OMCA Report
May. 29, 2015

OMCA's Driver Licence Status Check continues to help bus companies protect themselves against downgraded and invalid licences
The second quarterly licence status check for 2015 was done last Monday. The driver licence status for 49,428 drivers was checked against the MTO driver database and a report was provided to each subscriber identifying drivers with a licence discrepancy. Subscribers could then contact drivers whose licences have been downgraded or suspended to preempt any possibility of a driver getting involved in an accident or incident while holding an improper or suspended licence. As with past status checks many subscribers were surprised by their results, thankful that our system caught these problems before anything happened. The status check report also flags drivers with a "Code W" medical condition that prohibits them from driving a bus or truck in the United States. The next Quarterly Status Check will be Tuesday, Aug. 25. Click here for more information and to subscribe online. More

The worst road in Ontario is...
Today's Trucking
Algonquin Boulevard West in Timmins tops the list of the just released Canadian Automobile Association's Top 10 Worst Roads in Ontario. Timmins has three roads on the provincial list, while Toronto has two, including Dufferin Street, which previously help the number one spot for three years.More

Ontario teachers' strikes ruled illegal, tensions remain high
The Globe and Mail
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has declared three strikes by public high-school teachers illegal, meaning more than 70,000 students returned to class Wednesday. The ruling, which ends weeks-long walkouts, capped a dramatic day on the education front, leaving the high-school teachers unclear about their future strike options while a work-to-rule protest by elementary teachers gained momentum. More

Ticket sales tick up for Pan Am Games
Toronto Star
As the Pan Am Games approach, ticket sales are ticking up and infrastructure projects are under budget. Almost half the tickets have sold out — if you don't count soccer qualifiers. Excluding preliminary rounds of soccer, almost 45 per cent of tickets have sold, organizing committee CEO Saad Rafi said recently. More

Is Toronto-area transit the next frontier for the private sector?
Metro News
Public-private partnerships (P3s) are like car insurance, says Infrastructure Ontario CEO Bert Clark. It costs more up front but when things go wrong you don't have to worry about paying for the repairs. More

Harper announces spending to boost Canadian tourism in the U.S.
The Globe and Mail
Ottawa will spend $30 million over three years to boost tourism promotion in the United States, hoping that the lower loonie and strengthening economy south of the border will send more tourists northbound. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement recently in Berthier-Sur-Mer, QC, where he also announced money to renovate the Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site. More

Ontario investing up to $1 billion for light rail transit in Hamilton
Government of Ontario
Ontario will provide up to $1 billion to build a new light rail transit (LRT) line in Hamilton as part of the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario's history. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the funding while in Hamilton. The province will cover 100 per cent of the capital costs of building the LRT, which will help grow the economy, reduce travel times and connect people to jobs and to other transit systems. More

New, expanded bus routes to provide 'reliable' overnight, weekend service
Toronto Star
Changes to 61 TTC bus routes aim to give those travelling outside of rush hour more reliable service both downtown and across the suburbs. Those changes, detailed recently for the first time as part of the $90 million investment already announced and budgeted earlier this year, could start rolling out as early as Sept. 6, said TTC CEO Andy Byford. More

Toward the peaceful coexistence of buses and bikes
It's one of the most disconcerting interactions on urban and suburban streets: the uncomfortable, out-of-sync dance between bicycles and buses travelling in the same direction. Often, the person riding a bike will have to leave the bike lane and go out into car traffic to pass a bus that has pulled into a stop — only to be quickly passed again by the bus driver, who then has to pull in for the next stop just as the cyclist is coming up from the rear again. More