TRAINS INSTEAD OF TRAFFIC
In a big city, there are a lot of people who need to get back and forth to work around the same time every day. Add in the students going to school, tourists looking around, friends going shopping and families heading to a park or a movie, and that’s an awful lot of people who need to get around. Several Canadian cities have set up rail systems to serve those people. That’s handy for them, but it’s also good for the environment, since there will be fewer cars on the road if people take the train instead. The traffic problem was especially bad in the area around Toronto, so the provincial government started GO (for Government of Ontario . . . get it?) Transit. The first GO trains started running along the north shore of Lake Ontario in 1967. The system now operates hundreds of doubledecker trains every day, carrying tens of millions of passengers a year from all over Toronto and beyond. Vancouver’s SkyTrain, which started operation in 1986, doesn’t have drivers, but it does have some of the prettiest views you’ll ever see from a city train. It travels on tracks built high above the streets. It’s one of the longest systems of its kind in the world. The city of Calgary hired a company to build a railway in 1893, but the project never happened. In 1981, the CTrain started running in the city’s downtown. It now travels to the farthest edges of the city. Ottawa’s OTrain is the newest of them all; its first trains hit the tracks in 2001.