Transport Sector

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7.2.2.2.b

Transportation sector – reduction of greenhouse gas emissions mitigation – to reduce climate change.

Toronto is the site of the very first streetcar line in North America! A Canadian inventor developed the “wand” that connects the power line to the street car. The first demonstration was held on the grounds of the Central National Exhibition.

Streetcars are back in style again as they use less fossil fuel per passenger.

The emission of greenhouse gases due to fossil fuel consumption by traditional 20th century vehicles is a major focus for change.

Automobiles now have more recyclable parts that use less energy to re-manufacture. However new designer fuel efficiencies have so far only allowed manufacturers to build bigger vehicles while maintaining mileage and maximum allowed emission standards. The conversions to natural gas and propane have slowed since the oil crisis of the 1980’s.

One positive action taken by the Ontario government is to have automobiles more than 3 years old be checked for emissions. Safety checks for used vehicles has been in place for sometime.

Funding for mass transit in cities and between cities is being reviewed. Rapid rail connections between major population centres are under study. Carpool parking lots are spreading through the province along major highways.

Bus lines are being reviewed to ease connections across the Greater Toronto Area and adjoining municipalities.

Parking lots for mass transit such as GO stations are being reviewed for increasing capacity. Special rates are in place to encourage drivers to park and ride public transit.

Union Station in Toronto where rail lines, subway and GO lines intersect is being revitalized to include more and easier connections.

All of these are measures to move people and goods more effectively and efficiently while using less fossil fuel emitting fewer greenhouse gases.

More incentives are needed to speed up the development and arrival of vehicle and mass transportation designs for the 21st century for moving goods and for moving people.

Winter supply transportation routes – ice roads will be short lived and more dangerous and eventually may have to be replaced by the use of cargo dirigibles- to deliver supplies to the far northern communities that are isolated with neither roads nor railways.

The St.Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes may experience such low water levels that alternatives may such as transfer to smaller vessels or rail lines may be economically viable. The figure below is some indication that this adaptation is already being studied. It may not work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions however.

Source: International Joint Commission (IJC) Climate Change and Water Quality in the Great Lakes Region. May2003 www.ijc.org

Activity:
1. Check the labels on the x and y axes. What does the straight black line indicate?
2. What does the coloured arrow indicate?

Research:

1. How might the above graph indicate changes in decisions made by a resident on a smaller lake in Ontario? Hint check recreation, tourism etc.
2. What effects would a doubling of the cost of Ontario gasoline have on the Ontario economy

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