OMCA Report
Aug. 14, 2015

Pan Am temporary HOV program ends Aug. 18
The temporary HOV lanes in the GTA that were set up to help Games-related traffic flows during the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games will officially disappear at midnight next Tuesday (Aug. 18). The lanes that have helped many coach operators (even those not specifically working on the Games) get through Toronto congestion will revert to normal use on Wednesday morning and members are advised to take this into account when looking at schedules. As of Wednesday the 19th it will be traffic as usual!More

New York City police issue coach driver from Ontario $50 ticket for driving on Central Park West, NYC
An OMCA member advises that one of their drivers was recently ticketed $50.00 for driving their coach on Central Park West in New York City, north of 86th Street. Signs saying "Passenger Cars Only" are posted on Central Park West, as well as 5th Avenue/Museum Mile (on the east side of Central Park), however, trucks and buses have routinely used these roads for years. The officer who issued the ticket mentioned to the coach driver they are responding to complaints from local residents about commercial traffic. More

Low dollar has American tourists flocking to southern Ontario
CTV News
It might not be the heady days of the late 1990s all over again, but American tourists are once again traipsing to Stratford in greater numbers. "Americans are coming back. We've seen a slight upturn from last year," said Larry McCabe, the chair of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.More

Teachers to head back to bargaining table
Toronto Star
Wait — is that a ray of hope on the school horizon? After nearly three months of nothing but crickets at the bargaining table, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) has agreed to resume talks next week with school boards and the province. More

GO to boost train service on Kitchener, Stouffville lines
Toronto Star
GO riders on the Kitchener and Stouffville lines are expected to get a boost to their train service in the off-peak, following Labour Day. The Kitchener line will get hourly trains in both directions between Union Station and Mount Pleasant, one stop east of Georgetown, according to Toronto Star sources.More

Liz Sandals upbeat on upcoming teacher talks
Toronto Sun
Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals says she's got a "good feeling" as talks resume with two of the province's teacher unions. Representatives of the teacher unions weren't saying if they share her upbeat outlook.More

Celebrating the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games
University of Toronto
Widespread enthusiasm for the 2015 Parapan Am Games is proof of parasport competitors' athleticism and tenacity, alumna Joanne Berdan told a University of Toronto reception at City Hall on August 10. And the University of Toronto Sports Hall of Famer said it's great to witness the public celebration of "paratough" athletes. More

MTO studies why Ontario roads are cracking prematurely
Northern Ontario Business
The fact that some roads are cracking prematurely in Ontario isn't news to anyone, but problems are emerging with roads that have been built using new specifications designed to make them last longer. Simon Hesp, an asphalt researcher at Queen's University, made headlines recently when he pointed out that at least some of the issues are related to the use of recycled motor oils in asphalt cement. More

Ontario showcasing cutting-edge accessibility technology
Government of Ontario
Ontario recently hosted the first ever Accessibility Innovation Showcase, an official event of the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games, at the MaRS Discovery District. Over 50 companies demonstrated innovations in technologies and assistive devices that can benefit people with disabilities, their families and employers across Ontario. More

Drunk driving up on GTA highways
Toronto Sun
Incidents of impaired driving on highways in the GTA have increased dramatically over last year, according to police. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 1, Ontario Provincial Police issued 1,020 criminal charges for impaired driving or driving over the legal limit — an increase of 31 per cent compared to the same period in 2014 when 776 charges were issued. More

What 3 of the world's smartest hoteliers have to say about the future of hotels
When The Standard Hotels invested a 51 per cent stake in the Austin-based Bunkhouse Group last month, it was as much a meeting of hospitality hearts as it was minds for two of the world's most attuned hotel brands. Speaking with Amar Lalvani, managing partner of The Standard Hotels, and Liz Lambert, owner of Bunkhouse Group, it's clear there's a mutual admiration for the hotel design and guest experiences that each has developed over the years, above and beyond the success of their business models. More

Hoteliers critique 3 new booking platforms
Hotel News Now
There's no shortage of innovation in the distribution space, with new platforms and providers popping up every day. But while a bevy of options creates competition that can be good for the hotel industry, it also can create headaches as hoteliers are left to vet them one by one — unless there's a panel of experts to do the work for them. More

Extensive renovations to overhaul GO passenger concourse at Union Station
The Bay GO passenger concourse at Union Station is completing extensive renovations. It will take two years before the work is done, yet another major project for riders to traverse through at Union, but Metrolinx is promising the finished product will offer more space plus connections to GO Train platforms and direct access to Union's new retail concourse level, which is expected open next year.More

Holiday transit is an essential
The Peterborough Examiner
In the Kawarthas, our natural resources are some of the best anywhere, and they have long been the basis for a successful tourism industry and the development of an active recreational culture. It comes as no surprise that this culture translates into city life as well; you would be hard pressed to find a week without some public festival, fair or festivity taking place. The surprise is how difficult it can be for some people to get to them. More