WHY? For our ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT and QUALITY OF LIFE
Long distances, high fuel costs and winter road conditions make long distance road travel expensive, uninviting and potentially hazardous. Domestic air travel is expensive, highly centralized, time consuming with security measures, and prone to cancellations and delays due to weather conditions. The lack of adequate rail service significantly restricts socio-economic development, local and regional wealth generation, and job creation. Increasing connectivity through a functional passenger rail network will: decrease out-migration; increase inmigration of students, doctors, educators, entrepreneurs and other professionals needed to ensure the health, viability and growth of our communities and economy; and link the rest of the world to all of Ontario benefiting tourism. Transportation of goods in the Northern economy is inflated because of high dependency on roads and highways—the most costly transportation infrastructure to build, maintain and use. Reducing traffic on our highways decreases road maintenance and expansion costs, and increases safety.
High dependence on roads and air creates pollution and other environmental costs, which also increases related public health costs. These would be substantially decreased by increased use of rail.
Quality of Life
Ontario is a beautiful and desirable area to visit and live, especially the Northern regions; but travel is adversely affected by the long driving distances that are unacceptable to most travellers. Northern communities need an affordable, accessible, reliable, safe and comfortable way to connect to each other and the rest of the world. A functional rail network supporting passenger trains would increase access to recreational and tourism activities, provide students with affordable transportation, allow family members to visit each other, provide more suitable transportation for Northern Ontario’s aging population to out-of-town medical services and make travel, work and living in Northern Ontario more affordable and inviting. Passenger train services provide a more relaxed atmosphere; added safety from congested highways and airports, all-weather capability, and on-board meals and restrooms.