Following a successful NEORN (Northern & Eastern Ontario Rail Network) passenger rail summit on April 19, the organization, along with advocacy groups the Committee Promoting Muskoka Rail Travel (CPMRT) and Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains, are hosting a series of town hall-style meetings to inform the community about what’s next.
A meeting will be held tonight, May 14, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the District of Muskoka Council Chambers (70 Pine Street, Bracebridge).
The summit explained the need for passenger rail and the social and economic benefits it brings, said CPMRT’s Lucille Frith. The subsequent meetings will explain more of the process.
The theme of Rally for Rail is ‘move people, not just freight, by rail.’
“Each (meeting) is basically to say, we all know the reasons why passenger rail is wanted, needed and so much better than private transportation or bus transportation for very specific reasons,” says Frith. “While we need passenger cars and we need buses, we need them for shorter distances, not the long haul. They also prove to be – just as you would take a car to the airport, you would take a car or bus to a central location to catch the train.”
And with the infrastructure—the rails—already in place, the meetings will explain how the provincial government can put these programs in place, how long it might take for that to happen, and how important it is that residents take the return of passenger trains into consideration when voting in the upcoming election.
“We are going to explain to them the impact of a vote, and questions to ask candidates,” says Frith. “We are apolitical. It is not our intention to make any recommendations on how one should vote, we simply want them to understand the process.”
Frith will also be presenting information at the CARP meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15 at the Active Living Centre in Huntsville.
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