Metrolinx seeks input on issues related to commercial transportation and overall demand



    Fourth and fifth Green Papers issued in development of Regional
    Transportation Plan

    TORONTO, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - Metrolinx is again inviting the public and
stakeholders to provide ideas, insights and suggestions on two specific
issues, as part of a process to create a better transportation system for the
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Metrolinx today issued two more Green
Papers, focusing on Transportation Demand Management (TDM) and Moving Goods
and Delivering Services.
    Both Green Papers have been posted for public review and comment on
Metrolinx's interactive consultation website at
http://metrolinx-consult.limehouse.com/portal. Metrolinx staff will be meeting
broadly with stakeholder organizations to gather further input for a
comprehensive Regional Transportation Plan.
    "These Green Papers focus on particular components of our transportation
system, and while we want to gather ideas for each component, we also need
people thinking about how they fit together," said Metrolinx Chair Rob
MacIsaac. "We are trying to accomplish a lot in a very short period of time,
so that people can reap the benefits of an improved transportation system, so
it's important to comment on the papers as soon as they're available."
    Green Paper No. 4 sets out concepts and questions around Transportation
Demand Management (TDM) - efforts to influence when, why and how people make
their travel decisions.
    "Improving our transportation system will require increasing the supply
of transportation options, but supply is only part of the equation. We need to
address demand as well," MacIsaac said. "If we have better transportation
choices to offer, people will be able to make more informed choices. So we
need to explore incentives, disincentives and other ways to make the best use
of the whole system."
    The TDM Green Paper examines ideas such as on-line trip planners,
integrated transit passes and road tolls as ways to influence travel
behaviour. The Presto card is cited as an example of how technology can
improve efficiency and convenience, by making it easier to transfer and faster
to board buses and trains. Electronic displays on transit vehicles and
real-time messages to mobile devices are other suggestions to give people more
timely information - which helps them make travel decisions.
    Green Paper No. 5, Moving Goods and Delivering Services, focuses on the
commercial side of the transportation system, and finding the right balance
for commercial and passenger traffic to co-exist in a limited space.
    "From an 18-wheeler to a delivery van to a bicycle courier, our economy
relies on the transportation system to get the job done," MacIsaac said.
"However, we can't let market demands alone affect our quality of life. Our
challenge is to design a system that works for everyone."
    One of the ideas in the Moving Goods and Delivering Services paper is to
rationalize the use of railway networks to concentrate freight on some tracks
and passenger services on others (which would require considerably more
infrastructure). The paper also suggests developing systems for private
companies to pool and share information without compromising competitive
discretion.
    The release of these Green Papers is an important milestone in
Metrolinx's development of a Regional Transportation Plan. Looking ahead,
Metrolinx will publish two more papers over the next few weeks focusing on
Roads and Highways, and Transit. Based on feedback from the public and
stakeholders, these papers will form the foundation for the next step of
policy recommendations dubbed "White Papers" to be considered by the Metrolinx
board of directors.
    A Draft RTP will integrate the transportation policies formulated and
approved by the Metrolinx board. This document will be published in late
spring and will be available for comment by the public until early fall of
2008. The final RTP - a comprehensive strategy for a coordinated
transportation system in the urban area encompassing the Cities of Hamilton
and Toronto, and the Regional Municipalities of Peel, Durham, Halton and York
- will be released in the fall of 2008.

    Metrolinx is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario, operating within
the legislative framework of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority Act,
2006 and the provincial Growth Plan.





For further information:

For further information: Fran Agnew, Executive Assistant to the
Metrolinx Chair, (416) 874-5902; Jacquie Menezes, Senior Associate, Public
Affairs and Media, (416) 874-5923


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