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Citizen-Z Cavan Young's 2004 film about the zamboni crisis





March 8, 2009, 5 e-mail

M. S. wrote

Some corrections to the information being posted.

Re: the fare. The Fare was suggested at $20 in May of 2002 as a fare which would optimize profit for the private operator. Part of the determination was that the train would be operated as a ‘premium’ service. To do that it could never be overcrowded. So the fare had to be high enough to ensure that at rush hour, the trains would be only just full, not overfull. That fare was based on interviews with passengers at various fares. Public transit and taxi fares have gone up substantially in the past 7 years, so it is not unthinkable that a $30 or $35 fare today would have that effect. The complete study is on our website (www.westoncommunitycoaltion.ca). It is the Halcrow study. An earlier study in 2001 by KPMG, set an optimum profit fare at $14. In any event, the fare would be completely unregulated, and would, similar to 407, be set in order to prevent the service from becoming too popular. Both studies assumed much larger railcars than planned by SNC Lavalin (BUDD cars will seat 60, the studies were based on 80 or more).

Re: Taking Cars off the road. Perhaps the least understood part of the proposal is the actual impact in terms of pollution. If, as promised, it will be Tier 3 diesel, the air-rail-link will actually cause as much as 10 times the pollution of the cars it takes off the road. The claim is for 1.2 Million cars off the road per year. That results in 12 passengers per railcar, on average, over the year. (Two car sets, running 140 times per day, over 365 days per year). Tier 3 engines on this Air-Rail-Link will produce, on a per-mile basis, 21 times the Reactive Organic Gases, 104 times the Nitrous Oxide, and 117 times the Particulate Matter of an automobile. Our figures come from an EA study done in Santa Cruz with similar vehicles, in 2004, corrected for the slight improvement Tier 3 provides. With only 12 cars being taken off the road per ARL vehicle, this is a significant increase in noxious pollution. Based on an estimated fuel economy of 2.5-3.5 MPG, It will generate the same quantity of Greenhouse Gases as the cars taken off the road. With a maximum capacity of 60 passengers, it will be physically impossible to reduce pollution. The problem can only be corrected by making the air-rail-link be electric.

Unfortunately writers such as A.M. do not see the forest for the trees. They believe the spin that taking cars off the road by using rail is a net reduction in harm to our environment. In this case it is not. And in the rush to enjoy the ‘convenience’ of a rail link, really only of any advantage to those going to or from the downtown core, communities such as Weston must be sacrificed to that desire, through increased pollution, and a much disturbed quality of life. At the end, this will be the busiest heavy rail corridor on the planet, with a train every 3 minutes or so. The so-called tunnel in Weston is a 1.3 km open trench with a lid over 300 metres of it. And GO transit has said (though denied by Metrolinx) that the GO station will close in Weston if a HUB is opened further south at Eglinton.

J. M. wrote:

Hi there --

Your e-mail was really interesting and it prompted me to put excerpts into the March Dufferin Grove Park Newsletter: http://www.dufferinpark.ca/newsletter/wiki/wiki.php/#train. We've also started a thread of the postings from the Dufferingrovefriends list, along with a little photo gallery of a bike ride I took yesterday, here: http://celos.ca/wiki/wiki.php?n=orgetownExpansionAndTheAirRaillink.FrontPage.

You mention that you or someone from your group would be willing to give a presentation. This past summer we tried out a "Speakers' Series" at Dufferin Grove Park, and there was enough interest that we want to resume it now that the rink season is over. We'd like to combine it with the regular Friday Night Supper, which would mean supper from 6 to 7.30 and presentation from 7.30 until whenever. It would be in the rink clubhouse.

Would your group be interested in doing a presentation on March 20 or on any Friday in April? It comes with a free supper for the presenter(s), and the food is delicious.

S. W. wrote:

Very please to make contact with you -- I have heard your name for many years! I think we could come down that night for a presentation but I will also ask our Chair if he has that night open or any in April on a Friday. It is so important that we connect with more of the downtown communities that have more 'power' than we do and have not been slammed in the media for being 'NIMBY's'. Your community has always gotten very good reception from what I remember for being leaders and environmentalists. We would be very happy to have you join our cause!

I will email you back soonest as soon as I have spoken with Mike Sullivan and the others to see who is available.

J. M. wrote:

Hello S., I don't think any neighbourhood is safe from being caricatured in the media as some kind of dopey group, nor do I think we have our hands on much power over here. But making friends with thoughtful people is always enjoyable. It seems from what I've heard so far that you folks have been working really carefully and trying to get behind the facade that so often fronts these mega-projects. So I'm looking forward to meeting people from your group. When we've set a date, we'll put out the word as widely as we can.

Re the date: I just found out that March 20 is not available as a date after all -- the speaker that night is on "crime in the neighbourhood" (low, but important to know about), reporting on a court follow-up project we've had here for about a year.

So that leaves any Friday in April when someone (or several people) could be our Friday Night Supper guests and talk for about an hour afterwards. If there are photos and blueprints etc., we can print them off and put up a display that can circulate around the park over the next few months afterwards too. Lots of people come to parks in spring, and lots of them like to look at signboards.

Also: do you have connections with the West Toronto Junction Historical Society? The Friends of Sorauren Park? The South Junction Triangle Residents' Association? Others? (Just wondering).

S. W. wrote:

Thanks J. I am sure that April will be fine -- we worry however, that because there is a short window on this EA starting, that we ensure that we get many voices chiming in. The deadline is actually March 16th for people to voice their concerns and ask good questions. There is one gentleman who has submitted 27 amazing technical and environmental questions that they MUST answer -- I don't think they can however.

Our President of our Historical Society sits on the LACAC, so she is familiar with all the Society's but if you have specific contacts for any of the associations you mention, I'd greatly appreciate it!

I will let you know shortly about availability on the Fridays.


Content last modified on June 13, 2009, at 03:01 PM EST