OMCA Report
Mar. 28, 2014

OTE promises great value for your registration dollar
OMCA
OTE is just less two weeks away, April 13-16, 2014, and is offering exceptional educational sessions specifically for coach and school bus operators. Get the latest information on key industry topics and discover new tools that could help improve your operations. OTE is the place to expand your professional network and elevate your business. Looking at the Program-at-a-Glance you'll see how this year's OTE business session line-up includes topics and issues facing the motor coach and school bus industry today. Here are just some of the workshops that bus operators won't want to miss:

• What drives coach insurance rates?
• MTO Carrier Safety & Enforcement Branch Update
• Explanation of the new annual and semi-annual bus inspection (PMVI) standard
• The latest on school bus competitive procurement
• Legal and operational implications of a troubled CVOR
• Dealing effectively with disruptive student behaviour – strategies and techniques
• Emerging issues in workers compensation - how will they impact you?
• How to improve school bus dispatcher effectiveness
• Driver nutrition and wellness
• Special needs school transportation – challenges and solutions
• Driver background checks
• AODA – the legal obligations of school bus operators
• MTO's new Driver Certification Program (DCP) - is your organization ready?
• Saving money with propane fuel buses

Click here to view the full OTE conference brochure and detailed session descriptions.

Reserve your place today by registering on-line at https://ote.ca/registration/conference_registration.cgi More

Have you registered for OMCA Marketplace 2014?
OMCA
We want to see you in Ottawa, ON, this November for our annual Marketplace at The Westin Ottawa! Registration opened on March 18. Click here to register now, and be sure to book your hotel accommodations early! Operators received an e-blast earlier this month, which included the link for booking under the Buyer block at The Westin; please use that link when making your reservations. *Please note that all outstanding invoices must be paid before the option to register opens. If you need any assistance, please contact us at the office. More

Invitation for SYTA workshop, April 23
OMCA
The Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) would like to welcome any OMCA members who might be interested in attending the SYTA/Ontario workshop on April 23, 2014. Click here for more information, including the registration link. More

2009 International 28 Passenger Midsize Bus Champion Defender Classic 254" WB
OMCA
94,000 Kms on new engine (August 2012), 429,000 total Kms. on unit. Bus is accident free and overall in excellent condition. McCoy Bus Service has owned and operated this unit since new and all maintenance records are available from new. Click READ MORE for further details.

Asking $59,900 certified and e-tested, or best offer. Contact Shawn Geary at 613-532-2290 or shawn@gomccoy.com.More

CAA kick-starts Ontario's annual 'Worst Roads' campaign
Global News
CAA South Central Ontario has launched its annual Worst Roads campaign. Over the course of the next four weeks, Ontarians can vote online for the roads most in need of repair or redesign. "One of the objectives of this campaign is to encourage governments to spend the money, plan for the maintenance of our roads," said Faye Lyons of CAA South Central Ontario during a press conference.More

Group says policy changes would boost Candian travel and tourism
News1130
Would you be more likely to take a trip to another part of Canada if travel taxes were lower? A group that looks at tourism and travel globally says the government needs to do more to cash in on the industry's potential. The World Travel and Tourism Council argues certain policies are making it tough for visitors to get here. President and CEO David Scowsill says travel taxes and visa policies are among them. More

Canada isn't getting its share of American tourist dollars
St. Thomas Times-Journal
With a lower loonie, more passports and curiosity about Canada, conditions are ripe to lure American tourists back to Southwestern Ontario this summer. But Jim Hudson, executive director of the Southwest Ontario Tourism, says it will take more marketing muscle to pull that off at a time when federal tourism promotion has been slashed. More

Behind the scenes: Preparation for a bus trip
By Mark Hewitt
Many of you are obviously aware of what goes on during a motor coach trip, but have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? What goes on to make the trip flow so easily and what your driver does to make sure that there are no problems along the way? A lot of this is also done by the escort you may have, but for my purposes I will talk from the driver's point of view — after all, that's what I am. More

Distracted driving: What you can and can't do behind the wheel
The Globe and Mail
Ontario's distracted driving rules don't actually contain the word distraction. They're in section 78 ("Display screen visible to driver prohibited") and 78.1 ("Handheld devices prohibited) of the Highway Traffic Act. "Ontario's distracted driving law is aimed at combatting a particular form of driver distraction — the use of hand-held communication and entertainment devices and display screens," says Ontario's Ministry of Transportation in an e-mail statement. More

Ontario introduces proposed changes to HTA
OMCA
On Monday March 17, the Ontario Government introduced a number of proposed legislative and supporting regulatory amendments to the Highway Traffic Act. Of course, these proposed changes must proceed through the legislative approvals process before becoming law, and with spring provincial election being a strong likelihood, it remains to be seen if and when all or any of the above proposed changes will become law. More

New regulatory requirements for mandatory worker and supervisor awareness training as of July 1, 2014
OMCA
As of July 1, 2014, employers (with the exception of federally regulated businesses such as extra-provincial bus companies) will have to ensure everyone defined as a "worker" under the Occupational Health & Safety Act completes a basic awareness training program as soon as practicable. More

Beaches Jazz Festival gets Ontario grant after all
Toronto Star
The Beaches Jazz Festival has hit the right note in its plea for government cash to help put on this summer's shows. After stinging criticism from opposition parties and several days of scrambling, the minority Liberal government earmarked $75,000 for the popular and free annual festival. It's the country's largest such event, attracting 500,000 fans. More

OC Transpo boss: Bus brakes are safe
Ottawa Sun
The Transportation Safety Board has not mentioned any problems about the mechanics of OC Transpo's double-decker buses, including any issues with the brakes, Ottawa's transit boss says. More information came to light recently about maintenance that was being done on the brakes of the fleet of 75 double-decker buses. According to Manconi, Transpo mechanics had noticed the brakes on the double-deckers needed extra lubrication but it had nothing to do with the safe operation of the vehicles. More