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Media Advisory

November 15, 2010

CLEAN TRAIN COALITION PLANS DEMONSTRATION AT METROLINX BOARD MEETING ON NOVEMBER 16

Fight for Electrification of Toronto’s Rail Transit System at Critical Juncture

Toronto, Nov 15 – The Clean Train Coalition has planned a demonstration for Tuesday, November 16 at 9 a.m. at Metrolinx’s board meeting. The Clean Train Coalition (CTC) is advocating for the immediate electrification of the expansion of service on the Georgetown South rail corridor, including the proposed new Air Rail Link (ARL), which is currently proposed to be built using dirty diesel technology.

"It’s clear to us today that the Electrification Study and Metrolinx’s process for defining Toronto’s future rail expansion has not been conducted as had been promised to Torontonians and the CTC," said Keith Brooks, spokesperson for the CTC. "They are not even abiding by their own terms of reference for the study," he added.

"Thousands of CTC supporters and the public at large had been assured throughout this long process that electrification would be considered as a potential first priority," Brooks continued. "In fact, it appears from the documentation now available to us and from recent discussions with Metrolinx officials, that electrification may only be 'possibly’ considered after 2020, and that the decision has already been made to use diesel trains for the Air Rail Link."

The Clean Train Coalition notes that research clearly shows that electrification is less harmful to human health in regards to air and noise pollution, is more versatile in terms of integrating with other public transit, and that over the long term, is less expensive then dirty diesel trains currently being championed by key decision-makers. The CTC also contends that not going with electrification from the outset due to "artificial" time constraints imposed by the 2015 Pan Am games commitments is a red herring.

"Our elected officials should make their decisions based on the long-term best interest of Torontonians rather than on a two-week sporting event. It’s time that government officials at all levels start getting serious about this issue", added Brooks. "How can a world-class city like Toronto turn its back on 21st century technology and realistically embrace diesel trains as an acceptable solution? That’s not the ‘green’ solution this province deserves. We need to stop this from going down the wrong track."

WHAT: Clean Train Coalition Demonstration at Metrolinx Board Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, November 16th, 9:00AM

WHERE: 20 Bay Street at Queen’s Quay

CLEAN TRAIN COALITION CONTACTS:

Keith Brooks, Spokesperson, Clean Train Coalition 416-702-9597

Carina Cojeen, Co-Chair, Clean Train Coalition 416-886-2320

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The Clean Train Coalition is a completely volunteer-run, grassroots organization representing the communities along the rail corridor. We believe that a healthy environment and vibrant neighbourhoods depend on smart investment in public transit infrastructure. Build it once, build it right! www.cleantrain.ca


 

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