Canada’s gridlocked mayors call for multi-level strategy on transit


The following news item shows that the issue of public and regional transit and funding of transit is beginning to creep into the politicians radar. Throwing more money at transit will not solve very much as politicians have a very strange habit of funding their ‘pet‘ projects. The federal government can help by rewriting the ‘Railways Act’ to take into account their almost total monopoly over railway infrastructure, the vast majority of it paid for by the Canadian taxpayer. Small commuter-rail lines and the advent of the TramTrain, means that the national and regional railways must make available (by statute or contract) train pathways for such services on their rails.

RFV makes the following suggestions for Canada’s ‘gridlocked‘ mayors to make of the federal government.

  1. Mandate by law that railway companies must allow passenger/commuter rail/tramtrain service on their lines.
  2. Mandate by law that all disused or abandoned rail routes, in urban areas, are kept for ‘rail‘ transit use.
  3. Mandate by law a funding cap of $25 million/km. be placed on all road and rail transit projects; all costs above the funding cap must be approved by local referendum.
  4. Mandate by law a full and open independent review of all transit projects, which cost over $100 million.
  5. A review and implementation of new road and highway safety rules for railway crossings, with the onus placed on the auto driver to obey such rules.

Such laws in place in Canada would help curb the present mania for gold-plated transit projects so favoured by politicians and bureaucrats, as well leave open cheaper options for ‘rail‘ transit projects hitherto ignored in this country. We are nearing the precipice of ‘peak oil’ and ‘global warming’ and there will be a great need to utilize both existing railway lines and abandoned and disused rail lines. To prepare for the future, our politicos must act now.

Canada’s gridlocked mayors call for multi-level strategy on transit

By Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service
OTTAWA — Gridlock and lack of federal funding for public transit is jeopardizing Canada’s economic recovery, say mayors from across the country.


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