG) submitted a return-to-service plan to the City on October 15, targeting a partial return to service of seven trains beginning on November 1. RTG's timelines for resumption of Line 1 service will be confirmed pending independent validation by Transportation Research Associates (TRA), a third-party safety expert retained by the City, in coordination with the City's Regulatory Monitoring and Compliance Officer (RMCO).

Staff also outlined the response framework, communications approach, and preliminary findings from the September 19 derailment and provided a status update on the root cause investigations into both the August 8 and September 19 Line 1 derailments. The Commission was also updated on the ongoing monitoring of reliability and technical issues previously identified on Line 1 and was provided with a status on the outstanding elements of RTG's rectification plan. The update also included an overview of the R1 replacement bus service operating during the Line 1 service disruption.

The Transit Commission carried a motion to extend the maximum transfer time for OC Transpo conventional bus service by 60 minutes, until such time that R1 bus replacement service is no longer required, with timing for this change to be confirmed by staff to Members of Council and Transit Commission. The motion will be considered at City Council on October 27.

OC Transpo also provided the Transit Commission with the second of its twice-annual performance reports for the period from July 2020 to June 2021. These performance metrics include customer safety, ridership, customer service, and service reliability.

Source : City of Ottawa


Audio Recordings of the Meeting and Media Availability

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - October 20, 2021 - PART 1
Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - October 20, 2021 - PART 2
Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - October 20, 2021 - Media Availability

O-Train Confederation Line 1 Update


OC Transpo Performance Measurement and Reporting - July 2020 through June 2021 


TRA - Confederation Line Safe Return to Service Presentation to Transit Commission October 20, 2021

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Update on O-Train Confederation Line 1 and Safe Return-to-Service

Please find attached a memo regarding details on the plan to safely return the O-Train Confederation Line 1 into service, following the September 19 derailment.

Source : City of Ottawa

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Toronto’s Ontario Line, the trains, stations, line and more with Malcolm MacKay, Program Sponsor

Toronto's Ontario Line, the trains, stations, line and more with Malcolm MacKay, Program Sponsor -

Toronto's Ontario Line is a much-anticipated transit project that will feature 15 stations along a 15.6-kilometre route, operating underground, at grade and on elevated guideways, running from Exhibition Place, through downtown and reaching the Ontario Science Centre. This line will provide much-needed relief to the existing transportation options while connecting new communities to the rapid transit network. 

In this video discussion with Malcolm MacKay, Program Sponsor of the Ontario Line with Metrolinx, we discuss the project, what need it addresses, the future stations and path of the line, the rolling stock, the future and how to get involved, making this video the perfect introduction and overview of this massive and significant Toronto transit project. 

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Toronto Railway Museum (TRM) To Host Virtual Lecture Event, “Through The Window Of A Train: Hilarious, Hazardous, And Historical Memories From The Steam Era”

I am excited to share details on the seventh installment of Toronto Railway Museum's next virtual lecture event on Wednesday, October 20th at 8 pm, as we reminisce with stories from the steam era.

Presented with author Barbara Lange, attendees will hear a selection of short stories from 30 writers about their time working, travelling, and living during the bygone steam era. Relive the often hilarious, hazardous, historical, and romantic moments on the rails at this month's online lecture. There will also be a live Q&A and chances to win prizes!

Source : TRM

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Memo: Judicial Inquiry

Please find attached a memo regarding a motion requesting that a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice initiate a "judicial inquiry" on a number of issues related to the City's Light Rail Transit system.

Source : City of Ottawa



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Final pieces of trackwork being installed at Eglinton Station for Crosstown LRT project

The Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit project has seen some key advances recently – and we have the shots. Take a look at what's new on the tracks at Eglinton Station, as well as important work near Toronto's Brentcliffe Road.

We're starting this Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) update by tracking the, well, tracks.

The latest images taken around Eglinton Station show the final pieces of trackwork for the project are now being installed.

Installation of the overhead catenary system (the wires that power the trains), train signals, communications systems and other features to enable safe train movement will continue into 2022.

By the end of the year, rail will run continuously from the Maintenance and Storage Facility, located on the site of the former Kodak lands, to Kennedy Station.

Meanwhile, another progress photo shows structural work is now complete on a retaining wall just east of Brentcliffe Road. Crews are installing the geogrid and planting new greenery.

And along the surface-level section of the Crosstown LRT, restoration work continues on the streetscape, including tree planting and the ongoing installation of green track-beds, which will cover 60 per cent of the area between Brentcliffe and Ionview.

Source and Photos : Metrolinx

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Memo: Rideau Transit Group - New Notice of Default

Please find attached a memo regarding a Notice of Default sent to Rideau Transit Group.

Source : City of Ottawa



September 19, 2021 - Derailment west of Tremblay Station.
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Memo: Retention of independent safety expert (TRA)

Please find attached a memo regarding the retention of an independent third-party safety expert to ensure Rideau Transit Group (RTG) implements a safe return to service of the O-Train Confederation Line 1.

Source : City of Ottawa

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Discontinuation of the Rail Fans Canada Discord Server

A decision was made to close down the Rail Fans Canada Discord Server.

Thank you for your participation over the past 18 months.

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Côte-Vertu garage project awarded the highest distinction in sustainable development for major infrastructure projects

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) was awarded a Platinum Envision recognition for the Côte-Vertu garage project, a first in Canada for a public transit project.

"Today, communities request that infrastructure be built with a view to protect the environment and to promote the well-being of society, while stimulating the economy. The Platinum Award—the first in Canada for a public transit project—demonstrates that the STM has the expertise to deliver large-scale projects with maximum benefits to the community," said Luc Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the STM.

Some aspects of the project that were instrumental in achieving this recognition include:

Mobility and urban planning:

  • Conversion of a contaminated wastelot into a new public area, with a future development opportunity on the southern side of the main site
  • Architectural quality and urban integration facilitating the connectivity between sectors and improving community travel

Worksite impact management:

The choice of materials resulted in:

  • A 26% reduction of the materials carbon footprint
  • A recycled materials threshold of 41%
  • 87% of materials meeting responsible procurement criteria

Environmental footprint:

  • LED lights and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems designed to attain 49% in energy savings compared to conventional designs
  • Implementation of bioretention systems and a green roof
  • Species selected for the various landscaping projects for being resilient, pesticide and fertilizer-free, and conducive to biodiversity

"Receiving the Envision recognition is a great accomplishment for the project team, as all sustainability aspects of the project were analyzed to integrate best practices and to follow them meticulously during design and construction. The project required a lot of effort and rigour and I congratulate my team for their hard work," said Sylvain Paquet, Senior Project Director.

About Envision

The platinum recognition is the highest distinction awarded by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). Envision is the top sustainable development tool in North America for major infrastructure projects.

About the Côte-Vertu garage project

Launched in 2017, the Côte-Vertu garage project involves building an underground garage to house ten additional métro trains, as well as three above-ground buildings needed to operate the garage.

The balancing out of the number of train storage spaces at each end of the Orange line will provide operational flexibility for adding trains (up to 25% improved frequency on the Orange line at peak periods), support the expected growth in ridership in the coming years and increase the offer of service to keep pace with the extension of the Blue line.

The garage commissioning is planned for 2022. This major project is funded by the governments of Québec and Canada.

Project details: https://www.stm.info/en/about/major_projects/major-metro-projects/cote-vertu-garage

Source : STM

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Bacteria-killing copper to be installed on Toronto and more Vancouver transit vehicles

Antimicrobial copper coatings are being installed on high-touch transit surfaces on Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) vehicles and more TransLink vehicles following a successful pilot phase that supports copper's ability to kill up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria on transit surfaces.

This new round of testing seeks to confirm those results from the first phase in Vancouver by evaluating copper surfaces on more transit vehicles over a longer duration of time across two different regions. For this phase, the medical microbiology teams at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Mount Sinai Hospital/University Health Network will be undertaking regular bacteria testing, and VCH will be conducting laboratory testing on copper's ability to kill viruses in addition to bacteria.

This trial, fully funded by Teck Resources Limited (Teck) as part of its Copper & Health program, will outfit copper on high-touch surfaces on several TTC buses, subway cars, and streetcars, as well as several TransLink buses and SkyTrain cars.

TRIAL DETAILS

  • This trial will test three types of products including functional copper surface layers, copper alloys, and copper decals.
  • Copper products will be installed on buses, subway cars, and streetcars in the Greater Toronto Area as well as buses and SkyTrains in Metro Vancouver.
  • Samples will be analyzed from copper surfaces as well as non-copper surfaces on transit by VCH's medical microbiology team, supported by Mount Sinai Hospital/University Health Network in Toronto and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
    • These tests will occur every two months over a one-year period.
  • Researchers from the University of British Columbia will also test and analyze the durability of the three products as they age over the course of the year.
  • This trial is being conducted at no cost to either transit service

The results of this trial could improve understanding of options for infection prevention for the transit industry and other industries that rely on shared public spaces.

The project is the result of a partnership between Teck Resources Limited, Toronto Transit Commission, TransLink, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), Mount Sinai Hospital/University Health Network, the Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction (CHAIR), UBC Department of Materials Engineering, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, and Westech Cleaning Audit Systems. The trial follows preceding studies conducted by the Infection Prevention and Control team at VCH that have shown copper to be highly durable and effective at killing bacteria in laboratory and healthcare settings.

FAST FACTS

  • Copper is the only solid metal touch surface registered as a public health product by Health Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, proven to naturally eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria.
  • During Phase One's five-week trial period, more than 1,140 samples were collected and analyzed by VCH at Vancouver General Hospital and at the University of British Columbia.
    • The trial supported copper's ability to kill up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria on transit surfaces.

QUOTES

Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck –
"I want to thank the TTC, TransLink and all partners for their leadership in making our communities safer using antimicrobial copper on transit. Through our Copper & Health program, Teck is working with numerous organizations to leverage copper's unique antimicrobial properties and enhance public health and safety."

Kevin Quinn, TransLink CEO –
"The pandemic has taught us to be bold and innovative to continue meeting the needs of our customers. Through this copper pilot, we have partnered with healthcare professionals to find creative ways to make transit cleaner and safer for our customers, and we've found that copper can kill up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria on transit surfaces so far. We're so excited to have our industry-leading pilot expand nationally to learn more about copper's potential health benefits on transit."

Richard J. Leary, Toronto Transit Commission CEO –
"Safety has always been the top priority for the TTC – and it's important that both our employees and customers feel safe every time they're on one of our vehicles. Participating in a pilot like this with our hospital partners is a real opportunity to look at new ways to curb the spread of infection. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of innovating and planning for the future. I'm proud that the TTC is working with Teck to do just that."

Dr. Marthe Charles, Medical Microbiologist, Vancouver Coastal Health –
"Gaining a better understanding of the effectiveness and feasibility of using copper to kill bacteria on frequently-touched surfaces has implications that are far reaching. We are grateful for industry partners like Teck, TransLink and the Toronto Transit Commission which are supporting research that could decrease our society's exposure to potential pathogens on transit and in public spaces for years to come."

Dr. Tony Mazzulli, Microbiologist-in-Chief, Sinai Health/University Health Network –
"If this study confirms the results of the initial first phase study conducted in Vancouver showing the effectiveness of copper to kill 99.9% of bacteria, which I believe it will, it will open up the potential for its use in a broad range of settings where there are high touch surfaces. The potential impact of this at reducing the spread of infections from surfaces will be tremendous."

Angela Chapman, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation –
"Vancouver Coastal Health's Infection Prevention & Control leaders are among the best in the world and we are thrilled to see their important research project expand across the country. Donor support is vital to accelerate and expand projects like this copper trial and we're grateful to Teck for continuing to fund this vital research."

MORE INFORMATION:

Coppersaveslives.com
Vancouver Coastal Health copper pilot webpage
TransLink Pilot Video

Source : TransLink

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Memo: Replacement of Independent Safety Expert for O-Train Confederation Line 1

Please find attached a memo regarding the replacement of independent safety expert for O-Train Confederation Line 1.

Source : City of Ottawa

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Memo: Rail Safety Advisory Letter – August 8 Derailment

Please find attached a memo regarding a Rail Safety Advisory letter from the Transportation Safety Board.

Source : City of Ottawa


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Memo: New General Manager Transit Services at OC Transpo

Please find attached a memo regarding the new General Manager of the Transit Services Department.

Renée Amilcar has been selected as the General Manager of the new Transit Services Department, effective October 18, 2021.

Source : City of Ottawa

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Réseau Express Métropolitain with David Bellerive - September 2021

Réseau Express Métropolitain with David Bellerive - September 2021 -

The Réseau Express Métropolitain in Montreal will transform commuting and transit in the city over the next 10 years. With 26 stations and 67 km of track, and even more announced in the near future, this project has really gathered much excitement and generated lots of anticipation. 

In this video discussion with transit and rail enthusiast David Bellerive, we talk about the REM and several of the more interesting and exciting points about the project. 

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Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - September 20, 2021

Transit Commission receives operational update on O-Train Line 1 and bus service and approves status report on Q2 transit operating and capital budget

The Transit Commission today received an update on O-Train Line 1 and bus service operations. Staff provided details of the August 8 Line 1 incident involving an axle bearing issue on an out-of-service train leaving Tunney's Pasture Station. The update outlined OC Transpo's incident response framework, steps taken to identify and remediate root causes of the incident, as well as steps taken to safely resume service on Line 1 on August 14. Staff also briefed the Transit Commission on an incident involving the derailment of a westbound Line 1 train between Tremblay and Hurdman Stations on the afternoon of Sunday, September 19, which has resulted in the temporary replacement of Line 1 service with R1 bus service to allow for investigation and repairs. In addition, staff provided regular updates on train service reliability, along with updates on wheel inspections and Rideau Transit Group's (RTG) rectification plan.

The update also confirmed that ridership has been climbing steadily since Step 1 of the Province's COVID-19 reopening on June 11, climbing to 29 percent as of Step 3 on July 16, and reaching 34 percent of normal levels in August.

The Transit Commission approved a motion calling for the City Manager to consult with the Regulatory Monitor and Compliance Officer to identify and retain an independent expert or experts to confirm the safety of the plan for return to service and report back to City Council and Transit Commission with a work plan and timelines for this independent safety review.

The Transit Commission also received a report, 2021 Transit Operating and Capital Budget Q2 Status, indicating a $3.8 million surplus for the second quarter of 2021, mainly due to lower compensation costs resulting from vacant positions, as revenue shortfalls and additional expenditures due to COVID-19 were offset by federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement (SRA) funding for transit. The end-of-year forecast is a deficit of $17 million, made up of $26.3 million in projected revenue loss and added costs from COVID-19, offset by $9.3 million in savings due to vacant positions and the temporary service reductions.

Finally, the Transit Commission received for information a report on OC Transpo's delegated authority for contracts awarded for the period of July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 and approved a recommendation to waive Section 39 of the Procurement By-law, permitting 2021 semi-annual reports of the details relevant to the exercise of delegated authority for all OC Transpo contracts equal to or exceeding $25,000 to be delivered as one consolidated report in Q2 2022.

Source : City of Ottawa


Audio Recording from the Meeting

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - September 20, 2021

Audio Recording from the Media Availability

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - Media Availability - September 20, 2021

 O-Train Line 1 and Bus Service Update Presentation


Motions

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Search begins for teams interested in building Scarborough Subway Extension stations

The Scarborough Subways Extension project has now reached an important stage – the search for experts who want to build the stations, lay down the tracks, and install all the technology that connects them. In this feature, we look at what the 'Request for Qualifications' announcement means, as well as how an extended Line 2 subway will create a more connected and reliable transit experience.

Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario today (Sept. 17) released a Request for Qualifications in a search for teams interested in building the stations and the remaining work along the Scarborough Subway Extension.

Each station on the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension will be more than just a place to get on or off the Line 2 subway – they will be important hubs that connect to surface routes, helping passengers to move seamlessly through a broader transit network.

The Request for Qualifications asks industry experts to share their qualifications to bid on designing and building the stations, laying down the track and installing and launching the systems that will be used to operate the line. It's part of the project's Stations, Rail and Systems package.

New to the Scarborough Subway Extension conversation and want to know more? Just go here.

The contract for tunnel construction was awarded on May 25, 2021 to Strabag and work is already well underway at the launch shaft site.

Metrolinx projects that by 2041, 83 per cent of passengers going through the three new stations at the busiest hour of the day will be transferring from a bus to the subway, or from one bus route to another.

"We are building stations that will be important connection points, with buses coming in from all parts of Scarborough."
Program Sponsor, Michael Hodge

"Scarborough has a wide geographic area and large parts of Scarborough rely on buses to get to the subway," said Michael Hodge, program sponsor.

"We are building stations that will be important connection points, with buses coming in from all parts of Scarborough."

Bus connections from the Scarborough Subway Extension will bring students to class at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus – pictured – and Centennial College. (Mike Winterburn photo)

The new terminus station at Shepperd and McCowan will offer links to bus routes north of Highway 401.

This station will shorten the time people spend riding buses on congested roadways, allowing them to enter the subway system sooner.

Over the long term, the Shepperd Subway (Line 4) could also be extended to this station, closing a loop and giving riders a new way to navigate the subway system.

Scarborough Centre subway station

Moving south down the extension, the Scarborough Centre subway station will be a particularly important spot for connections.

The current Line 3 Scarborough Rapid Transit station at Scarborough Centre already offers connections to TTC buses, and that role will continue to grow as the regional transit network expands.

Hodge was quick to point out that Metrolinx is designing the new station to be more than a subway stop.

"We are putting a lot of focus on to the Scarborough Centre Bus Terminal to allow for efficient connections to bus routes."

The terminal will also offer connections to GO buses and the proposed Durham Region Transit bus rapid transit line.

The station will be a transit hub with bus connections to both the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and Centennial College's Progress Campus, which provide education and employment opportunities to almost 30,000 students and staff.

Of course, there is a lot of activity right around the station – and not just in the Scarborough Town Centre mall. The Scarborough City Centre has office towers, high-rise condominiums, a library, and an outdoor skating rink. The new Street Eats Market food truck festival in the mall parking lot is also emerging as a popular attraction.

The Scarborough Subway Extension will attract travellers from across Scarborough and beyond. Here, the Street Eats food truck festival draws a recent crowd. (Mike Winterburn photo)

The new station at Lawrence and McCowan Road will be used by Scarborough residents accessing health care or visiting loved ones in the hospital.

It will be next to the Scarborough Health Network's General Hospital, offering new convenience to frontline health care workers, patients and their visitors. The hospital is a major employer in Scarborough, with more than 2,000 employees and 500 volunteers.

With the subway extension meeting up with the Crosstown LRT at Kennedy Station, Scarborough residents will have a new transit option, going through midtown Toronto, along Eglinton Avenue, all the way to Mississauga.

This will also continue to be the site of an important connection to the Stouffville line GO train line, which will see expanded service in the years to come.

The Ontario Line

The subway extension is just one way Scarborough residents will benefit from upcoming transit expansion improvements. When the Ontario Line is in place, riders coming from Scarborough will be able to transfer at Pape to reach Queen station and the Financial District, eliminating the need to take Line 2 all the way into the crowded Bloor-Yonge station and on to packed Line 1 trains.

Hodge also pointed out the extension is more than a link to downtown Toronto as it will make it easier to move around Scarborough.

"Maybe people want to go to visit a friend at Scarborough General," he said. Or, they could be headed towards Scarborough Centre to go shop at the mall, get a taco from a food truck, or drop a form off at the nearby federal government office, and the subway extension will help them to get there faster."

And again, you can visit the Scarborough Subway Extension webpage to learn more about the project and keep up with all the progress being made on the project.

Story by Mike Winterburn, Metrolinx News senior writer

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REM de l’Est: project update

Today, CDPQ Infra issued an update on the REM de l'Est project, providing a progress report and publishing two separate technical reports with analyses of underground route scenarios. CDPQ Infra also unveiled an optimization of the reference project, with the addition of a tunnel section under René-Lévesque Boulevard.

CDPQ Infra conducted its first phase of public consultations over the past six months, reaching more than 32,000 people and collecting more than 1,600 comments and opinions.

In addition to helping establish the committee of independent experts appointed by the Québec government to ensure the project's architectural and urban integration, CDPQ Infra has published a number of documents and reports, conducted technical studies and held numerous workshops and meetings with all the project's partners.

The REM de l'Est will transform mobility services for hundreds of thousands of residents in Montréal's eastern communities by providing a fast, frequent and reliable link between downtown Montréal, CÉGEP Marie-Victorin and Pointe-aux-Trembles. CDPQ Infra remains firmly committed to building an outstanding project that everyone can be proud of. With that in mind, today we are presenting a major enhancement, further demonstrating our commitment to the continuous improvement of this large-scale public transit project while ensuring its feasibility with a responsible approach
Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and CEO of CDPQ Infra

Two detailed reports by external firms

Today, CDPQ Infra published two separate reports assessing various scenarios for an underground route in downtown Montréal as part of the REM de l'Est project. These reports were produced by external firms whose expertise is widely recognized internationally.

A first report was issued by AECOM-Systra and a second report was commissioned from Geocontrol to provide further analysis and assessment of additional factors.

A summary of these studies' main findings is available here.

Both firms presented a detailed analysis of multiple factors to determine the technical feasibility of the proposed scenarios, while also addressing the cumulative effects of technical risks in order to validate the viability these scenarios.

These factors include the impacts of buried public infrastructure, the impacts of the yellow and orange metro line tunnels, the area's geology, construction hazards and the presence of the water table. A 3D digital model was also used to map these risks and assess them in light of Montréal's specific and unique context.

Viability of the analyzed scenarios and enhancement of the reference project

Based on technical reports, including the second technical report issued in August, and the analysis of the various options' viability, only one underground alternative is viable in downtown Montreal. CDPQ Infra will integrate a tunnel section into the REM de l'Est reference project, beginning at Jeanne-Mance and continuing to Robert-Bourassa Boulevard.

Extensive analyses pointed to this solution for a portion of downtown due to favourable geological conditions and the natural slope of René-Lévesque Boulevard, which allows for the integration of this route (transition zone reduced to approximately 150 metres) while limiting impacts.

This major improvement, which will bury a portion of the route and the terminal station, comes on the heels of the enhancement already implemented in the Montréal-Nord sector, bringing the length of the REM de l'Est tunnel to 9 km, or approximately one third of the entire route.

The project budget and schedule will be updated once the current consultation and optimization period concludes, prior to the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE).

Next steps in the project

The multidisciplinary expert committee on the REM de l'Est's architectural and urban integration will continue its work along the entire route, including the sectors further east. The goal is to present a proposal for urban and architectural integration along the REM de l'Est's complete route to citizens and partners by the end of 2021.

Source : CDPQ Infra

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TTC celebrates 100 years of moving Toronto

Today, Sept. 1, 2021, marks 100 years of service for the TTC. To kick off its anniversary celebrations, the TTC hosted a special celebration at its Roncesvalles Carhouse where Mayor John Tory officially proclaimed Sept. 1 as "TTC Centenary Day" in the city of Toronto.

"For 100 years, the TTC has provided a vital link, connecting people with places and opportunities in Toronto. The TTC has grown over the past century to deliver exceptional transit that provides service to all corners of the city through a network of buses, subways, streetcars and Wheel-Trans vehicles," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC has continued non-stop to help frontline workers get to work to help save lives. And I know the TTC is ready to help people move around the city even more as we continue to reopen and restart our economy. The TTC will be vital to Toronto's economy and jobs coming back stronger than ever. As we celebrate the TTC's past, I am confident in its future because we are committed as a City to continuing to upgrade and expand the TTC with the help of our partners in the provincial and federal governments."

"This significant milestone invites us to reflect on the important role that the TTC has played in Toronto's history over the last 100 years. Through a century of immense change, the TTC has evolved and adapted along with the city we serve," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "We've come a long way since 1921 and I'm very excited about our plans for the future."

"I'm proud that while so much has changed in the last century, one thing that hasn't is how vital public transit is to this city and the 32 billion people who have used the TTC over the past 100 years," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "Although the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted in-person events and forced us to modify how we're marking this milestone, we hope the whole GTA will still join us in celebrating our centenary over the next several months. I want to extend a special thank you to the nearly 16,000 employees at the TTC, and all of the TTC's past employees whose hard work and dedication have made this century of service possible."

Today's event included a display of historic TTC vehicles, including some of the oldest streetcars - Peter Witt (1921), PCC (1938), CLRV, ALRV - the oldest GM Bus (1980), as well as newer streetcars, electric buses and Wheel-Trans vehicles. Also in attendance were two of the longest-serving TTC employees as well as former Chief Executives and General Managers and past Board Chairs.

A number of activities will be taking place over the coming months, as the TTC commemorates a century of public service. The Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square and the CN Tower will both be lit red tonight. Customers travelling on TTC buses today can also collect a commemorative TTC100 transfer when paying their fare. In addition, there will be celebratory banners on display outside Union Station on Front St. for the entire month of September.

The TTC is also marking the occasion through an awareness campaign on its vehicles, social media channels and in stations. A special TTC 100th Anniversary microsite has been launched at https://www.ttc100years.ca/ , which includes historical photos and descriptions about the TTC's story. Customers are encouraged to visit the site to learn more about how they can participate in the celebrations.

Since June, the TTC has also been running a photo exhibit at some of its stations, in partnership with the City of Toronto Archives. Titled The TTC - 100 Years of Moving Toronto, the displays are a comprehensive collection of newly digitized photography showcasing the TTC's journey over the past 100 years. The in-station displays will remain in place until July 2022, and the exhibit can also be viewed virtually on toronto.ca/archiveshttps://www.toronto.ca/city-government/accountability-operations-customer-service/access-city-information-or-records/city-of-toronto-archives/

In the coming weeks, a commemorative 100th Anniversary TTC coffee table book and artwork will be available for purchase in the TTC online store at ttcshop.ca. As of Sept. 13, members of the public can also look out for a special TTC augmented reality filter on Instagram, which will allow them to see what they'd look like as a historic TTC Employee. A public art project is also planned for Spadina Station in 2022, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary.

Additional events will be announced throughout the year, in accordance with public health guidelines, as the TTC continues to celebrate 100 years of serving the great city of Toronto. More information about the events and activities related to this celebration will be available on ttc.ca/ttc100.

Source : TTC

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O-Train Train Tracker to be Discontinued as of August 31st, 2021

Hello all. A decision regarding the O-Train Train Tracker's future has been reached, and that is for it to be discontinued. This feature was launched 1.5 years ago and helped track the deployment of trains and fleet rotations in the early days of service. Times have changed and the interest in this type of information and data has mostly moved on.

Thank you to all who submitted their train and LRV spottings over nearly 2 years time, and logging over 5000 submissions.

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To help preserve this data, the final database and Train Last Seen data can be found attached below as an archive, from February 5, 2020 to August 30, 2021. The first file is the data collected for the "Current Date", while the second file is for "Past Observations submitted later on". You would have to do a bit of manipulation of the data and columns in Excel to get a combined list.

File Name: O-Train-Tracker---August-30-2021-TODAYS-OBSERVATIONS
File Size: 103 kb
Download File
File Name: O-Train-Tracker---August-30-2021-PAST-OBSERVATIONS
File Size: 22 kb
Download File

Data current as of August 30, 2021

1101 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 10:54:03
1102 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1103 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1104 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 18:26:56
1105 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1106 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1107 Last seen on : 2021-08-26 07:38:31
1108 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:12:49
1109 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1110 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1111 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1112 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:33:32
1113 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 13:46:07
1114 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1115 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 10:54:03
1116 Last seen on : 2021-03-13 07:08:00 (P)
1117 Last seen on : 2021-08-08 08:33:00
1118 Last seen on : 2021-07-26 08:20:06
1119 Last seen on : 2021-08-11 11:50:23
1120 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1121 Last seen on : 2021-08-21 08:19:03
1122 Last seen on : 2021-08-04 08:38:05
1123 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1124 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1125 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 10:54:03
1126 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 18:57:40
1127 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 16:41:34
1128 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1129 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 16:41:34
1130 Last seen on : 2021-08-28 07:52:43
1131 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1132 Last seen on : 2021-08-22 14:51:51
1133 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:33:32
1134 Last seen on : 2021-08-28 07:52:43
1135 There are currently no reports on this train.
1136 Last seen on : 2020-05-28 03:30:00 (P)
1137 Last seen on : 2021-08-17 07:12:06
1138 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 13:46:07
1139 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1140 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1141 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:12:49

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VIA Rail reports improved performance in Q2 2021

While it continues to adapt its operations according to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) reports an improved performance for the second quarter of 2021 with an increase in ridership and passenger revenues of 188% and 417% respectively compared to the same period last year.

"This second quarter, VIA Rail continued to fulfill its mandate while never losing sight of its mission to put passengers first," said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "As promised, when conditions allowed, we increased our operations with, for example, the return of one full weekly round-trip on the Canadian. As always, we are closely monitoring the evolution of the pandemic and we look forward to keep making progress on our service resumption plan while continuing to follow recommendations from public health authorities and decrees from the federal and provincial governments."

Modernization at the heart of VIA Rail's future

During the second quarter, VIA Rail reached important milestones in its modernization program which includes, amongst others, its High Frequency Rail (HFR) project and its new Corridor fleet.

The April Federal Budget reflected the Government of Canada's firm support for VIA Rail's High Frequency Rail project which will transform the way present and future generations live and travel, by upgrading and building tracks dedicated to the transport of passengers between Québec City and Toronto. VIA Rail also revealed the design of its new fleet which, in addition to being one of the most environmentally friendly fleets in North America, will offer an unparalleled, barrier-free and fully accessible travel experience to passengers in the Québec City – Windsor corridor. The first train set is expected to be commissioned into revenue service in 2022.

"It's time to reimagine the way we move Canada, from reservation to destination, to deliver new levels of comfort, accessibility and sustainability. That is why the VIA Rail team continues to work tirelessly on its modernization projects. In fact, the milestones reached in the second quarter and the announcements made in July by the federal government regarding our HFR project demonstrate that we are making steady progress. We are determined to offer a more sustainable and modern passenger rail service to Canadians, and we cannot wait to deliver initiatives like our HFR project and our new Corridor fleet," declared Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer.

VIA Rail, the most trusted transportation company

VIA Rail was recognized as one of the most trusted companies in Canada in 2021 by the Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI) and ranked first in the "Transportation" category for the third consecutive year. The GBTI is provided by the University of Victoria's Gustavson School of Business and the 2021 ranking was completed after nearly 9,000 Canadians were consulted on the way they view certain brands, including their consumer advocacy and social equity.

Ratification of collective agreement 3

Collective agreement 3 was ratified on May 15 by the members of Unifor, Local 100, the union representing approximately 700 VIA Rail employees working in maintenance centres. This agreement includes, just like collective agreements 1 and 2, a 2% wage increase for 2021, benefits improvements as well as the review of several work rules.

VIA Rail's 2021 second quarter report is available

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TTC increasing service for the back-to-school season

With the back-to-school season around the corner, students and parents can count on the TTC for improved safety and service.

"We are doing everything we can as a City government to help kids go back to school safely this September and that includes increasing TTC service across Toronto ahead of expected demand," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "I want to thank our frontline TTC workers for all they do to help students get to and from school safely."

"As students and parents prepare for the back-to-school season, they can rely on the TTC to provide a safe and reliable experience," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "We ask that students continue to follow COVID safety guidelines, including wearing a mask while on transit."

To accommodate anticipated increased service demand in September, the TTC is:
- Increasing service system-wide to support the expected increase in ridership, including 25 per cent more subway trains on Line 1 and Line 2 at peak times on weekdays.
- Deploying an additional 180 special school trips to manage anticipated high school student ridership and communicating with school boards to determine hot spots, student volumes and start and dismissal times.
- Increasing or restoring service on nearly 30 bus routes that serve post-secondary institutions and other major transit corridors, and implementing new periods of express service on four routes.
- Restoring service on nearly all 900 series express routes and introducing new service on the 938 Highland Creek Express, adding new weekday midday and early evening service on 960 Steeles West Express, and new weekday midday express service on 941 Keele Express. Additional express routes are planned for October.
- Maintaining service flexibility, adjusting service to meet demand and continuing to operate demand-responsive bus service to supplement scheduled service.

Because of the potential for increased demand, some service will need to be deployed in real-time and will not appear on schedules or on transit apps.

"With schools in Toronto opening for in-person learning, we know that students and parents who have been away from transit for some time may not be aware of the changes we've made to enhance comfort and safety," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "We're making sure our service is ready to meet the changing demand, while ensuring that customers remain safe while travelling on our vehicles."

In addition, the following COVID-related safety measures remain in place across the system:
- Face coverings remain mandatory on the TTC. Persons who require a mask in a subway station can get a disposable mask from a Customer Service Agent, Collector or Fare Inspector.
- The TTC is continuing enhanced cleaning and disinfection of all public places and vehicles with a focus on touch and grab points, such as buttons, railings, handles and straps. Hand sanitizer is also available at the main entrance of all subway stations.
- Seats on buses, streetcars and subways have been blocked off, reminding customers to continue practice physical distancing, when possible.
- To help with avoiding busy buses, customers can use the RocketMan or Transit apps to view bus occupancy levels in real-time.
- The TTC has made it mandatory for all its employees, contractors and students to be fully vaccinated by October 30.

The TTC reminds students and parents of the following:
Children 12 and under ride the TTC for free. All other students can pay their TTC fare using several methods of payment, including:
PRESTO single fares
- $2.25 for youth 13-19
PRESTO Monthly Pass
- $128.15 for youth 13-19
CASH
- $2.30 for youth 13-19
- $3.25 for post-secondary students

Students and parents are reminded that PRESTO cards are set to deduct an adult fare. If a youth fare is required, the PRESTO card, along with government-issued identification, should be taken to a Shoppers Drug Mart store or to the TTC Customer Service Centre, above Davisville Station, to change the setting.

Post-secondary students enrolled full-time at a recognized institution in Toronto are eligible for a discounted monthly pass on PRESTO. They will be required to have a TTC post-secondary student photo ID in order to set their PRESTO fare type, purchase, and use their post-secondary monthly pass on PRESTO. The TTC Post-Secondary Photo ID can only be obtained at the TTC Photo ID Office at Bathurst Station. The post-secondary fare type can be set at any Shoppers Drug Mart location or at the TTC Customer Service Centre above Davisville Station.

While the TTC continues to see record-low ridership due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, ridership analysis indicates an increase in customers over the last several weeks. Currently, customer boardings across the system are at roughly 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels with bus boardings at 48 per cent, streetcar boardings at 38 per cent and subway boardings at 32 per cent, respectively.

Finally, the TTC would like to remind everyone about some important safety tips as the school year begins:
- Drivers: As the streets, sidewalks and crosswalks get busier for back-to-school, please be extra vigilant while commuting. Please yield the right-of-way to TTC vehicles and make sure to slow down to allow buses to re-enter traffic after servicing stops.
- Pedestrians: Please don't run alongside or in front of a bus or streetcar. It's always safer to wait for the next vehicle, which will be along soon.
- Cyclists: Sometimes streetcar tracks can be slippery. When cycling near streetcar rails, be aware of the track conditions and always cross streetcar tracks at an angle to avoid tires getting caught.
- Subway riders: Always stand behind the yellow line on the platform when waiting for a subway train. Never descend to track level for any reason. If you drop something, such as your cell phone, leave it and tell a TTC uniformed employee who will make arrangements to retrieve it.
- Streetcar riders: Be sure to check to make certain that traffic has stopped before exiting a streetcar.
- Bus/streetcar riders: When on board, always be sure to stand behind the white line at the front of the vehicle and stand clear of the doors.
- Backpacks: Customers are asked to be mindful of those around them when wearing large backpacks as they can pose a safety risk.

Customers looking for more information about the TTC's back-to-school plans are encouraged to visit www.ttc.ca/Riding_the_TTC/Points_of_interest/back_to_school.jsp.

Source : TTC

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What you need to know about PRESTO before jumping on transit again

Whether it's heading to school or the office, customers returning to transit this fall can take advantage of enhancements PRESTO has made over the last few months to make their transit experience easier. With app enhancements, PRESTO customers will be able to load funds and passes instantly, check their balances in real-time, and more. Here's a handy rundown of some changes and helpful reminders.

For those ready to ride transit again, one of the first questions may be 'Now where did I leave my PRESTO card?'

It's difficult to help with that – though check your old wallet in your dresser drawer, beside that sweater your aunt bought you.

A bit easier is a walkthrough of PRESTO features introduced during COVID, as well as some reminders of functions and tools and shortcuts some customers may have forgotten.

Loading funds and passes

With the enhanced PRESTO app, customers can now load their PRESTO card(s) with funds or transit passes, by simply holding their PRESTO card to the back of their smartphone. That means you can top up your card from wherever you are, and the funds will instantly be available.

Here's a video on how to use the app to load your card.

Check Balance

PRESTO app users can also now instantly and easily check their card balance, transaction history, and last time they tapped on by using the 'check balance' button located in the bottom right corner of your card home page. When it comes to checking your balance in real time, the check balance button is your best bet. The balance displayed on the homepage of the app takes a little longer to update so won't reflect that load you just made.

Autoload

If you want to always stay topped up with funds, consider setting up Autoload. Autoload automatically and instantly loads funds to your PRESTO card whenever your balance falls below a minimum balance you set, so that you'll always have the funds you need to travel.

For customers setting up autoload for the first time, just be mindful that you need a PRESTO account to set it up and it could take up to 24 hours for the settings to kick-in. And don't forget to tap your card on a PRESTO device after this time to complete the process.

For more information on how to load your PRESTO card, click here.

Purchasing a PRESTO card

Customers that have either lost or need to purchase a new PRESTO card, have several options.

Customers can purchase a PRESTO card by visiting a local Shoppers Drug Mart, a Fare Vending Machine (located in all TTC subway stations), a Ticket Vending Machine (located in all GO Transit and UP Express stations) or a PRESTO customer service outlet. Click here for a full list of locations.

If you don't already have one, set up a PRESTO account to take advantage of benefits like balance protection. And, if you already have an account, this is a good time to make sure your account information is up to date, including profile information, email verification and security questions and answers.

Setting up a fare type is one way to make sure you're getting the best deal. But also make sure the information is up to date. (Metrolinx photo)

Setting up a Fare Type

To set a fare type – like youth, student, senior or child — customers can visit their nearest Shoppers Drug Mart or the closest transit agency's customer service outlet.

If you're a student looking to purchase a student-specific transit pass for example, you'll need to make sure you have your PRESTO card set to the 'youth' or 'post-secondary' fare type – whichever applies – before you can purchase the correct pass product.

When setting up a fare type, it's important to bring proof of eligibility (such as a photo ID with date of birth or proof of enrollment for students, like a student card). Students/youth should always carry a student ID to show for fare inspection.

Some fare types do expire (including those based on age), so if you've set one up previously, make sure to check it. You can do that by using the 'check balance' feature on the PRESTO app or going to your local Shoppers Drug Mart or Customer Service Outlet.

Lost your PRESTO card?

PRESTO account customers who have lost their PRESTO card or had it damaged can purchase a replacement card and have their balance, passes, fare type and settings transferred over to the new card.

If you buy a new card in person – from a Customer Service Outlet, Shoppers Drug Mart Outlet or a PRESTO self-serve machine – do not add it to a PRESTO Account or load a transit pass. This is done automatically as part of the card transfer process. If you add it to an account or load a transit pass, you'll have to buy another card to complete the transfer.

For more information on how to cancel your lost, stolen or damaged PRESTO card and transfer your balance, go here.

New ways to pay

The PRESTO app isn't the only thing that's new. PRESTO's also piloting credit card payment on UP Express. It's part of a phased approach to rollout more contactless payment options across the region to make your transit experience that much easier.

For more information before you head out, check out PRESTO's website and take advantage of the Live Chat feature for any questions.

Story by Brandon Bernard, Metrolinx Senior Advisor, Communications Planning

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Rail Fans Canada Forums to be Discontinued as of August 26th, 2021

Hello all. A decision regarding the forum site's future has been reached, and that is for it to be discontinued. Participation and activity have significantly dropped off since launching the Discord server about 14-15 months ago. The past few months on average have yielded less than a handful of posts in total. It does not make sense to maintain it further being essentially dormant, in addition to the additional server resources needed and the hosting costs and forum software licensing fees. The forum site will be backed up and archived offline. 

The Discord server will remain and you can join it here: www.railfans.ca/discord

The forum will be discontinued on August 26th, 2021 (Friday) at 1:00pm.

Thank you to our forum members for their participation on the forum these past several years.

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Toronto’s Finch West LRT with Wade O’Leary, project Vice President - August 2021

Toronto's Finch West LRT with Wade O'Leary, project Vice President - August 2021 -

Toronto is building a new Light Rail Transit line in the northwestern region of the city. This new line will feature 18 new stops (including one underground station and one below-grade), along an 11km rail alignment, stretching from the TTC's Finch West (University Line) subway station to Humber College. The line will make use of the Alstom Citadis Spirit light rail vehicles, each carrying up to 300 passengers. 

In this video conversation with Wade O'Leary, Vice President of the Finch West LRT project, we discuss this important transit infrastructure project, that will connect people quicker than ever before in this heavy transit corridor, the line, the trains, and some of the unique design features of the line. 

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