Metrolinx releases few details about electrification

Metrolinx released few details about the timeline for electrifying the UP Express in a recent meeting—the first in more than a year—on the issue.

The UP Express was recently given a fast-track environmental assessment, but it is looking decreasingly likely that it will be electrified by 2017, as had been promised by Laura Albanese and Glen Murray. No money has been put aside for that stage of the project, and Karen Pitre, spokesperson for Metrolinx, refused to say when it would be accomplished:

“I know you want a time and a date and I’m not going to give it to you because I’m going to be wrong,” Pitre said, point blank.

“I would say that the work that’s been done by the community and Metrolinx has advanced this considerably, but I know it’s not fast enough and I understand that.”

Laura Albanese wrote an open letter to Minister Steven Del Duca this week asking nicely for an updated timeline on the project:

I’m writing to you today to request that you provide more details regarding your ministry’s plans for the electrification of the UP Express and the Kitchener GO Line, and an updated timeline for the completion of these projects.

TTCRiders starting UPX petition

TTCRiders, a transit advocacy group, is reigniting the smouldering anger about the proposed UP Express fares. They have started an online petition and a website to ask the government to:

  • charge affordable TTC-level fares and accept fare transfers
  • run frequent service, and include more stops
  • run clean electric trains asap, not cancerous diesel trains
  • talk to residents before deciding the fare price
  • keep the service public

While other groups have pushed for similar goals in the past, TTCRiders is a city-wide organization, not based only in the west end. It is also backed by airport unions (whose members may take the train).

The group says that Metrolinx will be setting the fare for the UP Express (likely to be between $20 and $30) at its December 11 meeting.

The petition has received 323 signatures.

The stops you won’t be getting.