Monday, July 11, 2016

Ontario intercity bus modernization sessions and why you should care!

No this subject has nothing to do with high speed rail but it has everything to do with ending monopolies currently enjoyed by Greyhound and various airport intercity bus companies (e.g.Airways Transit, Red Car, etc.)

During the Mike Harris years the PC Ontario government tried to change the ridiculous situation which prohibits competition in the intercity bus transit business. They backed off making any significant changes.

The outdated acts are the Ontario Public Vehicles Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter P.54 and the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987, S. C. Chapter 35, as amended by RS 1989, Chapter 29. The Ontario Highway Transport Board is the agency responsible for implementing this boondoggle.

Just how bad is the situation. Here is a good example.  Why does our publically owned Go Transit not have express buses on Highway 401 running from Kitchener, Guelph or Cambridge straight in to downtown  Toronto? The answer is because Greyhound has exclusive rights to run on our highway and GO Transit can't compete with them. It is time to change this situation.

Last year, the Province of Ontario initiated consultations on modernizing the intercity bus regime.

MTO has now issued a discussion paper and a schedule for consultation during July/August. Please read the paper and comment on the EBR site below. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Letter - More GO Trains for Kitchener

by Matthew Bentley - As a regular reader of your website and I have both emailed you before and left a number of comments on the blog. Your most recent article mentions the extra GO trains planned for Kitchener.

Sadly this won't come soon enough for me. I'm coming over to Canada again for a holiday this coming Monday (27th) for just over two weeks.

I'll be staying in Toronto, Kingston, Smiths Falls, London and Windsor. I had intended to take a day trip between Toronto and Kitchener. Sadly the limited service offered by both GO and Via makes this very difficult. I also wanted to travel to Sarnia. Again Via's poor frequency doesn't make this an easy option. I shall probably have a day out to Niagara Falls. However,

 I've only been able to find out the GO train schedule within the last 2 or 3 weeks. That's not very helpful when trying to plan a holiday in advance. I  can't believe that GO are unable to get their timetable out sooner, if you ask me that's very poor planning and communication. Add to that the service isn't very frequent. Surely such a popular tourist destination should have much more than just one Amtrak train in either direction, and a very limited GO service.
  The article mentions running a higher frequency service between Kitchener and Toronto by around 2024. In my opinion this is something that should be happening a lot sooner than that. It's just so frustrating that improvements to  train services seem to take so long in Canada. I feel that the present Canadian Government needs to get a grip, and start pushing things forward a lot quicker. I've not heard any more about their plans for High Speed Rail.
They also don't seem to be taking any action when it comes to getting large cities such as Calgary, Regina,  Sherbrooke  and Saint John back on the passenger rail map. Trudeau and his team need to wake up fast. Amtrak have had rising passenger numbers for around ten years now, surely they can't be proud of the fact that Via are badly  lagging behind them ?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Definitely not high speed rail but two more morning and afternoon departures for GO Trains out of Kitchener. Still waiting for weekend service! Great News. http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6721969-province-will-deliver-two-way-all-day-go-train-service-wynne-says/

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fastest Speeds of Trains in the World

fastest trains in the world
2015 Fastest Trains in the World

Thanks to Statista for the following information. The statistic illustrates the world's fastest high-speed trains in 2015, based on the maximum speed. China's high-speed trains are at the top of the list: The Shanghai Maglev reaches 431 kilometers per hour, while the Harmony CRH 380A has a speed limit of 380 kilometers per hour. In an initial testing, the CRH 380A high speed train reached a top speed of 416.6 kilometers.  In Canada, VIA RAIL maximum is 160kph and that doesn't happen often!