What's killing passenger rail in Canada? A lack of funding or sense of urgency

What's killing passenger rail in Canada? A lack of funding or sense of urgency

A big problem is that Via owns only 186 of the 1,099 kilometres that it operates in the Corridor — a term the organisation uses to classify service stretching from Windsor and Sarnia in the east all the way to Quebec City. That’s a lot of train service to be running on track it doesn’t own — the small areas it does are the Chatham-Windsor and Brockville-Smith Falls-Ottawa-Coteau stretches. That’s great for passengers travelling short distances, but for trips from Toronto to Montreal, Kingston or London, Via is completely at the mercy of CN, and it knows it.

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More low-income fare programs for transit could reduce or reverse ridership decline

More low-income fare programs for transit could reduce or reverse ridership decline

It’s news to nobody that transit ridership is down across the majority of transit systems in the United States — with cities looking at network redesigns, as is the case with New York and Seattle. But another way cities are able to bring on new riders is to introduce, or expand, their affordable fare programs to include more low-income people.

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WeWork revealed the extremely complicated way it's set up in its IPO

WeWork revealed the extremely complicated way it's set up in its IPO

Yesterday The We Company filed its S-1 form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and it details the unnecessarily complicated way that the company is organised. In brief, the company is invested in co-working spaces, private schools and housing through its WeWork, WeGrow and WeLive subsidiaries. The We Company owns and leases numerous properties that it then opens up to people who purchase a membership — in total, the company has more than 790 offices located in over 35 countries, according to its own website. It’s not shy with splurging on spaces, having spent $850 million in 2017 to buy the Lord & Taylor Building on Fifth Avenue in NYC from Hudson’s Bay.

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Metrolinx wants to sell naming rights to key stations — but this hasn't worked well for other cities

Metrolinx wants to sell naming rights to key stations — but this hasn't worked well for other cities

The Government of Ontario — via its Metrolinx subsidiary — is looking into the sale of naming rights for GO Transit stations, parking lots and washrooms throughout the GTA in an effort to find new funding sources for the regional transit system. There are GO train stations and bus stops located from Kitchener to Peterborough and from Barrie to Niagara Falls.

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With its 1,500 page plan, Sidewalk Toronto's neighbourhood of the future is one step closer to reality

With its 1,500 page plan, Sidewalk Toronto's neighbourhood of the future is one step closer to reality

More than 18 months after introducing its plan to redevelop a priority piece of Toronto’s eastern waterfront, Sidewalk Labs has released a master plan of its ideas to create a neighbourhood of the future. Dubbed Toronto Tomorrow, the plan is the most detailed and in-depth look at the company’s plans for Toronto — spanning more than 1,500 pages in length and detailing designs for the Quayside site.

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The $5 billion Facebook fine is embarrassingly weak

The $5 billion Facebook fine is embarrassingly weak

On Friday the US Federal Trade Commission handed Facebook a $5 billion fine for its involvement with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and for breaking its 2011 agreement with the organization. But here’s the real kicker: the government spent months trying to come up with a suitable punishment for Facebook — but it ended up handing it one that increased the stock price and value of the company.

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Throughout the world, EV ownership is on the rise

Throughout the world, EV ownership is on the rise

The Norwegian government has set an ambitious goal of 2025 for all new vehicles produced to be zero-emission ones — a more lofty goal than Canada or the United Kingdom’s goal of 2040. Norway is already doing an impressive job at promoting and incentivising EVs over traditional vehicles, working to make it cheaper to own an electric vehicle, while making it more expensive to own one that uses petrol.

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It's time to rethink how much information companies collect about you online

It's time to rethink how much information companies collect about you online

Companies on the internet collect a lot of data on consumers — the information we give away for free to companies like Facebook, Google and lesser known ones like Nielsen and Acxion is transformed from simple questions we type into the search bar and photos of summer vacations into location trails, metadata and other money-making data forms. According to IBM, 90 percent of the internet’s data was created in the past two months, likely aided by the rise of social networks and internet-connected devices.

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The myriad of streaming services isn't doing the TV industry any good

The myriad of streaming services isn't doing the TV industry any good

Netflix was founded in the late 90s, but it wasn’t until almost 10 years later that it introduced its online streaming service, which has since proved to be a success. The company has 148.8 million paying subscribers, is seeing major financial growth and is has a 52-week high of $419.77, monumentally higher than $143.51 and Comcast’s $43.96.

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Facebook's new cryptocurrency, Libra, explained

Facebook's new cryptocurrency, Libra, explained

This week Facebook finally took the wraps off Libra, its new cryptocurrency, that will allow users to buy things online, send money with minimal fees and eventually, interact with offline businesses. It’s a digital cryptocurrency, but unlike Bitcoin, it can’t be mined and will remain at relatively the same value — making it prime to be used as a currency in countries where banks aren’t common.

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Bus network redesigns are the hottest trend in public transit

Bus network redesigns are the hottest trend in public transit

It’s been just a handful of months since Edmonton announced it would be redesigning its entire bus network, but it’s far from the only city in recent history to undergo such a procedure. In the US, Houston, Columbus, Indianapolis, Baltimore and New York are all either beginning to, or already have, rethought much of their networks.

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A brief timeline of Facebook's recent privacy issues

A brief timeline of Facebook's recent privacy issues

It seems like Facebook has been battling crisis after crisis over the numerous privacy issues it has had to deal with in the last year. But the company has never been too good at privacy — after all, when we share more, the company is able to make more money — and it all started back in 2006, just when the company was getting its footing. This all caused the FTC to become involved, launching a lawsuit that forced the company to not make “misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers' personal information” and “obtain consumers' affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences.” Now because of the recent issues Facebook has faced, the company is being re-examined for breaking its promises.

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The SEC is suing Kik over its crypto ICO

Kik Interactive is being sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over its 2017 initial coin offering that raised $100 million in what the agency says is unregistered securities. $55 million was raised from US investors, according to the SEC statement released this week, which alleges that the one trillion tokens sold count as a security and therefore, should have been registered with the government.

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Canada and the US, among others, are nowhere near reaching the Paris Agreement climate change goals

Canada and the US, among others, are nowhere near reaching the Paris Agreement climate change goals

The landmark Paris Climate Agreement, signed in 2016, is supposed to push countries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions to levels which won’t cause catastrophic damage. But, according to Climate Action Tracker, many of the 200 countries that signed the agreement are failing to live up to their self-imposed goals — including all of the world’s top 10 biggest polluters.

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The downfall of WOW Air is really going to harm Iceland

The downfall of WOW Air is really going to harm Iceland

Iceland-based WOW Air went suddenly bankrupt at the end of March, leaving thousands of passengers stranded throughout the world. But now we’re seeing how much the airline’s shutdown has impacted Iceland’s economy. The central bank in Iceland has announced that the previously predicted 1.8 percent increase in the economy will now be a 0.4 percent decrease, stating that the “deterioration in the outlook is due primarily to a contraction in tourism,” alongside a decrease in marine product exports.

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While the wait list for social housing in Toronto increases, the number of units available doesn't

While the wait list for social housing in Toronto increases, the number of units available doesn't

Back in December, Toronto councillors voted to use 11 city-owned surplus plots of land to build new affordable housing — something that is much needed in a city with more than 105,000 people on the waitlist in Q4 2018; one where most of the affordable housing units were built in the late 80-90s. It’s difficult to estimate how many affordable housing units are in the city because of a patchwork of multiple waitlists, but most belong to Toronto Community Housing as either geared-to-income (30 percent of monthly household income before tax), affordable or market rent units. But, a housing market analysis report produced by the city in February explains the need for more affordable housing.

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Companies are rushing to donate money to Notre-Dame rebuild efforts

Companies are rushing to donate money to Notre-Dame rebuild efforts

Hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring in from companies around the world to rebuild the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, after French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the cathedral within five years. The donations—which have totalled nearly a billion dollars—are raising questions from charities and politicians, who are wondering if tax breaks are the main reason why so much is being donated, Reuters explains.

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With IPOs in 2019, losses are the new normal

With IPOs in 2019, losses are the new normal

If there’s anything to learn from IPO’s in 2019—from Lyft and Uber’s already released S-1 filings to rumours that Pinterest and Postmates will go public—it’s that it is looking to be a big year for money-losing tech companies. Losses are the new normal for companies going public, reports the Wall Street Journal, with 83 percent of IPOs in the US happening within the first three quarters of 2018 losing money in the prior 12 months.

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Amazon's cashless stores might not remain cashless for much longer

Amazon's cashless stores might not remain cashless for much longer

Not everybody is happy that stores are beginning to ban cash payments, Amazon is now discovering as it works to accept cash at its previously cashless Amazon Go stores. The stores began popping up a year ago — allowing people to purchase snacks, pre-made meals and other assorted goods without interacting with anybody — but now legislation and backlash is catching up with the company.

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