OMCA Report
Jun. 5, 2015

Reminder to charter bus operators: Deadline for registration with International Registration Program (IRP) for extra-provincial travel is January 1, 2016
OMCA
Charter bus operators are reminded that as of Jan. 1, 2016, extra-provincial travel will no longer be allowed using their home jurisdiction registration plate. On and after that date, the bus must be registered under IRP (pro-rate plates) or purchase trip permits for each province or state of travel. As reported previously in MCC News, IRP is a vehicle registration agreement between all states in the U.S. (including District of Columbia) and provinces of Canada. It provides for payment of apportionable vehicle registration fees on the basis of total distance travelled in each province or state, similar in principle to the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).More

Confusing concoction of parking regulation signs on Richmond Street near Toronto's Sheraton Hotel has coach drivers baffled as to what's allowed and what isn't
OMCA
There's nothing like clear, concise signage to help bus drivers comply with Toronto's on-street parking regulations. Any motor coach driver who has dropped or picked up a group or parked their motor coach on Richmond Street West, between Bay St. and University Ave (Sheraton Hotel south entrance) will tell you how befuddling the parking regulation signs are. One look at the picture here and it's no wonder buses fall victim to $300 parking tickets when they stop, stand or park in this location during certain times of the day. A Bay Street lawyer would be hard-pressed to decipher this hodgepodge of signs, some of which contradict each other. Coach drivers are left wondering which signs trump others and they just want to understand what's allowed so they don't get $300 tickets.More

Ontario passes legislation to improve road safety
OMCA
On Tuesday June 2, the Ontario Legislature passed the Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act. The highlights include:

• Increase fines for distracted driving from the current range of $60 to $500 to a range of $300 to $1,000, assigning three demerit points upon conviction, and escalating sanctions on convictions for novice drivers. (This is in response to current collision trends which indicate fatalities from distracted driving may exceed those from drinking and driving by 2016.)
• Require drivers to wait until pedestrians have completely crossed the road before proceeding at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers.
• Apply current alcohol-impaired sanctions to drivers who are drug impaired.
• Introduce additional measures to address repeat offenders of alcohol impaired driving.

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Transit workers against transit subsidies
Financial Post
It is time to bring attention to the staggering facts that show negative long-term affects for the members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1624 if a Go Train Station is built in Niagara. It should be noted that neither Coach Canada nor Greyhound receives any subsidy from the province. Hence, these small carriers simply cannot compete with the low fares that GO Transit (and Metrolinx) charges. In fact, GO Transit riders do not even have to pay HST on their ticket fares, and therefore are making no contribution to the project in question.More

CEO: Traffic hell during Pan Am Games par for the course
Toronto Sun
Traffic nightmares will be a part of hosting an event as amazing as the Pan Am Games, the head of the organization says. "Traffic (jams) are not something we save only for special occasions. It happens. There is no avoiding this ... we are asking for patience," TO2015 CEO Saad Rafi told the Toronto Region Board of Trade. More

Teachers condemn Ontario's back-to-work legislation
Toronto Star
The Ontario government passed back-to-work legislation as the high school teachers' union condemned the action and others warned of labour unrest continuing into the fall. "We are now ensured the students in those three boards, who have been out of school for far too long, are back in class and they're learning and they will be able to complete their school year," Education Minister Liz Sandals said after voting on Bill 103, which prohibits strikes in Durham, Peel and Sudbury until the end of the school year. More

Ontario elementary teachers start 'Phase 2' of strike action
CTV News
The first phase of the teachers' job action began May 11, when teachers withdrew from administrative duties including writing comments on report cards and participating in professional development initiatives. There will also be no standardized tests until the strike action is over. More

GO tests Wi-Fi on 10 buses
Toronto Sun
GO Transit is piloting Wi-Fi on 10 of its buses starting Wednesday. The service is being tested on vehicles that typically operate on Highway 407 and Waterloo-Mississauga routes. More

Ontario launches Accessibility Action Plan
Government of Ontario
Ontario has released a new action plan to build on the progress made since the introduction of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in 2005 and to achieve the goal of becoming accessible by 2025. The AODA has transformed the lives of people with disabilities by establishing standards in key areas of daily life, including customer service, employment, information and communications, transportation and the design of public spaces. More

The future of Uber rests on Ontario Superior Court decision
The Globe and Mail
The fate of Uber's future in Toronto is in the hands of an Ontario Superior Court judge — but even if he decides to shut down the popular ride-sharing mobile app, users shouldn't expect the service to disappear overnight. Court hearings in the fight between the City of Toronto and Uber concluded recently, with the Silicon Valley-based ride-sharing company laying out its case for why it should be allowed to continue to operate. More

Minister: Ontario needs to prepare for driverless cars
Toronto Star
Ontario needs to start planning its transportation network and its regulations for new automotive technology, including driverless and electric cars, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said. Twelve U.S. states already have regulations or are contemplating legislation governing driverless vehicles, he said. More

Distracted driving penalties increase under new Ontario law
CBC News
Ontario unanimously passed legislation recently increasing penalties for drivers who text or use a handheld phone while on the road, and who open their door into the path of a cyclist. The update to the Highway Traffic Act also imposes a one-metre distance rule between motor vehicles and bicycles — "where practicable" — and will force drivers to wait until pedestrians completely cross the road at school crossings. More

Toronto island airport tunnel likely won't be ready for Pan Am Games
The Globe and Mail
The latest timeline for the much-delayed tunnel to the Toronto island airport has it opening in late July, meaning that it will probably not be operational until after the Pan Am Games. Ports Toronto spokeswoman Erin Mikaluk said that the construction ran into delays that were compounded by the shortage of skilled labour in the city, where multiple major projects are under way.More