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Toxic Express Train Project Is On It’s Way!

Did you know Berlin, Copenhagen, Melbourne, Munich, Oslo, Rome and Stockholm are considered world class cities?  One of the major reasons they gained their status is thanks to their electric trains that stop intermediately along the route.

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Toronto is merely aiming in that direction as construction for high-speed, diesel fueled trains going from Pearson Airport to Union Station is in full effect. This translates into $300 million of tax money being spent on a private sector, allowing over 100 noisy, pollution causing trains to go by each day.

The City Councilors support the federal and provincial government’s decision to improve Toronto’s transit connection.  However, with reasonable requests, that there will be no road closures along the route. Additional stops will be created including a stop in Weston.  Metrolinx who is responsible for the project will employ electric vehicles and finally the public transit alternatives in the Georgetown corridor and serving the airport can be a component of any service improvements.

Unfortunately, the provincial and federal government not only refuses Toronto the extra $100 million to make the Air-Rail electrical, but neglects a responsible environmental management during its activities of planning and implementing construction.

The pile driver explosions have started and will continue for the next 18 months causing the sound level near a local school at 107 decibels.  Due to “lack” of time the studies of air quality from receptors involving carcinogens will not be conducted and the environmental study report has been delayed until June.  Furthermore, when the project was first being designed in 2003 a one way trip was calculated to $20, by the time the train is running only few will afford to be passengers.

Mike Sullivan, the chair of Weston Community Coalition offers a more strategic and tactical solution to Air-Rail:

“We have suggested 10 stops from Humber College to Liberty Village; Stop #1 Pearson Airport, Stop #2 Woodbine (Hwy 27), Stop #3 Rexdale (Kipling Ave.), Stop #4 Weston Village (Lawrence Ave.), Stop #5 Trentheway (Jane Street), Stop#6 Mount Dennis (Eglinton Ave.), Stop #7, Carleton Village (St. Clair Ave.), Stop#8 Junction (Dupont), Stop#9 Brockton Village (Bloor Street), Stop #10 Parkdale, (Queen/King Streets W.), Stop #11 Fort York (Strachan), Stop #12 Union Station.

We have also said it should be electric, ideally interfacing with the subway. Noise and pollution would be almost non-existent, and it would be an easy fix for a quadrant of the city with no rapid transit. It would still be a rail link to the airport, which most world-class cities have. No other city uses diesel trains, and almost all have intermediate stops along the route. We want a world-class transportation system!”
The comprehensive environmental research and planning are integral parts that are lacking in the Air-Rail project.  Unless the fares reflect current transit options, stops are created at appropriate places and environmentally sustainable transport is used, the project will result in physical and social separation, hinder future generations as well as prevent Toronto to emerge as a world class city.

To read more details about the project please visit the Metrolinx website: metrolinx.com and Weston Community Coalition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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