Please join Mike Sullivan, MP York South-Weston, for a Community Townhall Meeting to discuss the Georgetown-Union Station/Air Rail Link
When: Thursday March 8, 2012, at 6:30 pm
Where: York West Active Living Centre, 1901 Weston Rd.
Please join me on March 8th as I provide a community update and impact on Weston as Metrolinx gears up to officially begin construction on the Air-Rail Link later this year.
Guest Speaker: Jonah Schein, MPP Davenport & Ontario NDP Transportation Critic.
As you are aware, the Provincial Government, through its agency Metrolinx, is handling the Georgetown-Union Station/Air-Rail Link expansion that will go through our community. Federally, however, the NDP continues to press for electrification of this line at the outset of service. In addition to Bill C-305, which is Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow's National Public Transit Strategy Bill, Parliament`s Transport Committee (on which I sit) will be studying the issue of rail electrification this year.
The NDP position is that the Air-Rail Link should be electrified before service starts. A study commissioned by the Province clearly shows the benefits of electrification. However, we disagree with the study timeframes that suggest it will take 27 yearsto electrify this line. Other countries have done similar work in 2 or 3 years.
The benefits of electrification are obvious: besides the elimination of diesel pollution, electric trains are quieter, lighter, and faster. They will make it easier to breathe, hear, and to get to work. But the international benefits are clear, too. Canada will be a laughingstock if we become the only country in the OECD world running diesel trains to an international airport.
There are many other parts of this file that Metrolinx seems to have bungled or misled the public on. The Air-Rail Link vehicles are incompatible with GO trains and, although they share stations, they will have to have their own platforms. Moreover, the trains for the Air-Rail Link cannot be transferred to other GO lines without similar new platforms being built.
On the matter of noise barriers, Metrolinx has reacted to public pressure and now will be putting in all the necessary noise barriers. However, we won’t be getting two-way all day service for many years after the construction finishes in 2015. Metrolinx clearly stated during the EA that they would be running 59 GO trains each day on opening day in 2015. Within days of the approval of the EA, Metrolinx backtracked to 29 trains each day, advising that it would be a phased-in approach. Now we are told that the Air-Rail Link takes up so much of the corridor that Metrolinx can't run all-day two-way service until aftera 4th track is installed, at a cost of $400 million. There is currently no funding nor plan to put the 4th track in.
I will continue to keep you informed of any new information that is brought to my attention with regards to the Georgetown-Union Station/Air-Rail Link expansion. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call my office at 416 656-2526, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As well, please come to my Community Meeting for an update on the Metrolinx Air-Rail Link, on Thursday March 8, 2012, 6:30 pm at the York West Active Living Centre, 1901 Weston Road—Jonah Schein, MPP Davenport and Ontario NDP Transportation Critic, will be attending.
How Loud Will It Get?? Your Guess Is As Good As Ours....
Metrolinx is hosting their meeting regarding noise and vibration tomorrow evening, Tuesday November 15th. Topics will include where the impacts will be felt the most, who will be affected, what kind of mitigation will be put in place and hopefully a tree replacement schedule (since they have already taken out some mature trees on the north side of the corridor at St. Phillips and will be taking out more along the corridor). This meeting will be important to attend as this will most likely be one of the only ones to discuss how their construction will impact our daily lives both through the construction phase and once the trains are running. A strong community presence is helpful so they will know how we feel . Our MP, Mike Sullivan, has already had discussions with Metrolinx regarding community complaints about construction noise because of the loss of trees in the north end. He is pushing to get more information regarding their plans.
Please remember the community in the Junction who was unaware of this project and it was only through the methodology that was used to drive the piles into the ground, that they found out. It was very loud, disruptive and damaging to the structures around the area. We want to ensure that Metrolinx uses the best possible practices so that Weston does not suffer a repeat performance. And we need to know where the walls will be put up and how large they will be. They will be a blight on our streetscape but may be our only option to alleviate some of the noise. However, they will not be helpful to anyone in an apartment living above the 3rd or 4th floor -- please let your neighbours know this.
Meeting to be held at York West Active Living Centre at 1901 Weston Road from 6:30pm.
With best regards,
Suri Weinberg-Linsky & Carlo Ammendolia
Weston Community Coalition