Great Lakes region lacks fresh transportation strategy: CGLR

TORONTO, ON – In a report released on Monday, the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) says future economic prosperity of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence regions’ economic prosperity will require a bi-national integration of freight and passenger transportation systems.

Council of the Great Lakes Region say bi-national integration of transportation systems are required for the Great Lakes Region. “Most Great Lakes states and provinces, as well as the U.S. and Canadian federal governments, have developed long-range transportation plans and modal plans to support their growth and key cross-border trade corridors,” said Mark Fisher, president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CGLR. “What’s lacking is meaningful integration of these systems across the region, including passenger and freight transportation priorities.”

Prepared in partnership with transportation management consulting firm, CPCS Transcom, the report is part of a research project with the goal to develop the regions first multimodal transportation vision and strategy. This strategy will be unveiled at the Council’s third annual Great Lakes Economic Forum taking place April 24-26 in Detroit.

The study focuses on a critical policy gap that effects the region’s bi-national economy, an economy that connects eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces, includes 105 million people, and produces roughly US$5.8 trillion in economic activity annually.

According to the report, the multimodal transportation system is a key factor for the economic competitiveness and prosperity of the region.

“For its part, Toronto Pearson has proposed a Regional Transit Centre that will connect our region to the world through improved transit and reduced traffic on the roads. This report from the Council of the Great Lakes Region is a clear indication that industry is well aligned in its vision of ensuring increased connectivity and economic competitiveness for the regions it serves,” said Howard Eng, president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.

Up until now, regional transportation strategies and plans have broadly been based on linear trends and projections, however based on many pressures on the transportation systems from capacity constraints, aging or lacking infrastructure, outdated regulations, climate change, institutional and regulatory fragmentation, technology advancement, fluctuating trade patterns, a new approach is needed to advance system performance and make it more versatile to an unforeseen future.

“There is an extraordinary opportunity to make better use of the marine mode to increase transportation efficiency in the Great Lakes region; governments and industries need the will to make it happen, and a strategy that shows the way forward,” said Ian Hamilton, president and CEO of the Hamilton Port Authority.

The study was conducted with the financial support of CN, the Hamilton Port Authority and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.

To find out more about CGLR, click here

Graphic courtesy of CGLR

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