Bridges from the past restored for better transit in the future

Happy to have been quoted for this. Mentioned the wedding and my grandparents.

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After nine weekends of work, the Lakeshore West bridge project is finally over.

The giant blue cranes are gone.

And that signals relief for both the Lakeshore West line and GO Transit customers – as we say ‘thank you for your patience’ during the historic work.

If you traveled along the train corridor on weekends this fall, you saw the congestion that comes with a mammoth construction project. The vital line was being worked on around the clock as crews put in a total of 40,000 combined work hours to bring new life to several century-old bridges and overpasses, some dating back to the Grand Trunk Railway era.

That Grand Trunk was once considered the largest railway in the world, and was the chief line between Montreal and Toronto.

Work involved restoration of six century-old bridges between Mimico and Exhibition GO, including the Humber River Bridge, which weighs 7,000 tonnes…

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Training for transit independence in Ontario

Great to see this.

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Metrolinx participates in Community Access to Transportation program for people with developmental disabilities.

On a brisk autumn morning, a very bundled up Carmen Farrugia waits patiently at a bus stop in downtown Hamilton. He’s wearing a bright red jacket and is standing on the sidewalk a few feet back from the curb.

As the bus approaches, Farrugia waits for the vehicle to come to a complete stop before stepping on board and tapping his PRESTO card. He greets the bus driver with a big smile and then strategically finds a seat close to the front.

While this process likely seems routine for most people who take public transit, for Farrugia, this trip is actually the result of months of practise – and has been methodically planned out.

Carmen for Blog Carmen Farrugia is one of more than 1,500 people in Hamilton who have now completed the Community Access to Transportation travel training course. Photo by…

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Lakeshore West bridge work nears completion

Includes a great sunset picture.

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Stunning video and photos of bridge construction along the Lakeshore West Corridor show some incredible engineering feats and indicate service disruptions will soon be coming to an end.

They’ve been working around the clock on weekends to bring life to century-old bridges and transform rail corridors for future GO Transit service expansion.

Construction crews have made significant progress along Lakeshore West and, while nearing completion, have been delighted to see history before their eyes. The work has included the removal of a 107-year-old bridge span, the rehabilitation of existing bridge piers and other parts that are more than 130 years old. For many of the crew members, the work is like a time capsule.

“It is fascinating to see how bridge construction methods have changed over time” said Michael Szewczyk, a project coordinator who’s been involved with the bridge work on the Lakeshore West Corridor.

For Szewczyk and his team…

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Brampton’s Kettle Lakes

Hiking the GTA

Saturday May 28, 2016

Heart Lake Conservation Area contains two kettle lakes which formed when the last ice age retreated.  Around 20,000 years ago the Wisconsin Ice Age reached it’s maximum with an ice sheet that stretched from Newfoundland to British Columbia and south to Ohio and Illinois.  In the Toronto area the ice was over 1 kilometer thick or about twice the height of the CN Tower.  The advancing ice acted like a giant ice scoop clearing everything in it’s path.  Melting glaciers it deposited this debris in many ways.  Rivers of meltwater carried nearly straight lines known as eskers and the 7 kilometer long Brampton Esker runs south from Heart Lake.  The debris the glacier contained was left behind in the form of outwash.  Sometimes larger chunks of the iceberg would calve away and get buried by the glacial till in the outwash.  Later, when the ice melted it left behind a hole that…

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Good Foot Delivery service puts its best foot forward by using GO Transit

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In Downtown Toronto, you might envision a priority courier as a cyclist in spandex, zipping around town, delivering documents from one office tower to another. Anywhere else, it’s likely a large company vehicle driving between locations and making quick stops to run packages to and from office parks.

There is another kind of priority courier service gaining in popularity though. It involves walking and taking transit to make pickups and deliveries.

Good Foot Delivery is one such service, but it’s also a social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for people living with developmental disabilities.

“We look at ourselves as both a charity and as a business,” explained Ryan Hollinrake, Executive Director of Good Foot. “The charity and business aspects of our organization run systematically together. One couldn’t exist without the other.”

As a charity, Good Foot is able to direct 100 per cent of the revenues it receives from customers…

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Biking to school is trending with GTHA students

Great to see. #BikeTO #CycleON #BikeBrampton @STRCanada @EMcMahonBurl @kemosite

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New stats show more students prefer two wheels as active transportation climbs to a five-year high

While the warm weather is winding down, biking to school is rising in popularity with Toronto-area kids.

According to a new study released by Metrolinx and conducted by the University of Toronto, more Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) students are choosing to bike to school than five years ago, with high school students leading the way.

The study, released this week, explores patterns in school travel by age, gender, time of day and captures trends for the entire GTHA dating back to 1986.

Ron Buliung, a professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga, led the research effort and said that measuring how students get to and from school is helpful.

“As organizations like Metrolinx continue to invest in programs to encourage more walking and cycling to and from school, it is important…

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Visualizing data helps us better understand how we move

Awesome to see my friend Anthony’s work profiled.

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The idea of number-crunching and analyzing data may seem boring to some. For others though, processing information and turning it into something more is a passion.

Anthony Smith loves visualizing transit and transportation data with maps and animations. By doing so, he hopes his work can make a difference by providing an evidence-based approach to city planning.

“I think data gives a voice to everyone,” said Smith. “As an urban planner, I believe that using the data to inform how cities grow ensures efficient use of available resources for maximum public benefit.”

Anthony has been conducting data science and producing maps and infographics for more than ten years. While he does work at Metrolinx, he also spends a great deal of time creating images in his own time.

“It’s always exciting to discover a new dataset or visualization tool that I can use to create something,” said Smith. “Just last…

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