Connected Intercity Bus Network still Needed

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus

May 30

At the public portion of the Transport Action Ontario Annual General Meeting, May 25, 2024, John Stepovy, Director of Partnerships,, summarized the status of the intercity bus network in Canada. 

Busbud is a Canadian company that provides bus and rail trip searching, planning, scheduling, booking and payment services for clients in 80 countries.  Key partners in Canada include VIA Rail, Union Pearson Express, Flixbus, Rider Express, Ontario Northland, Ebus, Maritime Bus and many more.

There continue to be issues in establishing a coordinated bus network in Canada:

  • Different carriers have different concession definitions and different baggage policies.
  • Different carriers often use different terminals in the same part of a city, meaning connections are challenging, especially with baggage.  For example, most bus carriers use the Union Station Bus Terminal in Toronto, while others use a drop point on York St. or on Queen’s Quay Blvd.
  • Lack of federal interest in developing a cross-Canada connected network. The federal government could fill a real gap by funding a central platform that houses all carriers’ schedules, maps, route information and fares.  While parliamentarians are supportive of this, Transport Canada has largely deflected this need to the Provinces.
  • Lack of federal interest in supporting private carriers to fill out the rural bus network.  For example, private carriers are not eligible for the Rural Transit Solutions Fund.

Transport Action will continue to work with Busbud and with bus carriers to advocate for improvements to the cross-Canada bus network.