Category Archives for "Intercity Rail and Bus"

Dec 27

Ontario Budget 2024: Shortline Track Maintenance Credit

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) has initiated a campaign to urge Ontario to create a Shortline Track Maintenance Tax Credit in Budget 2024, similar to what has been adopted in other jurisdictions.

Transport Action Ontario has long supported the idea of government support of shortline railways, which perform an essential role in economic activity and environmental sustainability. We are pleased to support this campaign. Our letter to the provincial government is attached below.

Dec 24

MTO Southwestern Ontario Transportation Plan – Input to second Technical Advisory Committee Meeting

By Transport Action Ontario | Highways and Bridges , Intercity Rail and Bus , Southwestern Ontario

As discussed in our posting of June 5, 2023, MTO has set up a Technical Advisory Committee, led by Arcadis/IBI, to further develop its draft Southwestern Ontario Transportation Plan.

The Tenchical Advisory Committee held its second meeting on December 6, 2023.

Transport Action Ontario again participated actively in this meeting and subsequently provided detailed comments. These can be viewed below.

Dec 18

InterCity Bus extends service to Sarnia

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus , Southwestern Ontario

InterCity Bus, a new company in Southwestern Ontario’s motorcoach market which launched with London to Toronto services earlier this year, is extending its network to Sarnia starting on December 18, 2023.

The service is launching with three round trips per day, serving Sarnia’s Bayside Transit Terminal and the transit interchange at Murphy Road, making a stop in Strathroy (Tim Hortons, 28630 Centre Road) and arriving in London at the Intercity Bus Terminal, where connections can be made with services to Woodstock, Kitchener, Toronto Pearson Airport (T1), and downtown Toronto (44 York Street, outside Union Station).

London Bus Terminal

Intercity Bus London Terminal - Interior view with seats and service counter.

Intercity Bus leased and reopened the former Greyhound bus terminal at 101 York Street in London as its base of operations, providing comfortable place to wait for buses and make connections, with a customer service counter and washrooms.

For passengers making connections with train services, the VIA Rail station is about a five minute walk away.

Fares and Schedules

Fares between Sarnia and London start at $24.85 including tax, Sarnia to Toronto is $57.52. Two suitcases will be carried free of charge, additional bags are $5, and bicycles may be transported for $15.

Tickets can be booked online at intercitybus.ca, by phone (519) 719-9237, in person at the London terminal, and through busbud.com. Drivers will also accept cash if seats are available, although exact change is required.

London to Sarnia
Bus StopTrip 1Trip 2Trip 3
London – Intercity Bus Terminal4:50 AM9:00 AM4:15 PM
Strathroy – Tim Hortons 5:25 AM9:35 AM4:55 PM
Sarnia – Real Canadian Superstore 6:05 AM10:20 AM5:35 PM
Sarnia – Bayside Terminal6:15 AM10:30 AM5:40 PM
Sarnia to London
Bus StopTrip 1Trip 2Trip 3
Sarnia – Bayside Terminal6:25 AM10:45 AM5:55 PM
Sarnia – Real Canadian Superstore 6:35 AM10:55 AM6:05 PM
Strathroy – Tim Hortons7:15 AM11:35 AM6:45 PM
London – Intercity Bus Terminal 7:55 AM12:15 PM7:20 PM
Schedule as of December 18, 2023

Rebuilding Southwestern Ontario’s Network

Combined with the Sarnia-London intercommunity bus, which also makes stops in Mount Brydges and Komoka, there are now six daily bus trips, plus the single VIA Rail round trip between Sarnia and London. At London, in addition to motorcoach and rail connections to Toronto, several other intercommunity bus routes are available (see Southwest Community Transit). However, the future of these vital intercommunity services beyond 2025 has yet to be confirmed by the Ontario government.

IntercityBus also has future plans to add a service between London and St. Thomas, a route that has lacked public transportation since the collapse of the of Abouttown Northlink bus network in 2013.

Transport Action Ontario would like to see London serve as a regional mobility hub, with a combined station for motorcoach services, intercommunity bus, passenger rail, and easy connections to London Transit.

GO Train with locomotive 620 leading. Photograph by Chris Huggins.
Nov 15

Brantford Report on GO Rail Extension

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus

Interest continues to be high among southwestern Ontario municipalities for improved intercity passenger rail service. In November, Brantford completed a report entitled Brantford on Track: Paving the way for GO Rail Extension. It identifies the need and benefits for GO Rail service and urges the Province to proceed on this:

“Without an alternative to personal vehicles, Brantford residents will continue to rely heavily on their cars, increasing congestion on the 403 between Brantford and Hamilton, contributing to emissions, urban sprawl, and inefficiencies in the transportation infrastructure.”

Transport Action Ontario has written to Brantford supporting its need, but urging caution on relying solely on GO. We also cited concerns about rail capacity and the impact of GO train reversals in Brantford on passenger rail service expansion further west. A better approach is to work with other regional municipalities and build upon the soon-to-be-released rail capacity study, commissioned by Transport Canada that envisages up to 12 trains per day to London, and additional services to Windsor and Sarnia.

We will be meeting with Brantford staff later this month to discuss further, our letter can be viewed below.

Photo credit: Chris Huggins


Link: https://www.brantford.ca/en/brantford-on-track-paving-the-way-for-go-rail-extension.aspx

Oct 23

Briefing Note on North Main Line (NML) Passenger Rail

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus

Transport Action Ontario has issued a briefing note for municipal stakeholders on the opportunity, status and suggested next steps on passenger rail service on the North Main Line (London – Stratford – Kitchener). This file has a lot of moving parts, including the recent shutdown of GO Rail service on the NML, as well as studies underway by the federal and provincial governments.

The briefing note can be viewed below.