Kayak (Canada) - - FEATURE -

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.

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