News

Transit Commission meeting - February 17, 2021

Today, the Transit Commission received a service update on the O-Train Line 1: Confederation Line, in addition to OC Transpo Performance Measurement and Reporting.

The Transit Commission today approved OC Transpo's new performance measures and reporting structure, which includes a twice-annual report to Transit Commission and a monthly results scorecard published on octranspo.com.

Until 2014, OC Transpo presented regular performance reports to the Transit Commission. This reporting was temporarily suspended during the construction of O-Train Line 1, to resume after Line 1 had opened, and with revised measures to report on aspects of the new multimodal transit network. The new measures and structure are based on existing performance measures, industry best practices and feedback from the Transit Commission steering committee. The new performance measures for OC Transpo fall into four categories: safety, ridership, customer service, and service reliability. The first report will be presented to the Transit Commission in April 2021.

The Transit Commission is recommending that Council confirm and extend the delegation of authority to the General Manager, Transportation Services, to allow and regulate the transportation of bicycles, electric kick-scooters and power-assisted bicycles onboard O-Train cars and on transit property and amend the Transit By-law to reflect this change. Since the launch of O-Train Line 1 service, there have been no operational issues observed with bicycles and no complaints received by Customer Service. In addition to the health benefits associated with using bicycles, allowing customers to transport these additional transportation methods on the O-Train system can help decrease the number of automobile trips customers may have otherwise opted for. The report also recommends that, for safety, Council amend the Transit By-law to prohibit the use of unmanned air vehicles (drones) on or over transit property where a permit has not been issued by the General Manager. This recommendation will be presented to Council on February 24.

The Commission received an operational update on O-Train Line 1 service today. Rideau Transit Group (RTG) continues to make progress on its rectification plan, and has to-date completed substantive work on the following items:

  • Switch heater failures
  • Overhead catenary system
  • Vehicle traction power
  • Vehicle passenger doors
  • Vehicle heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

Rideau Transit Maintenance and Alstom continue to perform the daily inspections on the train wheels, and a total of 16 vehicles have had their train wheels replaced to-date. RTG has secured specialised equipment from Europe that allows wheel replacement work to occur at two work sites, which has helped accelerate the work. The Transportation Safety Board's (TSB) investigation continues. All elements associated with the wheels have been shared with TSB, and their report is expected in 2021. In addition, an independent assessment report on RTG's rectification plan is nearing completion, and additional information has been requested from RTG to complete the assessment.

To reduce costs, provide additional capacity and further improve reliability on Line 1, the City is implementing the following:

  • Effective the first week of March, rail service will be adjusted to operate on an 11-train peak period service schedule for two months.
  • Due to the pandemic, ridership continues to be low. An 11-train schedule provides a minimum of 5-minute service throughout the day and provides physical distancing for customers.
  • Monthly savings to the City will include a $100,000 reduction in service payments to RTG and a reduction in electricity consumption estimated at approximately $50,000 to $60,000.
  • A reduced service plan provides RTG with an opportunity to expedite work to continue to improve reliability and consistency on vehicles, train wheels, vehicle modifications, etc.

On February 3, OC Transpo held a one-day Operation Mask Up blitz to reinforce the importance of wearing masks while onboard buses or trains or while in stations. Overall, customer compliance was very high. Specific results of the blitz include the following:

  • No customers were denied access to the system for refusing to wear a mask
  • 3 customers were fined for not wearing a mask ($260 fine per person)
  • 67 customers were told to adjust their masks as they were not wearing them properly
  • 9 customers had medical exemptions


Source : City of Ottawa


Rectification Plan Update

•Rectification plan items related to the following are complete:

  1. Switch Heater Failures
  2. Overhead Catenary System
  3. Vehicle Traction Power
  4. Vehicle Passenger Doors
  5. Vehicle HVAC

RTG continues to progress towards completing the work related to:

  • Vehicle Auxiliary Power (CVS units)
  • Fine-tuning of Vehicle Braking Systems
  • Independent assessment is nearing completion. Additional information requested from RTG in order to complete the assessment.

Rail Reliability Continued Monitoring

  1. Track–like all railroads, there are on-going requirements for continued track maintenance plans and activities to mitigate against rail corrugation, reduce wear on track and vehicles, and improve ride quality (noise and vibration).
  2. Train Couplers–RTM is currently reviewing vehicle couplers as they have been identified as a potential cause of some recent service interruptions.

Train Wheels
  • Wheel replacement is complete on 16 vehicles;
  • Daily inspections continue on the fleet until all wheels are replaced and/or set screw is adjusted;
  • RTG has received and installed specialized equipment from Europe enabling wheel replacement work to occur at two work sites;
  • Independent TSB investigation continues, and all required parties are engaged, including the Chief Safety Officer, the RMCO, wheel and metal experts, Transport Canada;
  • RTM has advised they are adjusting the wheel replacement schedule. Revised schedule being finalized, etc; and,
  • The TSB and Transport Canada have been advised of a pending updated schedule for wheel replacements.

Adjusted Service Plan

  • In an effort to reduce costs and provide additional capacity to further improve reliability, the City is implementing the following;
  • Effective the first week of March, rail service will be adjusted to operate on an 11-train peak period service schedule for two months;
  • Due to the pandemic, ridership continues to be low;
  • An 11-train schedule provides a minimum of 5-minute service throughout the day and provides physical distancing for customers;
  • Monthly savings to the City include a $100K reduction in service payments to RTG and a reduction in electricity consumption estimated at approx. $50K to $60K; and,
  • A reduced service plan provides RTG with an opportunity to expedite work to continue to improve reliability and consistency on vehicles, train wheels, vehicle modifications, etc.

Audio from the Meeting and the Virtual Media Availability.

Transit Commission - February 17, 2021.mp3
Virtual Media Availability - Transit Commission - February 17, 2021.mp3

O-Train Confederation Line Service Update Presentation.


OC Transpo Performance Measurement and Reporting

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

OC Transpo offers new touchless way to pay your fare

OC Transpo is launching a customer trial this afternoon for a new touchless way to pay fares using credit cards and smartphones at O-Train Line 1's Rideau Station.

One gate on the west side of the station has been set up to accept Visa and Mastercard, as well as smart phones and watches that use Apple Pay or Google Pay loaded with Visa or Mastercard. During the trial period, customers can easily pay an Adult single-ride fare by tapping the specially marked fare gate with their enabled Visa, Mastercard or associated mobile wallet. During the test period, customers paying by credit card or mobile wallet will only be able to transfer to buses inside the fare paid zone at Tunney's Pasture, Hurdman and Blair Stations. Presto cards remain a payment option.

When the trial wraps up in 2021, OC Transpo expects to roll out the new touchless payment options to all fare gates and buses. We are already working on future upgrades that will bring contactless debit payments to the system.

The trial is a partnership with Scheidt & Bachmann and will give OC Transpo one of the most advanced fare payment systems in Canada. The trial has been fast-tracked so that OC Transpo can offer customers more ways to pay their fare while reducing touch points during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quotes

"I am pleased that OC Transpo is one of the first transit agencies in Canada to offer touchless payment choices to our customers. I know our customers will appreciate the extra convenience and flexibility."

Mayor Jim Watson

"OC Transpo has led the way in keeping our transit customers safe during the pandemic. We were the first transit system in Canada to make mask-wearing mandatory. Now we are among the first in Canada to make touchless credit card payment available. This will further reduce contact points along the system to keep our customers safe."

Councillor Allan Hubley, Chair, Transit Commission

"Scheidt & Bachmann is delighted to provide the City of Ottawa with industry leading technology that will enable customers to pay their fare simply by tapping a credit card or mobile wallet. This trial marks an important milestone for Ottawa as they become one of the first cities in Canada to offer a suite of contactless fare payment options to their customers. We are honoured by this opportunity to grow our long-standing partnership with OC Transpo."

Karen Swanborough, Regional Vice President, Scheidt & Bachmann

You can view OC Transpo's promotional video.

Visit octranspo.com for more information on the new touchless fare payment options.

Source : OC Transpo

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Game Review - NIMBY Rails

NIMBY Rails was a highly anticipated game ever since it was first publicly announced by creator Weird and Wry. It is also unique in that it has no campaign, no missions or objectives to complete the game, therefore it is entirely open and freeform. Everything is possible right from the start and not gated or held back. Instead, NIMBY Rails is a completely open sandbox game, designed for the most devout Rail Fans, as well as the general public. It is important before going further to mention that NIMBY Rails is now available as an Early Release game on Steam, meaning it is not fully completed but has reached a stable state of development for the general public to enjoy as well as provide feedback, suggestions and bug reports. Updates are frequent and regular and add additional features, bug fixes and tweaks to further enhance the game. 

The goal of this game is to allow you to design, layout and build a rail-based transportation system. This has been done in countless other games but the defining feature of NIMBY Rails is the ability to do it in any city or town in the world. The game features maps of the entire world, so you are free to design and build anywhere. This is huge, as in the past as with most other games, you are limited to a small selection of specific cities, or forced to use terrain tools to shape and model your city of choice, so this development in NIMBY Rails is a breakout feature and its biggest point. The game also makes use of population data to help simulate real-world passenger loads and densities around stations and rail lines.

Let me discuss some of the options available when creating a rail system by describing how it is done. The best approach I have found is to place your stations and station platforms, then connecting them with the track, followed by establishing your lines and selecting your train configurations and timetables.

In the example above, I have recreated Ottawa's O-Train Line 1. You can see how the actual map of the city is used as the base layer, which allows you to place your stations and track on top. Stations and track each have 4 options, Viaduct, Ground, Tram and Underground. Stations can also be named as you choose but will default to nearby landmarks or locations if left unnamed.

You can also view the catchment radius that the station serves.

An overlay is also available to show population density, helping you make informed decisions on where the stations and lines should go.

There is also an overlay to show track speed, which is based on the track profile (curves and turns). Straight sections typically yield higher speeds than curved sections.

Here is an example of one a station, in which the location, orientation and length of the station platforms is entirely under your control.

Now, let us add a second line that connects at Bayview. Starting off with placing the station platforms, then adding and attaching the track to head southbound. When placing track, the more points you add, the more you can control the position, curvature and profile of the track being placed.

Continuing Southbound to the Airport, the game affords the freedom to make your own choices, and as such, this line was designed to be an express service to Carleton University, South Keys and the Airport.

While laying out your stations and track, the game provides you with a cost involved in the construction. While you can choose to play the game on a budget, you can also play with unlimited money, giving you the opportunity to build as you see fit without financial constraints. 

With the stations and track built, it is now time to turn attention to establishing the line itself. Creating a line involves specifying which stations the train will stop at, as well as stop time (dwell time) and interval (frequency). For those wanting to micro-manage everything, you can also set up a cost structure, including fares, based on ticket price and a price per kilometre. Finally, the line can be named, given a code and colour to distinguish it from others on your network.

Next, it is time to purchase some trains. Again here, you have plenty of options, from the style of the train (which dictates capacity and speed, among other things), to name, colours and decals. A train also needs to follow a schedule, so you can go as detailed as you wish or just have it follow the same schedule all day, every day to keep things simple and moving.

Once trains are moving, you can select each to see a breakdown of passengers on board and their destination stations. Passenger satisfaction can also be viewed on the train, and in the station.

While this is just a brief overview of NIMBY Rails in use, you can clearly see that there is a great deal of thought put into this simulator. From a visual perspective being able to build in any city onto real-world maps, simulating passenger flow and usage, operating multiple lines or even branching or interlining, are all possible.

The developers Wierd and Wry have plans for more functionality and features to be added over time as the game continues to develop and grow. As it is currently there are some things that can not be accomplished in-game but are planned for the future. This includes single track operations, as currently the game only proposes double-track arrangements, as well as signals and balises for more control over the operation and movement of the trains. There is also a multiplayer component to the game in which others can join in and collaborate in the design, build and construction of your system.

NIMBY Rails is a great tool for experimenting with rail expansions or new constructions. The possibilities are endless of what you can do and design. Weird and Wry have truly satisfied the creative side of rail in a way never before done, through the use of real-world maps, allowing the element of discovery and creativity to be brought into any city and even your own.

The developer Weird and Wry are very responsive and active on Discord, so providing feedback and helping to shape the game as development continues is very easy and interactive. A community has already formed around the game and there are already Mods being created and available through Steam, which add among other things, additional train models.

NIMBY Rails is highly recommended, for anyone with even a passing interest in rail as it truly allows you the freedom to explore and develop rail in any city around the world.

Purchase NIMBY Rails on Steam by following this link : https://store.steampowered.com/app/1134710/NIMBY_Rails/

---

NIMBY Rails was released January 26, 2021 on Steam as an Early Release title. The game was reviewed on PC using a review download code provided by Weird and Wry.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Backgrounder: A Plan to Permanently Fund Public Transit and Support Economic Recovery

Historic investments made since 2015

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $13 billion for public transit projects through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

These historic investments in public transit have resulted in over 1,300 projects right across the country. Thanks to these investments, more than 247 km of new public transit subway and light rail line has been built, over 300 zero-emission buses have been purchased, and almost 500 km of active transportation trails, bike and pedestrian lanes and recreational paths have been created.

For example, in Vancouver, BC, investments have allowed for upgrades to the Skytrain Expo and Millennium Lines. In Coldwell, MB, the purchase of a handi-van is providing mobility options for seniors and residents with disabilities, and in Montreal, the construction of the Réseau express métropolitain, a new automated light rail network that will span the greater Montréal area, is now well under way.

With these investments, the government has worked with its provincial, territorial and municipal partners to create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster more inclusive communities.

The impacts of COVID-19 and need to build back better

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we use public transit but has not made it any less important. Public transit, rural transit solutions and active transportation infrastructure continue to provide reliable, fast, affordable and clean ways for people to get around. These benefits are felt the most by disadvantaged groups for whom car travel isn't accessible. Essential workers have relied on buses, subways, ride-sharing programs and pathways to get to where they are needed in grocery stores, hospitals and care facilities.

In addition to providing an essential service, Canada's transit systems are key economic drivers, generating hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in economic benefits, starting from the planning stage all the way through construction and operation. Investments in public transit, particularly in electrification, are critical to Canada's meeting its climate targets since the transportation sector accounts for about 25 percent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. As the government looks to economic recovery, public transit is critical to getting the economy moving again.

Canada has a great story to tell on public transit. Most Canadians may not realize that Canada is a world leader in transit manufacturing. Automotive sector workers in Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Kingston, Saint-Eustache and Saint-Jérôme produce some of the world's best buses, subways and LRTs.

Establishing the permanent public transit fund

Today's announcement establishes the creation of a permanent public transit fund of $3 billion per year, beginning in 2026-27 . For decades governments have heard from municipalities and transit authorities that a source of permanent and stable funding is essential to allow for careful and long-term project planning and delivery.

Over the coming months, Infrastructure Canada will work with provinces, territories, municipalities, local governments, Indigenous communities, transit agencies, policy experts and other stakeholders to develop programming for the $3 billion in permanent public transit funding in a manner that offers the greatest benefits to Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Consultations on the design of the new permanent transit funding will begin in the near future to address how all orders of government can work in partnership to get the most out of investments in public transit.

Accelerating ambitious public transit projects and planning

The government is moving rapidly to support the recovery from COVID-19. Building on these historic investments, today the government also announced additional public transit funding that will accelerate ambitious projects and planning that will:

  1. Help Canadians move around easier and create new jobs by building major public transit projects, providing dedicated planning funding to accelerate future major projects, and supporting the expansion of large urban transit systems that many Canadians depend on every day.
  2. Reduce pollution and create jobs for Canadians by enhancing public transit systems and switching them to cleaner electrical power, including supporting the use of zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure.
  3. Support healthy lifestyles in our communities and meet the growing demand for active transportation projects, including by building walkways and paths for cycling, walking, scooters, e-bikes, and wheelchairs.
  4. Help Canadians living in rural and remote areas travel to and from work easier and access essential services, by working with rural, remote, and Indigenous communities to identify and create transit solutions that meet their needs.

The importance of safe, modern, and efficient public transit systems has been magnified over the course of the pandemic, and public transit will remain a critical element of the sustainable mobility of future cities, providing an efficient way to address congestion and reduce pollution, and enabling people in our communities to access jobs, services, and be active participants in those communities. Investments under these new funds will be directed to projects that best support the recovery from COVID-19 and create the greatest benefits for Canadians.

Source : Infrastructure Canada

New public transit investments to build strong communities, fight climate change, and create new jobs across Canada

Investing in public transit infrastructure shortens commute times for families, creates good middle class jobs, grows our economy, and cuts air pollution. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $13 billion in 1,300 public transit projects for communities across Canada. This is the largest public transit investment in Canadian history, and as we build back better from the global COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to make these smart investments that support Canadians.The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced $14.9 billion for public transit projects over the next eight years, which includes permanent funding of $3 billion per year for Canadian communities beginning in 2026-27. This announcement provides cities and communities the predictable transit funding they need to plan for the future, and is part of our plan to create one million jobs, fight climate change, and rebuild a more sustainable and resilient economy. These investments will: Help Canadians move around easier and create new jobs by building major public transit projects, providing dedicated planning funding to accelerate future major projects, and supporting the expansion of large urban transit systems that many Canadians depend on every day.Reduce pollution and create jobs for Canadians by enhancing public transit systems and switching them to cleaner electrical power, including supporting the use of zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure, complementing the work of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.Support healthy lifestyles in our communities and meet the growing demand for active transportation projects, including by building walkways and paths for cycling, walking, scooters, e-bikes, and wheelchairs.Help Canadians living in rural and remote areas travel to and from work more easily and access essential services, by working with rural, remote, and Indigenous communities to identify and create transit solutions that meet their needs.Support our cities and communities by making a permanent and stable federal commitment to funding public transit, and facilitate partnerships between all orders of government, Indigenous communities, transit agencies, and other stakeholders to develop an approach to permanent public transit funding in a manner that offers the greatest benefits to Canadians. Investing in public transit infrastructure will build strong communities across the country and deliver a better quality of life for all Canadians. The government will continue to invest in projects that best support our recovery, create middle class jobs and economic growth, and help us reach our climate targets. Together, we can create a Canada that is cleaner, more competitive, and more resilient for generations to come. Quotes
https://www.railfans.ca/news/new-public-transit-investments-to-build-strong-communities-fight-climate-change-and-create-new-jobs-across-canada
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

New public transit investments to build strong communities, fight climate change, and create new jobs across Canada

Investing in public transit infrastructure shortens commute times for families, creates good middle class jobs, grows our economy, and cuts air pollution. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $13 billion in 1,300 public transit projects for communities across Canada. This is the largest public transit investment in Canadian history, and as we build back better from the global COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to make these smart investments that support Canadians.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced $14.9 billion for public transit projects over the next eight years, which includes permanent funding of $3 billion per year for Canadian communities beginning in 2026-27. This announcement provides cities and communities the predictable transit funding they need to plan for the future, and is part of our plan to create one million jobs, fight climate change, and rebuild a more sustainable and resilient economy. These investments will:

  • Help Canadians move around easier and create new jobs by building major public transit projects, providing dedicated planning funding to accelerate future major projects, and supporting the expansion of large urban transit systems that many Canadians depend on every day.
  • Reduce pollution and create jobs for Canadians by enhancing public transit systems and switching them to cleaner electrical power, including supporting the use of zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure, complementing the work of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
  • Support healthy lifestyles in our communities and meet the growing demand for active transportation projects, including by building walkways and paths for cycling, walking, scooters, e-bikes, and wheelchairs.
  • Help Canadians living in rural and remote areas travel to and from work more easily and access essential services, by working with rural, remote, and Indigenous communities to identify and create transit solutions that meet their needs.
  • Support our cities and communities by making a permanent and stable federal commitment to funding public transit, and facilitate partnerships between all orders of government, Indigenous communities, transit agencies, and other stakeholders to develop an approach to permanent public transit funding in a manner that offers the greatest benefits to Canadians.

Investing in public transit infrastructure will build strong communities across the country and deliver a better quality of life for all Canadians. The government will continue to invest in projects that best support our recovery, create middle class jobs and economic growth, and help us reach our climate targets. Together, we can create a Canada that is cleaner, more competitive, and more resilient for generations to come.

Quotes
"When we invest in public transit infrastructure, we are supporting good middle class jobs, creating better commutes, fighting climate change, and helping make life easier and more affordable for Canadians. We will continue to do what it takes to ensure our economic recovery from COVID-19 and build back a more resilient country for everyone."
The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

"As we build back better, it is time to ambitiously invest in modern and sustainable public transit across our country, to reduce congestion, to help create a million jobs, and to support cleaner and more inclusive communities. Permanent, long-term funding for public transit will mean new subway lines, light-rail transit and streetcars, electric buses, cycling paths and improved rural transit. It will mean that Canadians can get around in faster, cleaner, and more affordable ways. And it will help drive us to net-zero emissions and ensure a more sustainable future for our kids."
The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

"Our government is committed to investing in public transit in communities across the country. We are working in collaboration with municipal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canadians in building a strong economy and clean environment."
The Hon. Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

"Investing in cleaner and more affordable modes of transportation is an important part of Canada's strengthened climate plan – one that means we will exceed our 2030 target and that will put us on a path to get to net-zero emissions by 2050. Transportation accounts for one-quarter of Canada's emissions and represents an area that is in need of smart climate investments, like the ones that we have announced today, to support good Canadian jobs, a stronger economy, and a healthier planet."
The Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick Facts
  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada has spent over $13 billion in more than 1,300 public transit projects across Canada. These investments have helped build more than 240 kilometres of new public transit subway and light rail line, purchase over 300 zero-emission buses, and create almost 500 kilometres of active transportation trails, bike and pedestrian lanes, and recreational paths.
  • Through the Investing in Canada Plan, the Government of Canada is already investing $28.7 billion to support public transit projects, including $5 billion available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
  • In October, as part of the Canada Infrastructure Bank's three-year, $10 billion Growth Plan, the government announced that $1.5 billion of the available funding will be used to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission buses and charging infrastructure so Canadians can have cleaner commutes.
  • Canada's strengthened climate plan committed to provide permanent public transit funding. The plan encourages cleaner modes of transportation, such as low and zero-emission vehicles, transit, and active transportation, to make communities healthier, less congested, and more vibrant.
  • In July 2020, the Government of Canada announced the Safe Restart Agreement, a federal investment of over $19 billion to help provinces and territories restart their economies while protecting the health of Canadians. The investment included a contribution of up to $2 billion to support municipalities with COVID-19 operating costs for six to eight months, and a commitment to cost-match more than $2.3 billion to support any additional provincial or territorial contributions for public transit.

Source : Prime Minister's Office
Audio from Press Conference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.MP3

Backgrounder: A Plan to Permanently Fund Public Transit and Support Economic Recovery

Historic investments made since 2015Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $13 billion for public transit projects through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and the Canada Infrastructure Bank.These historic investments in public transit have resulted in over 1,300 projects right across the country. Thanks to these investments, more than 247 km of new public transit subway and light rail line has been built, over 300 zero-emission buses have been purchased, and almost 500 km of active transportation trails, bike and pedestrian lanes and recreational paths have been created.For example, in Vancouver, BC, investments have allowed for upgrades to the Skytrain Expo and Millennium Lines. In Coldwell, MB, the purchase of a handi-van is providing mobility options for seniors and residents with disabilities, and in Montreal, the construction of the Réseau express métropolitain, a new automated light rail network that will span the greater Montréal area, is now well under way. With these investments, the government has worked with its provincial, territorial and municipal partners to create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster more inclusive communities.The impacts of COVID-19 and need to build back betterThe COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we use public transit but has not made it any less important. Public transit, rural transit solutions and active transportation infrastructure continue to provide reliable, fast, affordable and clean ways for people to get around. These benefits are felt the most by disadvantaged groups for whom car travel isn't accessible. Essential workers have relied on buses, subways, ride-sharing programs and pathways to get to where they are needed in grocery stores, hospitals and care facilities.In addition to providing an essential service, Canada's transit systems are key economic drivers, generating hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in economic benefits, starting from the planning stage all the way through construction and operation. Investments in public transit, particularly in electrification, are critical to Canada's meeting its climate targets since the transportation sector accounts for about 25 percent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. As the government looks to economic recovery, public transit is critical to getting the economy moving again.Canada has a great story to tell on public transit. Most Canadians may not realize that Canada is a world leader in transit manufacturing. Automotive sector workers in Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Kingston, Saint-Eustache and Saint-Jérôme produce some of the world's best buses, subways and LRTs.Establishing the permanent public transit fundToday's announcement establishes the creation of a permanent public transit fund of $3 billion per year, beginning in 2026-27 . For decades governments have heard from municipalities and transit authorities that a source of permanent and stable funding is essential to allow for careful and long-term project planning and delivery.Over the coming months, Infrastructure Canada will work with provinces, territories, municipalities, local governments, Indigenous communities, transit agencies, policy experts and other stakeholders to develop programming for the $3 billion in permanent public transit funding in a manner that offers the greatest benefits to Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Consultations on the design of the new permanent transit funding will begin in the near future to address how all orders of government can work in partnership to get the most out of investments in public transit.Accelerating ambitious public transit projects and planningThe government is moving rapidly to support the recovery from COVID-19. Building on these historic investments, today the government also announced additional public transit funding that will accelerate ambitious projects and planning that will: Help Canadians move around easier and create new jobs by building major public transit projects, providing dedicated planning funding to accelerate future major projects, and supporting the expansion of large urban transit systems that many Canadians depend on every day. Reduce pollution and create jobs for Canadians by enhancing public transit systems and switching them to cleaner electrical power, including supporting the use of zero-emission vehicles and related infrastructure.Support healthy lifestyles in our communities and meet the growing demand for active transportation projects, including by building walkways and paths for cycling, walking, scooters, e-bikes, and wheelchairs.Help Canadians living in rural and remote areas travel to and from work easier and access essential services, by working with rural, remote, and Indigenous communities to identify and create transit solutions that meet their needs. The importance of safe, modern, and efficient public transit systems has been magnified over the course of the pandemic, and public transit will remain a critical element of the sustainable mobility of future cities, providing an efficient way to address congestion and reduce pollution, and enabling people in our communities to access jobs, services, and be active participants in those communities. Investments under these new funds will be directed to projects that best support the recovery from COVID-19 and create the greatest benefits for Canadians.Source : Infrastructure Canada
https://www.railfans.ca/news/backgrounder-a-plan-to-permanently-fund-public-transit-and-support-economic-recovery
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Ontario Urges Federal Government to Fund Updated Hamilton LRT Plan

Following extensive consultation with local partners, Ontario is seeking a financial commitment from the federal government to fund an updated Light Rail Transit (LRT) plan for the people of Hamilton. The province is identifying the Hamilton LRT project as a fifth priority transit project, joining the Ontario Line Subway, Scarborough Subway Extension, Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and Yonge North Subway Extension projects.

"We're keeping our word and honouring our $1 billion capital commitment to transportation infrastructure investments in the City of Hamilton, and we urge the federal government to join us in building a viable LRT," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. "It's going to take all levels of government to make a meaningful Hamilton LRT project a reality. Everyone is going to need to pitch in."

The original Hamilton LRT proposal, approved by the previous government, went from McMaster University to Eastgate Square. This proposal was found to cost significantly more than the reported $1 billion, as confirmed by the Auditor General. These previously-hidden costs posed an unsustainable burden on Ontario taxpayers and informed the decision to update the project proposal.

In response, the province created a Hamilton Transportation Task Force to work to help shape the future of high priority transit in Hamilton by providing new proposals. Within two months, the Task Force submitted its report providing recommendations on future transportation infrastructure for the City of Hamilton.

The Task force noted a higher-order transportation option, such as an LRT, to be their preferred option. Metrolinx has since been undertaking a technical review of the Task Force's recommendations to determine what options were possible, which has been received and reviewed by the Ministry of Transportation.

The technical review indicates a $1 billion LRT system funded solely with provincial capital would not be of sufficient length to be a viable project to benefit the people of Hamilton. The report suggests a longer LRT, for example running from McMaster and extending beyond Downtown Hamilton to Gage or further, could be a viable option pending federal funding. A feasible LRT project is therefore only possible if the federal government partners with the province.

"Our government's commitment has always been and continues to be $1 billion for transportation infrastructure for the City of Hamilton," said Minister Mulroney. "Canada, Ontario and the City of Hamilton have a shared responsibility to build transit infrastructure quickly and efficiently to keep people moving and drive business as we look to strengthen and rebuild our economy. Moving forward with this LRT project would mean Hamiltonians will finally get the transit they deserve."

"I was pleased to speak with the province this morning and welcome the news that they will be naming the Hamilton LRT as one of five priority transit projects," said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger. "We look forward to working with the provincial and federal governments to make this project a reality. Public transit is a priority of Council and I am grateful to Premier Ford and Minister Mulroney for helping to bring this important project back on track."

"Today's announcement recognizing the Hamilton LRT as a priority project is an optimistic step forward for getting shovels in the ground of this highly-anticipated project," said Joseph Mancinelli, LiUNA International Vice President and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada. "Investing in significant transit infrastructure will continue to create thousands of jobs for LiUNA members and workers across the skilled trades, while addressing critical improvements to existing infrastructure, working collaboratively to invest, expand and strengthen communities across Ontario. On behalf of LiUNA, we look forward to a promising partnership with the provincial and federal government as we work together to get shovels in the ground on mass transit priority projects across the GTHA."

Quick Facts
  • The Hamilton Transportation Task Force was created in January 2020 and provided a report to the Minister of Transportation with a list of transportation projects that can be delivered quickly and in a fiscally responsible manner.
  • The Task Force report, released publicly in April, identified a higher-order transit such as an LRT, as their top choice for transportation infrastructure in the city.
Additional Resources
Source : Ontario
Continue reading
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Simon
Never mind how they slash at least $100 million by not indexing it to inflation since 2015. Never mind how that $1B was originally... Read More
Wednesday, 17 February 2021 15:24
1 Comment

TTC Board to discuss options for continued service along Scarborough Rapid Transit corridor

Photo Credit : Nicholas Polischouk

Next Wed., Feb. 10, the TTC Board will discuss the future of Line 3, the Scarborough Rapid Transit system (SRT). (Board Meetings are live-streamed on the official TTC Youtube channel) The issue of whether or not to proceed with the life extension of the SRT is of particular significance given the SRT's trains are 10 years past their design life.

"Our priority is to provide safe, reliable and accessible service to everyone. The SRT trains have already been overhauled to maintain their safety," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "The SRT trains have been in service for 35 years - 10 years past their design life. We know it has become increasingly difficult to maintain reliable service on Line 3 due to the age of the vehicles and obsolescence of critical parts."

Today, in advance of next week's Board meeting, a report was released which outlines three options for interim service until the Scarborough Subway Extension (SSE) is opened in 2030. These options are:

  1. Another investment to overhaul the SRT vehicles coupled with increased bus service;
  2. Decommissioning the SRT with new, replacement hybrid buses operating along the route until the SSE is completed; and
  3. Decommissioning the SRT with a combination of new and currently owned replacement buses operating along the route until the SSE is completed.

It is critical to ensure TTC customers, local communities and stakeholders are well informed of the state of the SRT as well as the various risks and challenges of operating the SRT until the scheduled opening of the SSE. The report also reviews the investment required for each of the outlined options until the anticipated 2030 completion of the SSE with both bus replacement options being more affordable than extending the life of the SRT trains.

The TTC is recommending the Board approve further review of Options 2 and 3.

  • Option 1 is the highest cost option with life cycle cost of $522.4 million and with high risk of not achieving the required service reliability, Option 1 is not recommended for further consideration.
  • Option 2 and Option 3 are both low risk options for achieving the required service reliability and with lower life cycle costs of $374.8 million for Option 2 and $357.4 million for Option 3. Furthermore, both are low risk options from a cost, schedule, and deliverability perspective and therefore are recommended for further consideration.

Pending TTC Board approval, customer and community engagement will be undertaken in order to collect input to inform routing for bus services in the SRT corridor. The aim of the consultation will be to ensure a high quality transit service will be planned and communicated well in advance of any changes to the SRT. The TTC will coordinate with the City of Toronto's Transportation Services to develop priority measures to optimize the bus service along the corridor.

As well, the report to the Board also details consideration for the TTC's mandate to be completely accessible by 2025. Four of the six SRT stations do not currently meet AODA requirements. The complete bus replacement option supports the TTC's goal of making public transit accessible to all by running AODA-compliant, all-accessible buses on the line beginning in 2023.

Read this report here.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a SRT transit customer, how will my trip/journey change if I am now on a bus?

We expect that bus trips may generally take longer than the SRT. However, we expect many of the updated routes will save our customers the transfer in their journey and offer more reliable service.

The bus routing options are to be determined, pending TTC Board review, and will involve public input and detailed analysis of travel times and overall customer experience. This will include potential improvements in the corridor to keep travel times as efficient and reliable as possible.

What are the key challenges to keep the SRT running safely to 2030?

There are a number of challenges in keeping the SRT running until 2030. The key challenges include:

  • Costly: The overhaul to keep the SRT safely running until 2030 is estimated to cost over $520 million, which is unfunded. This is a bare minimum and would not guarantee reliable service.
  • Aging vehicles: The SRT vehicles were designed to be retired in 2010. They are 10 years past their design life of 25 years.
  • Maintenance reliability: The SRT vehicles are becoming increasingly more difficult to maintain, reliability continues to degrade, and parts are becoming more difficult to find.
  • Service reliability: The SRT's service was reduced by 50% from peak in the Fall of 2020 due to technical issues. There are limited spare trains, which are unable to maintain reliable service standards and continue to make service reliability vulnerable.
  • Inclement weather: The SRT is susceptible to inclement weather including overheating in the summer and service suspension in the winter due to snow and ice.
  • Accessibility: All TTC stations and vehicles must be AODA compliant by 2025. Lawrence East, Ellesmere, Midland and McCowan stations are currently not barrier-free.

How many buses are needed to carry as many people as the SRT carries in peak hours?

Overall, it is estimated that an additional 75 buses per hour will travel into Kennedy Station based on today's ridership levels. It is estimated there will be up to 86 buses per hour by 2031.

The replacement service is planned to operate better than one bus per minute, with the aim to replace more than Line 3 Scarborough's current peak capacity. To do this, the TTC would need approximately 60 additional buses if the bus replacement service option is adopted.

Will the additional buses create added congestion and pollution?

The TTC will be purchasing hybrid buses in a commitment to greening our fleet and some of these vehicles will operate in this corridor. These eco-friendly vehicles incorporate hybrid technology and run off power generated onboard that is fueled by diesel engines. Though the vehicles are still using fuel to produce energy, they consume up to 30 per cent less than other non-hybrid buses.

I don't use transit. How will my drive along the corridor be impacted?

There may be increased bus volume in the corridor, which may impact commuting time and residential access. The City and the TTC will be doing investigations as well as outreach and consultations, to determine impacts to businesses, drivers and residents.

Source : TTC

Photo Credit : Nicholas Polischouk

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

A transformational step for Alstom: completion of the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation

Alstom announces today the completion of the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation. Leveraging on its clear Alstom in Motion strategy and its strong operational fundamentals and financial trajectory, Alstom, integrating Bombardier Transportation, will strengthen its leadership in the growing sustainable mobility market by reaching a critical size in all geographies and integrating further solutions and assets to better serve its customers worldwide.

The enlarged Group has a combined proforma revenue of around €15.7 billion[1] and a €71.1 billion[2] combined backlog. It employs 75,000 people worldwide in 70 countries, has unparalleled R&D capabilities and a complete portfolio of products and solutions.

"Today is a unique moment for Alstom and the mobility sector worldwide, with the creation of a new global leader centered on smart and sustainable mobility. More than ever, the world has to engage in a deep environmental and social transition to be able to address the great challenges of urbanization, equal opportunity to economic development and climate change. Transportation, essential to the working and social life but with great environmental impact is at the heart of this transition. Our responsibility, together with the 75,000 people of Alstom today, is to transform our unique set of assets created by this transaction into the enabler of this necessary transformation. Our responsibility is to bring the innovation required for such extreme challenges and that all communities throughout the world, as they are traveling to meet loved ones or to work, can have access to the same quality of service and efficiency, while caring for our planet." said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chairman and CEO of Alstom.

A new global leader in smart and sustainable mobility

A group serving a growing market

The rail market is supported by fundamental growth drivers, such as accelerated urbanisation, public investment strategies, and the worldwide push for green and digital transformation of transport systems. Despite the pandemic, recent stimulus announcements clearly confirm the development of sustainable mobility and more specifically of rail as a long-term priority. The rail manufacturing market is expected to grow at a 2.3% CAGR by 2025[3].

An increased worldwide reach, building on complementarities of the two groups

The Group will have an unparalleled commercial reach in all geographies thanks to the complementarities of the two companies. While the Alstom Group already had a well-established customer base in France, Italy, Spain, India, South East Asia, Northern Africa and Brazil, Bombardier Transportation will bring strong customer proximity in strategic markets such as the United-Kingdom, Germany, the Nordics, China, and North America. The Group will have now in particular very strong capabilities in Europe and North America, which represent approximately 75% of the OEM accessible market.

As previously announced, the headquarters of Alstom of the Americas will be based in Montréal, Québec – leading all operations in the region – as well as establishing a centre of excellence for design and engineering that will build on Québec's well-established strengths in innovation and sustainable mobility.

Alstom will be even closer to its clients and able to leverage its knowledge of mobility worldwide to offer the best, fit-for-purpose mobility solutions.

A complete portfolio of rail products and solutions, strengthened product lines

The Group will offer mobility operators and network providers products and solutions throughout the entire rail value chain. Integrating Bombardier Transportation, Alstom will have the most complete rail portfolio. In Rolling Stock, its portfolio will range from light rail to very high-speed trains, including new strategic products such as people mover and monorail. The Group will be able to serve its clients in the Services space with a wider maintenance facilities network and larger predictive maintenance capabilities. With a fleet of 150,000 vehicles, Alstom will have the largest installed base worldwide, a unique springboard to further expand its leadership in Services. Its Signalling product line gains significant scale, becoming No. 2 worldwide[4] in terms of revenue, acquiring technological capabilities and commercial capacities in strategic markets, complementary to Alstom's.

A global and balanced footprint to serve clients worldwide

The Group will have access to further strategic industrial capacities with competitive industrial footprint across both mature markets, such as Western Europe, North America, Australia, and growing markets, including Eastern Europe, Mexico and India. Bombardier Transportation brings hubs of expertise for locomotives and bogies in Germany, monorail and people movers in Canada, suburban and regional trains in France and the United-Kingdom, traction in Sweden, along with engineering centres in best cost countries in Thailand. It brings also seven well-established joint-ventures in China. With those immediate strategic additions to Alstom's already diversified footprint, the enlarged Group has access to deeper industrial expertise and is closer to its customers.

Unparalleled R&D capabilities to fuel green and smart innovation

Alstom is already a pioneer in mobility with leading innovations such as the recent hydrogen train, autonomous train operation, energy efficient rolling stock and infrastructure. Bringing together c.17,500 engineering and R&D talents from both groups, consolidating a rich legacy of 10,000 patents and incorporating significant additional technologies from Bombardier Transportation, for example in predictive maintenance, signalling and digital operations, the Group will be able to develop solutions at a faster pace and on a larger scale to make mobility of tomorrow a reality. Alstom is accelerating towards its ambition: be the global innovative player for a sustainable and smart mobility.

Confirmed long-term value creation for all stakeholders

Customers and passengers will benefit from the proximity of Alstom's employees and sites, unmatched innovation capacities, a comprehensive rail product & solutions portfolio, and commitment to an efficient delivery.

The employees of Bombardier Transportation join the Alstom Group as from January 29, 2021. These new talents will enrich Alstom's operational profile at all levels and build, with Alstom's employees, one agile, inclusive and responsible Alstom team.

With rail being the lowest CO2 emissive motorized mode of transportation, the Group is more than ever focused on its ambition to decarbonize mobility. Alstom reaffirms its commitments to create a positive impact in the communities it operates, to provide employees with the best working environment and experience, and to be at the highest standards in terms of responsible business practices.

Alstom confirms its objective to generate €400 million cost synergies on annual run rate basis by the fourth to fifth year[5] and to restore Bombardier Transportation's margin to a standard level in the medium term. The transaction is expected to be double digit EPS accretive from year 2 post closing[6] and to preserve Alstom's strong credit profile with a Baa2 rating.

Shareholding and governance: a new main shareholder with a long-term investment approach

CDPQ (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec) today becomes Alstom's main shareholder with 17.5% of Alstom's share capital. CDPQ is committed to a long-term shareholder approach with a strong track record of investing in infrastructure and transport assets.

Bouygues now holds approximately 6% of Alstom's share capital.

In accordance with the resolutions approved by the Alstom's Shareholders' Meeting held on October 29, 2020, Ms Kim Thomassin, representing CDPQ, and Mr Serge Godin joined today Alstom's Board of Directors. Mr Benoit Raillard has been appointed by Alstom's Board of Directors as observer (censeur) upon CDPQ's proposal.

Price and Financing

The reference price was established at €5.5 billion, at the bottom of the range of €5.5 billion to €5.9 billion communicated on September 16th, 2020. The proceeds for the acquisition were established at €4.4 billion, which include the impact of the minimum cash adjustment mechanism based on a negative net cash position of Bombardier Transportation as of December 31st, 2020 and other further contractual adjustments for an amount of €1.1 billion.

The acquisition was financed[7] through the rights issue of around €2 billion completed on December 7, 2020, and part of the senior bond issuance of €750 million completed on January 11, 2021, and by the reserved capital increases to the benefit of affiliates of CDPQ and Bombardier Inc., in total amounts, respectively, of €2.6 billion and €500 million completed today as part of the closing of the transaction[8].

Next steps

Alstom will pursue and finalize sales of certain assets of the combined Group in line with the commitments described in the European Commission's press release on July 31st, 2020. The divestitures will comply with all applicable social processes and consultations with employee representatives' bodies.[9]

Alstom will hold a Capital Markets Day in the summer.

[1] Unaudited pro forma combined revenue for the 12-month period ended March 31, 2020

[2] Calculated by adding up Alstom backlog as of June 2020 (€41.2bn) and Bombardier Transportation backlog as of June 2020 ($33.7bn converted at 1.1284 EUR/USD rate). Bombardier Transportation's backlog figure has not been reviewed for methodological consistency with Alstom's

[3] CAGR between 2017-2019 and 2023-2025 for OEM market - UNIFE Market Study 2020, central scenario (V-shape)

[4] Revenue of signalling activities, based on competitors last publicly available fiscal year (€bn). All figures coming from competitors company fillings, Player #1 and Player #4 completed with Alstom internal estimations; Excluding competitors with a main focus on Chinese domestic market

[5] Post-closing of the acquisition

[6] After cost synergies and implementation costs, and before PPA amortization

[7] The financing proceeds will also contribute to finance the net debt/ cash position of Bombardier Transportation

[8] CDPQ's affiliate, CDP Investissements Inc., subscribed for 64,680,147 new ordinary shares and Bombardier Inc's affiliate, Bombardier UK Holding Limited, subscribed for 11,504,149 new ordinary shares respectively at adjusted subscription prices of approximately €40.67 and approximately €43.46, adjustment resulting of the completion of right issue on December 7, 2020

[9] Alstom will adhere to its divestment and behavioral commitments as part of the European Commission clearance of the acquisition. Details on the behavioral commitments relating to certain on-board units and train control management systems including relevant contact details are available at https://www.alstom.com/obu-commitments

Source : Alstom

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Blue line extension – Naming committee begins work

In its role as project manager and principal contractor of the Blue line extension, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is announcing the implementation of a naming committee, which held its first meeting this week. The committee's members have expertise in a variety of relevant fields and belong to various industries and organizations. Their main task will be to propose names for the future stations on the Blue line extension by summer 2021.

"The members of the committee have no small task ahead, and I would like to thank them for answering the call. Expectations are high, and the names that we select will be written in history. I would also like to note that the committee's appointed members reflect the recommendations of the Public Consultation Commission held last winter in the interest of ensuring proper representation of Montréal's diversity," said Philippe Schnobb, Chair of the STM Board of Directors, who also chairs this committee.

Committee members

  • Émilie Thuillier, Mayor of the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough and member of the Executive Committee, head of the democratic process, transparency, communications, citizen experience and heritage
  • Sonia Djelidi, member of the Conseil interculturel de Montréal
  • Anuradha Dugal, president of the Conseil des Montréalaises
  • André Dudemaine, founding member of Land InSights, Indigenous cultural consultant
  • Yvan Lamonde, historian and member emeritus of the Société historique de Montréal
  • Odile Craig, urban planning advisor, Saint-Léonard borough representative
  • Jocelyn Jobidon, director of urban development, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension borough representative
  • Mathieu Perreault, urban planning advisor, Anjou borough representative
  • Sonia Vibert, head of the Heritage division, Direction de l'Urbanisme, Ville de Montréal
  • Dominic Duford, urban planning advisor for the Heritage division, Direction de l'Urbanisme, Ville de Montréal
  • Laurence Parent, member of the STM Board of Directors, Transport adapté customer representative
  • Philippe Schnobb, Chair of the STM Board of Directors, committee chair
  • Maha Clour, Lead Project Manager, Municipal and Commercial Interfaces, STM
  • Benoît Clairoux, Institutional Communications Advisor, STM

General approach for proposals
The committee's first tasks are to establish the criteria for a proposal to be added to the list of potential names and to determine how to proceed with analyzing the proposals and making final decisions. The committee has already decided to make plenty of space for women in the proposal analysis. It has also set an intention to ensure that the final choices represent multicultural and Indigenous realities. The process will also involve the Banque de toponymie municipale, a list of place names continuously updated through citizen suggestions. Selections will then be made by the appropriate governing bodies within the partner organizations of the Blue line extension project.

"In a few months, citizens, customers and employees will be able to find out what names have been chosen for the new stations. With the naming committee beginning its work, we are one step closer to completing the Blue line extension!" said Schnobb.

Source : STM

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Réseau express métropolitain: Work begins on the North Shore and in Pierrefonds-Roxboro in January 2021

The Réseau express métropolitain (REM) is embarking on a new phase of construction. It will begin work on the North Shore and in Pierrefonds-Roxboro during the first weeks of 2021 in order to commission the future northern portion of the new automated light rail system in November 2024. With the complete shutdown of the rail shuttle running on the former Deux-Montagnes commuter train line on December 31, work will begin in January on the northern portion of the route. Eventually, the old railway line will be transformed to allow for faster, more frequent and higher-capacity transportation service to meet future needs.

Upcoming work

In January, following work being performed by exo and CN to make the railway tracks safer, mobilization of the work sites will begin in these two areas, and preparatory work will start in the following weeks.

Between January and late March 2021, shrubs, trees and small vegetation will be removed within the railway right-of-way. This preparatory work is necessary in order to create temporary work areas and to make room for the REM's infrastructure, such as the doubling of the railway track and the construction of six new stations, along with their entrances and parking lots, etc. These activities are controlled and orchestrated by our environmental experts and are carried out according to industry best practices and in compliance with applicable standards and regulations.

Existing railway infrastructures will also be dismantled, starting with those at the Deux-Montagnes train station at the beginning of the year. The old infrastructure (electrical system, rails, ties, stone ballast) will be demolished to allow for the construction of the automated light rail system. This work will not affect current bus service, and transitional measures and parking spaces will remain available to users.

Beginning in the spring of 2021, work to convert existing crossings to rail or road overpasses will begin in sequence between the Du Ruisseau (in Saint-Laurent) and Deux-Montagnes stations. A total of 14 crossings will be converted on this portion of the route. Obstructions and street closures are to be expected in some areas. Detour routes will be provided.

Other work planned for 2021 in the area includes repairs to and the doubling of the railway track, the construction of retaining walls and overpasses, and the start of construction of REM stations.

A series of public meetings are planned for the Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Laval and Deux-Montagnes areas at the beginning of the year. For the detailed schedule, visit our event page: See the upcoming events

Improved transportation services on the North Shore and in Pierrefonds

Commissioning of the REM on the North Shore and in Pierrefonds-Roxboro (between the Deux­Montagnes and Pierrefonds-Roxboro stations) is scheduled for the fall of 2024. Every effort is being made to optimize the work and testing schedules in order to commission the REM as soon as possible, while ensuring that the necessary systems and operational tests are completed and conclusive.
Eventually, six stations will be built in Deux-Montagnes, Laval and Pierrefonds-Roxboro. The old train will be transformed into an automated high-frequency light rail system (service every 5 minutes during rush hour and every 15 minutes during off-peak times in the area). High-frequency service offers more capacity. The REM has a capacity of 42,120 passengers during the morning rush hour, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., which is almost 2.5 times the line's previous capacity.

Enclosed stations that are protected from the elements will make the experience more comfortable for users, who will wait for the REM on a platform separated from the tracks by an automated screen door system. (It will no longer be possible to drop objects on the tracks or to cross them, improving safety and reliability.) All stations will have elevators and be accessible to people with reduced mobility. Lastly, the cars will be heated, air-conditioned and connected to Wi-Fi.

Source : REM

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Portion of TTC Line 1 to close early Mon.-Thurs.

Mon., Jan. 11 through Thurs., Jan. 14, subway service on the portion of Line 1 between Finch and Eglinton stations will end nightly at 11 p.m. for tunnel and signal upgrades.

Replacement shuttle buses will run, stopping at each station along the route. TTC staff will be on hand to direct customers to shuttle boarding and offloading locations, which will vary from station to station. In addition to the shuttles, the 97 Yonge bus and the University side of Line 1 will be available as alternatives during the closure.

North York Centre Station will be closed. All other stations will remain open for fare sales and access to surface routes and Line 4.

At Sheppard-Yonge Station, the automatic entrances/exits at Yonge St. and Poyntz Ave. and at Yonge St. and Anndale Dr. will be closed. At York Mills Station, the Old York Mills Rd. entrance/exit will be closed. At Lawrence Station, the automatic entrances/exits at Ranleigh Ave. and Bedford Park Ave. will also be closed. Other entrances and exits will be available for customers at each subway station.

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

While the TTC does most subway maintenance at the conclusion of service each night, it continues to require weekend and early weeknight closures to complete critical infrastructure and state of good repair work as well as ATC signal upgrades.

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

Source : TTC

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

New lockdown measures – STM update

With the announcement of the new lockdown measures that will be in effect beginning January 9 for a minimum of four weeks, including a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) wishes to provide an update to reassure its customers who will be affected by this situation, particularly essential workers. Both the bus and métro networks, as well as the paratransit service, will remain available, and the STM will maintain its current level of service.

"Since the beginning of this crisis, essential workers have been able to count on us for transportation, and the coming weeks will be no exception. It is important for us to maintain a sufficient level of service under these exceptional circumstances to enable compliance with physical distancing requirements. Doing this is helping to make public transit a safe mode of transportation, as no outbreaks have been attributed to the use of our networks," said Luc Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the STM.

The STM expects ridership over the next few weeks to be higher than during the first lockdown in the spring, as more business sectors remain open. As such, the STM will not make any major changes to its services, as these have already been optimized to account for both transit needs and operational capacity with the aim of enabling compliance with physical distancing requirements.

Specific ad hoc adjustments may be made, depending on the conditions observed on the ground. Any such changes will be made in the interest of ensuring proper resource management while allowing essential workers to continue making trips under the safest possible conditions. As the situation evolves, customers are invited to use the usual information tools to plan their trips. The STM also wishes to remind customers that they can now see the occupancy levels of the next bus to arrive at a given stop and of métro trains on the Orange line.

Improvements to winter plan for people experiencing homelessness
Because homelessness is a complex social phenomenon involving many civil society stakeholders, the STM is already working closely with the SPVM and its partners in community organizations. These efforts will be redoubled in the coming weeks in order to improve the winter plan. Specific measures will be implemented in light of the 8 p.m. curfew, in particular an increased presence of on-the-ground teams, to continue providing our customers with safe transportation while aiming to allow people experiencing homelessness to access the appropriate resources.

Maintenance of active worksites
The STM's main active worksites will be maintained. This includes accessibility projects at métro stations and the construction of new infrastructure, such as the Bellechasse bus garage. However, work will have to end before 8 p.m. to comply with government policy. No new projects will begin before February 8. Additionally, all health measures will be enforced, particularly keeping the number of people present at a worksite simultaneously to a minimum.

Curfew implementation
With a bus network covering 500 square kilometres and 68 métro stations with 126 entrances buildings and 50 public access points, it would be impossible for STM employees to monitor each customer's reason for making each trip. The STM therefore leaves it to the appropriate authorities to fill this role and call upon the civic duty of all residents to comply with this curfew and the new lockdown measures in place.

"During the day, if you have an essential trip to take by bus, métro or paratransit, take all recommended precautions in place and, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., leave our networks free for those who really need them: the essential workers on the front lines of this pandemic," said Philippe Schnobb, Chairman of the STM Board of Directors.

Source : STM

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

2021 Toronto streetcar infrastructure upgrades

Starting in early 2021, streetcar service will be adjusted to prepare for a busy construction season across the city. These projects will continue the modernization of the TTC's streetcar network by replacing track and overhead systems while coordinating with other City initiatives such as rehabilitating water infrastructure, improving pedestrian safety, and enhancing streetscapes. We encourage customers to check our website and notices at stops regularly for details.

King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles

Construction begins in early 2021 to replace streetcar track, overhead, watermain and sewers at the complex intersection of King Street, Queen Street, The Queensway, and Roncesvalles Avenue. The project will extend the dedicated streetcar right-of-way, enhance streetcar stops and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Starting in January 2021, buses will replace 501 Queen streetcars between Long Branch Loop and Jarvis Street and will replace 504 King streetcars between Dundas West Station and Shaw Street.

Queen Street West track and overhead upgrades

Coordinating with the project at King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles, TTC will also be replacing track from downtown and through Queen Street West in stages to minimize disruption. Replacement buses will detour around sections of Queen Street where track work is taking place. TTC customers are encouraged to use 504 King streetcar service east of Dufferin Street. Overhead upgrades will also take place on the rest of the Queen Street corridor, and on Queen Street East toward the Beaches, requiring bus replacement service in fall 2021.

506 Carlton overhead upgrades/Main Street Station pavement rehabilitation

In January 2021, streetcar service will return between High Park Loop and Broadview Avenue. Buses will continue to operate between Parliament Street and Main Street Station as overhead upgrades are completed in the east end. Customers will need to transfer between buses and streetcars at Parliament Street and Gerrard Street East. In early spring 2021, the bus and streetcar terminal at Main Street Station will be closed for pavement rehabilitation for approximately one month. 506 Carlton replacement buses will be extend to Victoria Park Station via Danforth Avenue.

Broadview Avenue watermain replacement

In May 2021, the City will begin watermain replacement work on Broadview Avenue north of Gerrard Street East. During this time, 504 King and 505 Dundas streetcar service will not operate on Broadview Avenue. Shuttle buses will operate between Broadview Station and King Street and Parliament Street. All 504 King streetcars will turn back at Distillery Loop and 505 Dundas streetcars will turn back at Broadview Avenue.

Dundas West Station streetcar platform expansion

In fall 2021, the TTC will replace track and expand the streetcar platforms at Dundas West Station to reduce delays entering the station. During construction, streetcars and buses will not serve the bus and streetcar loop. Details on service changes and alternate stop locations will be made available later in 2021.

Lake Shore and Kipling track upgrades

In fall 2021, TTC will also replace track at the intersection of Lake Shore Boulevard West and Kipling Avenue and Kipling Loop. There may be detours during the intersection work.

Source : TTC

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

New station walkthrough video brings Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown LRT to life

The grip of winter is starting to take hold, but transit progress doesn't slow down. Construction crews continue to plow forward on the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) project. Metrolinx News takes you inside the project in a newly released station walkthrough video. Check it out.

Don't fancy going for a walk out in the cold?

Why not come on inside and talk a look at how some of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT stations are coming along – right from the comfort of your toasty living room.

Metrolinx and its constructor Crosslinx Transit Solutions continue to make progress on the 19-kilometre long transit line. Tracks are being laid, vehicles are being tested and many of the 25 stations and stops are nearing completion.

Three great examples are Mount Dennis, Keelesdale, and Science Centre stations.

The project really comes to life when you walk down the stairs into Mount Dennis Station and see the platform, the tracks and even see the words 'Mount Dennis' prominently displayed on the wall.

Don't take our word for it, go for a video walkabout here: https://blog.metrolinx.com/2020/12/23/new-station-walkthrough-video-brings-torontos-eglinton-crosstown-lrt-to-life/

Story By : Scott Money, Metrolinx media relations senior advisor

Source : Metrolinx

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Bombardier awarded 30-year services contract for Toronto’s Finch West Light Rail Transit project

Global mobility technology leader Bombardier Transportation announced today that it has signed a contract with Mosaic Transit Partners Maintenance GP (MTM) to provide 30 years of maintenance services for the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in Toronto. Under the agreement, Bombardier will maintain a fleet of light rail vehicles as well as wayside track and overhead catenary system assets for the new LRT line scheduled to be completed in 2023.

The Finch West LRT project is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) of Infrastructure Ontario, Metrolinx and Mosaic Transit Group. Mosaic was awarded a contract to design, build, finance and maintain the new LRT line that will run along Finch Avenue West in Toronto and be fully integrated with the city's existing transit system. Bombardier will be a subcontractor to MTM, which is a joint venture of ACS Infrastructure and AECON.

"We bring our deep understanding of transportation in the GTHA region and our extensive experience as a provider of mobility solutions and participant in PPPs to ensure that Finch West LRT will provide the same high level of safe, efficient and reliable transportation as the rest of the Metrolinx network."
- Elliot G. (Lee) Sander, President, Americas Region, Bombardier Transportation

"We are delighted to be part of the team that is expanding mobility options for the citizens of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)," said Elliot G. (Lee) Sander, President, Americas Region, Bombardier Transportation. "We bring our deep understanding of transportation in the GTHA region and our extensive experience as a provider of mobility solutions and participant in PPPs to ensure that Finch West LRT will provide the same high level of safe, efficient and reliable transportation as the rest of the Metrolinx network."

Bombardier is a global leader in providing rail services that enhance availability, reliability and safety.

Globally, Bombardier supports over 600 services projects with 9,000 services employees in 14 countries. In North America alone, Bombardier provides maintenance and/or operations services for transit systems including Metrolinx (GO Transit and UP Express) in Toronto, exo in Montreal, OC Transpo in Ottawa, TransLink (West Coast Express) in British Columbia, Central Florida Commuter Rail (SunRail), the Maryland Transit Administration (MARC Brunswick and Camden Lines), NJ TRANSIT (River Line), North County Transit District (COASTER and SPRINTER rail services) in California, and the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink).

In addition, Bombardier will maintain the fleet and wayside systems for the Toronto Eglinton Crosstown Line and, as part of TransEd O&M Partners GP, will provide turnkey operations and maintenance services for the new Edmonton Valley Line in Alberta. Bombardier also operates and maintains automated transit systems at 14 airports in the United States and supports customers with overhaul and refurbishment programs, as well as with material and technology solutions.

About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation is a global mobility solution provider leading the way with the rail industry's broadest portfolio. It covers the full spectrum of solutions, ranging from trains to sub-systems and signalling to complete turnkey transport systems, e-mobility technology and data-driven maintenance services. Combining technology and performance with empathy, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility by providing integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers and the environment. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 36,000 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries.

About Bombardier

With over 52,000 employees across two business segments, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world-class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in over 25 countries across the segments of Aviation and Transportation. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Bombardier posted revenues of $15.8 billion US. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Source : Bombardier

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

TransLink prepared for winter snowfall

With this season's first snowfall now occurring in Metro Vancouver, TransLink is releasing details of various initiatives which will be deployed to keep transit moving as safely and efficiently as possible.

"Commuting this winter will look a bit different compared to previous years as we navigate these unprecedented times," says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. "With our comprehensive COVID-19 safety and cleaning measures in place, this winter we'll be working hard to ensure our transit system continues to move safely and efficiently during the colder months ahead."

COVID-19 Winter Initiatives
  • Roping off the control panel area on SkyTrain – SkyTrain cars may have the front section roped off when Station Attendants are required to monitor guideways during snowfall.
  • Mandatory mask rule – During the colder months ahead masks will remain mandatory on transit.
  • Comprehensive cleaning regime – Continuing with rigorous daily cleaning and sanitizing of transit vehicles.
Bus Winter Initiatives
  • Tire socks – Tire socks will be made available for use on Burnaby Mountain and the North Shore.
  • Snow Desk – There will be a designated Snow Desk in the Transit Communications Centre to monitor bus routes and road conditions. The Snow Desk also plays a vital role in communicating with various internal and external stakeholders such as Customer Information, Operations, Maintenance, local municipalities, and universities.
  • Snow Monitoring – Contractors who plow and shovel at bus loops, exchanges, and SkyTrain stations will be encouraged to upload photos for verification of snow conditions.
  • Trolley bus wires anti-icing trucks – Trucks will spray de-icing fluid around the entire 300km electric trolley overhead system when there's frost or ice risk.
  • Additional bus tire traction – Bus Operators can use a snow switch which gives bus tires better traction in snow.
  • Bus switch outs – Articulated buses can be switched for conventional buses. 40-foot conventional buses carry fewer passengers, but have better traction in snow, especially on steep terrain.
  • Snow routes – Work with municipalities to coordinate our service with priority corridors for snow clearing, should conditions become severe.
SkyTrain Winter Initiatives
  • Millennium Line coupling – During heavy snowfall, trains on the Millennium Line will be coupled together (4-car trains) to maximize capacity while SkyTrain Attendants monitor guideways.
  • SkyTrain guideway monitoring – SkyTrain Attendants will be positioned at the front of trains during heavy snowfall. This initiative improves reliability on the system by limiting emergency braking, which can be triggered by heavy snowfall.
  • Canada Line heat tracing – Heat tracing has been installed on the power rail in sections where heavy ice buildup has previously resulted in service disruptions.
  • SkyTrain de-icing – De-icer trains will keep power rails free of ice. During times of overnight snow, some trains will run through the night to keep tracks clear.
  • Problem tree and branch removal – Problem trees and branches situated within ten metres of SkyTrain tracks are being removed.
HandyDART Winter Initiatives
  • Road condition checks – A formal process has been implemented to assess road conditions for customer pickup.
  • Partner communication strategy – If service disruptions or schedule changes occur, there's now a strategy in place to notify day programs and health partners of these changes.
  • Targeting difficult locations – Customers who can be difficult to access during winter are being contacted early to discuss a clearing plan.
  • Extra staffing – If there is a reduction to service, each bus will have two drivers to help customers load and unload.
Source : TransLink
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

TransLink overhauls aging fleet with largest ever SkyTrain order

TransLink today announces that Bombardier Transportation has been chosen to manufacture the largest ever order of SkyTrain cars for the Expo and Millennium Lines.

The 205 new SkyTrain cars will allow TransLink to retire older vehicles, improve fleet quality, and keep service reliable for customers. The contract will also support service expansion as the region's transit network grows with the Broadway Subway Project and Surrey Langley SkyTrain. The first new SkyTrain car is expected to arrive in 2023, with all new vehicles in service by the end of 2027.

The highlights of the $721.2 million order are as follows:

  • 125 new SkyTrain cars to replace first-generation MKI vehicles which entered service in 1985, and to support the Broadway Subway Project;
  • 80 SkyTrain cars to improve capacity on the Expo and Millennium Lines; and
  • An option for additional cars to support Surrey Langley SkyTrain.

The selection of Bombardier follows the completion of a competitive and transparent procurement process. The project was an open market Request for Proposal issued in July 2019 allowing any organization that met the requirements to submit a proposal. Read the 2020 December Board report. TransLink will sign a contract with Bombardier in the coming days.

The purchase of these SkyTrain cars is part of the Expo Millennium Line Upgrade Program. The program is funded with an investment of $1.47 billion through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program with contributions from the Government of Canada, Government of B.C. and TransLink.

Quotes:

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities —
"Together we are making historic investments in public transit infrastructure and, of equal importance, in the Canadians who build it. The Government of Canada's help in buying 205 new SkyTrain cars is not just about faster commutes -- it's about good union jobs, cleaner air, and developing Canadian clean-technology. We're building opportunities for a better Canada. Canada's infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities."

George Heyman, Minister responsible for TransLink and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy —
"Residents and visitors to the Lower Mainland depend on fast and convenient ways to travel throughout the region. The need is growing and along with expanding Skytrain service these new cars will improve the commuter experience as well as reduce carbon emissions. People in B.C. are increasingly choosing public and active transportation options. That's good for our economy and for our environment."

Jonathan X. Coté, Chair of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation —
"This order of SkyTrain cars is a monumental step forward for rapid transit service in our region. These cars will provide a major capacity increase for Expo and Millennium Line riders and help Metro Vancouver's long-term COVID-19 economic recovery by bringing SkyTrain expansions one step closer to completion."

Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO —
"Almost four decades ago our very first SkyTrain cars entered service, travelling between Vancouver and New Westminster. Those first-generation trains have served our region efficiently and reliably over many years, but they are now reaching the end of their lifecycle. This new order will replace our oldest trains and allow us to improve the customer experience, support expansion projects, and manage our capacity well into the future."

Elliot G. (Lee) Sander, Bombardier Transportation Americas Region President —
"We are proud and honored that TransLink is once again choosing to renew its long-standing partnership with Bombardier. Our commitment to support the development of public transit in Metro Vancouver remains as strong as ever. We are also proud that the new rail cars will be designed, assembled and tested in Canada."

More Information

Source : TransLink
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Transit Commission - Confederation Line Update - December 16, 2020

The Transit Commission received an operational update on O-Train Line 1 service today.

Line 1 performance in November was 99 per cent, and since August, OC Transpo has seen a positive performance with service between 97 and 99 per cent over those months.

Rideau Transit Group (RTG) continues to progress through its rectification plan to address reliability issues impacting Line 1. Improvements have been made to all electric and gas-powered switch heaters along Line 1, and Alstom and RTG continue with their daily inspection regime resulting from wheel cracks. The replacement of vehicle wheels continues, and 13 vehicles have had their wheels replaced.

Since the start of the Fall service change in September, ridership across the transit system was at 28 per cent of usual levels. Ridership decreased slightly through September and October due to the reinstatement of certain COVID-19 restrictions. OC Transpo continues to monitor ridership as more customers return to using public transit and is making adjustments as they become necessary.

OC Transpo and Rideau Transit Maintenance have completed winter workshops, reviewed winter operating plans and now have additional personnel in place for the winter months.

Source : City of Ottawa


O-Train Line 1 Update audio and presentation.

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

The east end of Montréal will have its own Réseau express métropolitain

This morning, two years after the signature of the declaration to revitalize the east end of Montréal, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (through its subsidiary CDPQ Infra) has unveiled, together with the Gouvernement du Québec and the Ville de Montréal, a new Réseau express métropolitain (REM) project for the sector.

This new public transit project, consisting of 32 km of light rail and 23 new stations, will meet a historic demand in Montréal's east end and, together with the entire REM project, create one of the largest automated transit networks in the world, with 99 km of rail and 49 stations.

Following the Québec government's mandate, this transit solution was identified after a thorough study of the technical and economic aspects. This study confirms that the project is viable: it meets the transportation needs of local communities, and allows CDPQ to generate the necessary returns to meet the expectations of its depositors while supporting Québec's economic recovery in the years to come.

Significant economic impacts and benefits for communities

This brand new network represents an investment of approximately $10 billion, the largest amount ever invested in a public transit project in Québec. During the construction period, this investment will create more than 9 000 direct and indirect jobs per year.

Ultimately, by accommodating more than 133,000 users per day, REM de l'Est will improve the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people and will support the development of numerous public spaces, while strengthening various types of economic activity and knowledge in this territory.

Furthermore, by offering a fast and reliable alternative transit on the island of Montréal, this new, 100% electric network will save the city more than 35,000 tonnes of GHGs each year.

"Thanks to the innovative spirit and world-class expertise of our teams in developing major infrastructure projects, we are putting forward a public transit system proposal that meets both the needs of our six million depositors, and the need for mobility in the eastern and northeastern sectors of the island. This is a sustainable investment that will contribute to Quebecers' retirement plans and generate significant benefits for the economy, the environment and communities. At CDPQ, we call this constructive capital, since it allows us to combine performance and progress."

- Charles Emond, President and Chief Executive Officer, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

"I am very happy that today, we are fulfilling one of our major promises for Montréal's east end. We are announcing the largest investment ever made in public transit in Québec, with major economic benefits. The east end of Montréal has great economic potential, but at the moment, public transit services in this part of the city are not up to par. We promised that a CAQ government would change that. I'm extremely proud that we're delivering on our promise. This project will improve the quality of life for thousands of Québecers on a daily basis, create wealth not just for east end of Montréal but all of Québec, and help us reduce our GHG emissions."

- François Legault, Premier of Québec

"Our government has invested more in public transit than any other government in the history of Québec. With REM de l'Est, we will provide users with comfortable trips that are priced fairly and, most importantly, operate twice as fast as anything currently available. This time saved is valuable time that workers, students and senior citizens will have for themselves and their families."

- François Bonnardel, Minister of Transport

"Montréal's east end has definitely begun its recovery. This project will enable the region to reach its fullest potential, both economically and socially. Thanks to the interconnected modes of transit, a world of opportunities is opening up to the population—for access to quality jobs and higher education. With a green, modern mode of transportation offering picturesque river views, the entire image of the region will be transformed, and the future of the East will be shaped."

- Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region

"This project has the potential to transform mobility in the east and northeast of the metropolis and to become a formidable engine for economic recovery. This new access to downtown public transit will open up horizons for several Montréal neighbourhoods, including Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montréal-Nord, Saint-Léonard and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. In order to make it a real lever for urban redevelopment, the urban integration and architectural signature will have to be exemplary. The REM de l'Est will have to be an architectural success, both on board and around the train."

- Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal

"The arrival of this mobility solution is an opportunity to create user-friendly facilities, develop neighbourhoods on a human scale, and reclaim the banks of the St. Lawrence River. It will transform the nature of transit in Montréal's east end with time savings of up to 70 per cent, while bringing neighbourhoods closer together and accelerating the revitalization of this vast territory with enormous potential. REM de l'Est will provide a distinctive entrance to the downtown area by integrating a unique architectural structure inspired by the best practices from around the world."

- Jean-Marc Arbaud, Managing Director of CDPQ Infra

When added to existing transit systems (metro, trains and buses), the REM will complete an integrated, competitive and environmentally friendly transit system across greater Montréal area—one that reflects a 21st-century vision.

An architectural signature for integration with the downtown area

Numerous studies were conducted to establish the route which the REM de l'Est will take; they resulted in the development of new north–south and east–west travel axes, while adding a new light rail line in the heart of downtown Montréal between the metro's orange and green lines. The addition of four stations in the René-Lévesque Boulevard corridor, which is a busy and strategic artery, will significantly improve transit options for downtown.

The elevated structure and stations will receive special attention in their architectural treatment, to ensure they endow downtown Montréal with a modern and symbolic aesthetic.

An advisory committee will be set up in collaboration with the Ville de Montréal so recommendations can be submitted prior to project design, with the aim of maximizing the network's architectural integration into the communities along its route. Well-known experts in urban planning, architecture, heritage, arts and culture, business and the environment will sit on the panel and provide their input. Architectural firms from Québec will also be mandated to ensure the structures and stations integrate harmoniously with the existing environment.

Next steps and factors for success

Today's launch marks the start of a consultation process, one that includes a tour to discuss the matter with the general public, civil society and with all project stakeholders. In the coming months, during every stage of the project, CDPQ Infra will maintain an ongoing dialogue through active, regular and transparent communication.

CDPQ Infra will set up technical workshops with the relevant authorities so as to enhance and optimize the project. The REM de l'Est project will be submitted to the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) for review as early as 2021.

In managing this project, CDPQ Infra will act with strict due diligence throughout the procurement process, and its governance structure will be inspired, as in the past, by global best practices for efficiency and transparency.

The public is invited to consult the new online section for this project at cdpqinfra.com/en and to follow the project stages by subscribing to our newsletter. The media are also invited to consult the technical presentation and can access all the visuals and videos in the media kit.

Follow the project on Twitter: @CDPQInfra

Technical Data Sheet Benefits of the new proposed network

With a total of 32 km of light rail, divided into two branches that converge toward downtown Montréal, as well as 23 new integrated and universally accessible stations, this network will link Montréal-Est and the boroughs of Rivière-des-Prairies – Pointe-aux-Trembles, Montréal-Nord, Saint-Léonard, Rosemont-Petite-Patrie, Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Ville-Marie.

The arrival of this transit network in the east and northeast will relieve road congestion, reduce pressure on the metro, spur investment, increase use of the river and its access points, and act as a springboard for development projects.

This new light rail network will offer significant gains:

  • a major improvement in public transit options and direct access to downtown, now 30 minutes from Montréal-Nord, 25 minutes from Pointe-Aux-Trembles and 10 minutes from Maisonneuve Park (Viau);
  • improved quality of life thanks to 25 to 70% time savings per trip, and less time lost in traffic;
  • a new network to facilitate travel that is well-integrated with other transit networks, generating more than 133,000 users per day;
  • a competitive alternative to solo driving, thereby decreasing the impacts of traffic congestion, estimated at more than $4 billion per year;
  • a project that benefits future generations and the environment by saving more than 35,000 tons of GHGs per year;
  • a high-quality transit service: fast, frequent, reliable, universally accessible, with a free Wi-Fi network and a platform screen door system meeting some of the highest safety standards in the world;
  • a connection to employment, education and health centres by linking, for example, Cégep Marie-Victorin, Pointe-aux-Prairies nature park, Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital, the Olympic Park, Maison de Radio-Canada, UQAM, CHUM, Place des arts and Place Ville-Marie;
  • its role as an important vector for rehabilitating contaminated brownfields in the east end of Montréal;
  • acceleration of projects already under development, including the Notre-Dame Street project for reclaiming the river and its access points.
Source : CDPQ Infra
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

VIA Rail's procurement process to modernize maintenance centres in Montreal and Toronto moves to second phase

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is delighted to announce that it launched on November 30th, the second phase of its procurement process to modernize its maintenance centres in Montréal and Toronto in preparation for the arrival of its new Québec City-Windsor corridor fleet.
Following the Request for qualifications, launched in January 2020, five companies have been selected to participate in two separate Request for proposals (RFP) processes and will need to submit their respective proposals by July 2021 (for the Toronto Maintenance Centre) and August 2021 (for the Montréal Maintenance Centre):

- Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc.

- Buttcon Limited

- EllisDon Corporation

- Kenaidan Contracting Ltd.

- Pomerleau Inc.

"Despite the pandemic, we have continued to work on our large-scale modernization projects, which will transform passenger rail service in Canada; this announcement is proof of the progress we are making. This is, in fact, another example of how we are getting closer to completing one of the building blocks of our High Frequency Rail project, which will offer more frequencies and connect more communities to our network," said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "The Federal government's investments in VIA Rail will allow us to stimulate the economy both in the short and long term, while also supporting an environmentally sustainable recovery by having an impact on the reduction of road congestion, and, therefore, on greenhouse gas emissions."

The project to modernize the maintenance centres in Montréal and Toronto is part of the Corridor Fleet Replacement Program, for which funds were allocated in the Federal government's 2018 budget.

VIA Rail will conduct fair, open and transparent RFP processes and in line with industry best practices. In addition, an independent Fairness Monitor has been appointed to ensure that the RFP processes will be executed with the utmost diligence and fairness. VIA Rail will be supported by a team of technical, financial and legal experts throughout the processes.

The following criteria will be used when selecting the firms during the procurement process: price and quality, which includes, amongst others, construction schedule and safety.

The scope of work for the project includes:

- A combination of constructing new buildings and making facility infrastructure upgrades at both centres, including architectural, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and communication engineering systems.

- Supplying and installing train set maintenance equipment to support the new and existing fleets.

The first train set of the new Corridor fleet is expected to be commissioned into revenue service in 2022.

Useful links:

- VIA Rail launches RFQ to replace its Québec City – Windsor Corridor fleet

- VIA Rail announces trainset manufacturers participating in the RFP for its Québec-City Windsor corridor fleet

- VIA Rail selects Siemens Canada to replace its Québec City – Windsor Corridor fleet

- VIA Rail issues request for qualifications to modernize its Montréal and Toronto maintenance centres

Source : VIA Rail

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Montreal’s metro now fully connected to the mobile network

The Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) and its partners—TELUS (as project integrator), Bell, Rogers and Vidéotron—are proud to announce that the deployment of the 4G LTE mobile network is now complete in all 68 stations and 71 km of tunnels that make up Montreal's metro system. With the Jolicoeur, Monk and Angrignon stations connected today, this complex project, launched in 2013, has now been completed within its stated schedule, scope and budget, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The project involved an investment of nearly $50 million—funded in equal parts by telecommunications providers Bell, Rogers, TELUS and Vidéotron—and it has provided the STM with Canada's largest indoor digital network and the longest underground wireless network in the country. This special collaboration among the country's largest telecom companies has brought uninterrupted connectivity and stable, 100% LTE coverage throughout the STM stations and trains. STM passengers can now enjoy a download speed of up to 275 Mbps, which is comparable to what they might get at home.

The upgrades required the deployment of radiant cable and antennas in tunnels, the installation of technical cabinets in stations, and the addition of five utility rooms containing specialized equipment and located at key points in the network to ensure optimal coverage.

Through close coordination and meticulous planning, the teams involved managed to complete the project in compliance with all of the key parameters defined for the project. Another fact worth mentioning is that this work was completed with minimal impact on STM commuters and did not require full or partial closures of any stations or entry points, nor did it cause any disruptions to passenger travel. All of this was achieved despite the inherent challenges of such a complex project and completed in an environment that tens of thousands of people walk through every day, with multiple work sites in progress at any given time.

Quotes

"I'm very proud to see this innovative, visionary project being completed today for the benefit of the STM and its customers," exclaimed Michel Lafrance, General Manager of STM subsidiary Transgesco s.e.c., a limited partnership. "With its unique funding model, the partnership between Bell, Rogers, Telus and Vidéotron is the envy of transit corporations around the world."

"I'd like to salute the hard work and collaboration of our partners—Bell, Rogers, TELUS and Vidéotron—who did a masterful job spearheading this project, together with the STM teams," added STM Chairman of the Board Philippe Schnobb. "The deployment of the mobile network will greatly improve our customers' commuting experience, and also enable us to communicate more effectively with them. Today is truly a great day for the Montreal metro system!"

"As project integrator for the design and implementation of the 4G LTE network in the STM metro system, TELUS is proud to have played a role in improving the commuter experience with speeds and underground coverage that are unprecedented in the country," explained François Gratton, Executive Vice-President, Group President, TELUS and Chair, TELUS Health and TELUS Quebec. "This public transit achievement reflects our ongoing commitment to building stronger, better-connected communities in Montreal and across the country."

"Bell has kept Montréalers connected since our company was founded here in 1880, and we're proud to partner in this outstanding communications achievement by the STM," said Karine Moses, Bell's Vice Chair, Québec. "We offer our thanks to the STM and all our network partners for their leadership in making Montréal's underground mobile network one of the most advanced in the entire world."

"Montrealers want to stay connected when they take the metro, and Rogers is proud to help provide STM users with reliable, consistent wireless service," said Édith Cloutier, President of Quebec, Rogers Communications and Vice-President, Sales, Enterprise and Public Sector, Quebec and Ottawa. "Commuters can now remain connected to what matters most to them for their whole trip."

"Vidéotron is so proud of having contributed in the deployment of this one-of-a-kind network," concluded Jean-François Pruneau, President & CEO, Vidéotron. "From now on, the millions of passengers who take the metro each year will be able to communicate, browse the web and work during their travels. As supporters of a connected life for Quebecers, we want to make people's lives easier and make technology accessible. This project suits this vision to a T."

Source : STM

Photo : Louis-Étienne Doré

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Alstom's hydrogen train successfully completes three months of testing in Austria

Alstom's Coradia iLint, the world's first hydrogen fuel cell train, has just completed three months of successful test operation on ÖBB's (Austrian Federal Railways) regional lines. This comes just after it received official approval from the highest railway authority in the country, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK).

These important milestones make Austria the second country in Europe, after Germany, to fully approve of the Coradia iLint as an emission-free alternative to diesel multiple units. Alstom once again underlines its world-leading position in hydrogen mobility by rail - no other train manufacturer can currently offer a proven, tested hydrogen train ready for series production.

"We are immensely proud to confirm that the Coradia iLint has proven that it is suitable for all service routes – even on steep sections its performance is convincing. Not to mention our pride in the fact that the train has now received official approval in Austria. I also congratulate OBB for being a pioneer in testing hydrogen technology on rail in Austria," said Gian Luca Erbacci, Senior Vice President of Alstom Europe.

During the three months of testing on four demanding routes in southern Lower Austria, Vienna and eastern Styria, ÖBB and its passengers witnessed operability and performance of the new drive technology based on fuel cells - even on steep track sections and under the most varied climatic conditions. ÖBB is very positive about the hydrogen train and the test run. Following the successful operation in Austria, the data collected will now be analysed to further perfect the technology for the context.

An overview of Alstom's hydrogen train milestones:

  • 27 November 2020

Successful end of a three-month test operation by ÖBB in regular passenger service

  • October 2020

Approval of the Coradia iLint as the only hydrogen train for the Austrian railway network by the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK)

  • March 2020

Alstom has successfully tested its Coradia iLint fuel cell train for ten days on the 65 km route between Groningen and Leeuwarden in the Dutch province of Groningen.

  • May 2019

RMV's subsidiary fahma orders the world's largest fleet of fuel cell trains from Alstom. 27 fuel cell trains will replace diesel multiple units on four regional train lines in the Taunus region from 2022. This brings the total number of vehicles sold to 41.

  • January/February 2019

Coradia iLint at "Rail Show" in six federal states

  • September 2018-February 2020

After 530 days and more than 180,000 driven covered, the successful trial operation of the world's first two hydrogen trains in the Weser-Elbe network comes to an end.

  • July 2018

Approval for passenger transport on the German public network

  • March/April 2017

First test runs of the Coradia iLint on the company's own track in Salzgitter at 80 km/h and in Velim (Czech Republic) at up to 140 km/h.

  • November 2017

Alstom and the Local Transport Authority of Lower Saxony (Landesnahverkehrsgesellschaft Niedersachsen, LNVG) sign a contract for 14 Coradia iLint trains to replace the existing diesel trains from the beginning of 2022.

  • September 2016

Alstom unveils its Coradia iLint zero-emission train at the InnoTrans fair.

Source : Alstom

Photo Credit : Alstom - Christophe Busse

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Bombardier and Alstom Confirm Receipt of All Necessary Regulatory Approvals to Complete Bombardier Transportation Sale to Alstom

Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) and Alstom announced today that all necessary regulatory approvals required to complete the sale of Bombardier Transportation to Alstom have been received.

Bombardier and Alstom now expect the transaction to close on January 29, 2021.

About Bombardier

With over 52,000 employees across two business segments, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world-class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in over 25 countries across the segments of Aviation and Transportation. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Bombardier posted revenues of $15.8 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Bombardier is a trademark of Bombardier Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Source : Bombardier

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Support Us

Why is your support important?
Rail Fans Canada is organized primarily for informational purposes. Our purpose is to provide access to knowledge and discussions on rail based public transit in Canada. The activities we undertake for this purpose do cost money, but Rail Fans Canada hopes to raise part of that money through donations in favour of the public good it seeks to create.

Where would donations go?
Donations will help us pay the activities we engage to pursue our purpose such as hosting and web development, program organization and archiving, research and editing. But most importantly, your donation will help to build an inclusive community where people within and outside the industry come together, feel empowered and counted on.

Other ways you can support us:

  • Suggest a topic - If there is a topic of interest that we currently do not cover, please share it with us. We would do our best to research and add it to our content lineup.
  • Spread the word - Let your friends, relatives and colleagues know about Rail Fans Canada. How about suggesting them to recommend a topic or watch our interviews and informational videos? Follow us on our Social Media channels.

Thank you for your support!


Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

STM introduces occupancy levels for métro network customers

In another move designed to facilitate its customers' trips during the pandemic, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is giving customers the ability to check the occupancy levels of its AZUR trains on the Orange line. The information will be displayed on the Métrovision screens located on station platforms on the Orange line, the métro's busiest line, starting today.

"This initiative was put forward in collaboration with Astral Média, our partner responsible for the Métrovision screens. The goal is to improve the customer experience on public transportation. Having access to this information is more pertinent than ever, as public health authorities are constantly reminding us to keep our distance as much as possible," said Philippe Schnobb, Chairman of the STM Board of Directors. Additionally, all Métrovision banners in the network now have an updated interface and a new weather icon.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight the remarkable work of our employees. Innovating during a pandemic is no easy task. It requires not only considerable agility but also a sense of creativity and a constant desire to reinvent ourselves for the greater benefit of our customers," said Luc Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the STM.

On Métrovision screens

The STM is able to provide occupancy levels on the Orange line because it is served entirely by AZUR trains. They are the only trains with the necessary electrical components to estimate the number of passengers on board. The information provided will include:

  • Four levels of occupancy, like those used on the mobile site
  • Up-to-the-minute refreshing and an AI system that accounts for ridership history implemented by STM teams
  • Near-real-time estimates for each train car
  • An invitation for customers to move toward the front or back of the train, when applicable

On the STM website

Information on Orange line peak periods will also be available on the STM's website, including on its new mobile version, which is already fully deployed and includes other new features, such as:

  • Real-time bus occupancy levels
  • Optional location settings and network map on the home screen
  • Schedules viewable at a glance
  • Ability to add favorites (buses or locations)
  • Search tool now available on all pages
  • Site accessibility for those using screen readers

Bus occupancy levels are also available on our partner apps, Transit and Chrono.

Learn more about the new mobile site

Learn more about occupancy levels

Source : STM

Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments