On March 2, 2017, The Brampton Board of Trade hosted ‘The Transportation Challenge’ - a forum to discuss solutions to more effectively move goods and people through Canada’s innovation corridor. Canada's Innovation Corridor stretches from downtown Toronto to Waterloo Region, with Brampton at is hub. The Brampton Board of Trade has joined forces with chambers of commerce and boards of trade along the corridor to focus on important economic development initiatives such as transit, transporation, talent recruitment and retention and investment attractiveness.
Cities across Canada’s Innovation Corridor have a unique opportunity to optimize the region’s untapped economic power. Transit and transportation are an important pillars for this success. Internationally, the challenge is how the region can increase it’s opportunities across the continent and worldwide through better goods movement? From a regional perspective, how do we increase inter-city connectivity? And locally, how do we get employees to work on time in order to increase productivity and home on time at night so that they can enjoy a high quality of life? Our panelists Keith Reardon, VP of Intermodal at CN, Dave Jaworsky, Mayor of Waterloo and Leslie Woo, Chief Planning Officer at Metrolinx offered insight on the opportunities and how to tap into them.
Moving goods more efficiently
The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is the fastest growing area in Canada and to meet this growth and customer demand, CN needs to expand. As such, CN is investing $250 million to build the Milton Logistics Hub, a new intermodal market that will allow the company to expand beyond its Brampton terminal.The project will create one thousand jobs in the area.
Currently CN reaches 75% of North America’s population and moves over $250 billion worth of goods every year. The Milton Logistics Hub will allow for greater capacity as the region continues to grow.
As the country’s international trade continues to evolve, transportation and logistics will also have to change in order to meet the demand. The Milton Logistics Hub will allow Canada to continue its competitive leadership on the world stage and foster stronger economic development.
Taking a shot at congestion
Congestion can hinder both goods and people movement. The region’s growing population puts pressure on regional roadways, and in doing so, poses a huge threat to productivity and profit. If goods can’t be moved effectively, money is lost. If employees can’t get to work on time, productivity is compromised.
CN hopes to do its part in tackling the problem by reducing congestion on roads by removing up to 280 long distance trucks with every single intermodal train. This will result in approximately 2 million fewer trucks on Canadian highways every year.
Reducing congestion will take a collaborative approach. Metrolinx launched ‘The Big Move’ in 2008, a regional transit plan across the GTHA that would connect municipalities through public transit.As we look forward to 2014, more modes of transportation will become more prevalent such as autonomous vehicles.
One City Boosts Development While Planning For the Future Transit
Waterloo Region’s ION LRT is a great example of how local transit solutions are so important not only to the cities they are in but to the economic development of the entire region. The ION is an important example of how transit can transform communities and how important planning and foresight is. In the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, ION will help limit urban sprawl and ease traffic congestion, as well as move people more effectively by providing more transportation choices. Due for opening in 2018, to date, during construction phase, more than $2 Billion in development has been attracted along the LRT line. Waterloo’s success snd transformation hasn't happened overnight. The successful planning, building and integration of their LRT and active transportation system has taken a couple of decades.Communities such as Brampton, Cambridge and Mississauga have a lot to learn from this successful example.
Similarly, effective goods movement and transportation across the region will only happen as municipalities collaborate and work together with a collective plan. ‘The Big Move’ focused on catching the region up after years of allowing sprawl and lack of investment. Now Metrolinx plans to roll out another Regional Transit Plan. One that will focus on further leveraging infrastructure investments.
To help businesses better understand the many projects being planned in Brampton and region - and their impact on business, The Board of Trade has crafted an overview of transit and transportation in the region. Click here to learn more about the current status of projects and their importance.