It appears the City of Ottawa is once again sloughing off easy expansion of the rail infrastructure in favour of more roads to the suburbs. Extending the O-train to Riverside South? Along an existing unused rail right of way? Where fields of houses are the main farm crop? Where long term plans call for rail eventually? Using the 3 Talent trains that are already on hand and soon to be declared surplus? Nahh, premature to consider such expansion.
And of course, the line would go right past the Airport but not into it. Someday, there might be a shuttle bus from the airport to the rail line, or maybe even a rail spur, but the rail cannot go to the airport itself because… well, because… oh damn, there must be some reason!
Oh yeah, it would be a security hazard to take it close to the runways or even under a taxiway or runway and thence onward to another destination.
And if that destination happened to be across the Rideau River in the expanding housing metropolis of Barrhaven and the major employment node there, featuring the RCMP headquarters, it means every train using the airport route would likely have several police officers on it. Every day. Every night. Definitely too high a risk.
Someone might taser a Westjet.
All the more interesting to see this expansion of the 20-mile-LRT line already running in Phoenix:
Yup, their transit will be running over active airport taxiways. It will be a shuttle running between the various terminals, the car rental centre, and to the LRT mainline.
Imagination and guts defines their transit planning. What characterizes ours?
The Phoenix LRT will take people from the airport to their downtown. And numerous other nodes along the route *. Even if Ottawa ran the O-train into the airport, it has shown great reluctance to let the other end of the track run directly into the downtown. Our planners continually prefer making users transfer at Bayview. Which will rule out a lot of convention traffic as there would not be direct airport-to-downtown service. Mind, Gatineau has already expressed interest in extending the O-train, if it ran from airport, into their town to their casino and their convention complex. Ottawa taxpayers could pay for a rail system that delivers the convention traffic to another city. What could be better?
*I took those pic through the window of a plane just last week. I also took a lengthy through-the-front-window video of the LRT as it ran through downtown Phoenix and city streets. I need help to string together four or five separate clips into one video, and upload it to YouTube. No money, just the glory of spreading transit knowledge. Let me know if you know you can do this. Video is from a Olympus 8mpx digital camera. EricDarwin1@gmail.com. Thanks.