OMCA Report
Oct. 17, 2014

Ontario won't work with Canada Border Services Agency on road blitzes
Ontario will no longer allow the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to join the province's road safety blitzes, which federal agents have used to make arrests on immigration violations, the government announced recently. Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca sent a letter to federal Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney saying that partnering with the CBSA "does not align" with his ministry's mandate to make roads as safe as possible.More

Intercity bus company slashes service across Quebec
Montreal Gazette
The Quebec Transport Commission has approved deep cuts to intercity bus service to small towns across Quebec. Orléans Express, the bus company that provides the only form of public transportation to many regions of the province, has been complaining for years that it can no longer maintain unprofitable routes.More

A brief history of Highway 401 in Toronto
When work began on what would become Highway 401 in 1946, no-one imagined what a monster it would become. The Toronto portion of the road, built as a four-lane, limited access express route between what is now Highway 427 and the Rouge River was supposed to be a high-speed bypass for through motorists. Drivers snarled by traffic lights and stop signs on old Highway 2 would be free to cruise uninterrupted over the north of the city, the province promised.More

Transit Windsor partners with Metrolinx, municipalities for bulk bus buy
Windsor is one of 13 municipalities that have partnered with Metrolinx to procure 203 new fully accessible transit buses. The bulk bus purchase was facilitated by the Metrolinx Transit Procurement Initiative, a joint procurement program aimed at lowering costs for small- and medium-sized Ontario municipalities. More

Sightseeing firm Big Bus Tours hires JPMorgan for sale
One of the world's largest operators of open-top sightseeing tours, Big Bus Tours, has hired JPMorgan to find a buyer in a deal that could value the travel firm at close to $810 million, sources familiar with the situation said. The company's owners have appointed the U.S. bank to lead a strategic review with a view to launching a sale process early next year, said one of the sources who could not be named because the matter is confidential. More

Metrolinx facilitates major bus purchase on behalf of municipalities
Canada Newswire
Metrolinx has partnered with 13 municipalities to purchase 188 12-metre transit buses and 15 18-metre articulated transit buses. All vehicles will be fully accessible. "Metrolinx is once again pleased to support municipalities through our Transit Procurement Initiative program to improve and expand public transit across Ontario," said Bruce McCuaig, Metrolinx President and CEO. "By helping these municipalities get more value for their money, we continue to make progress on improving and expanding public transit services." More

What's it like to ride crowdfunded transit in Toronto?
Residents of Liberty Village are afforded few transit options, and the worst of them is the 504 King streetcar, the busiest surface route in the city. Carrying an average of 60,000 people a day, it's often over-crowded and delayed. To combat the neighbourhood's transit troubles, Brett Chang, 23, and Taylor Scollon, 24, successfully crowdfunded a privately-run bus shuttle from Liberty Village to Union Station called Line Six Transit. More

New Flyer to develop first North American-built 60-foot battery-electric/fuel cell bus
Winnipeg Free Press
Winnipeg-based New Flyer Industries has announced plans to develop the first North American designed and built zero-emission, 60-foot battery-electric/fuel cell bus. The new propulsion system will be integrated into the transit-bus maker's Xcelsior X60 heavy-duty transit bus platform, which includes a combination of batteries, a fuel cell and hydrogen storage.More

Hoteliers outline 7 wishes for the coming year
Hotel News Resource
If you work in hospitality you will know that in this fragmented, complicated business things are changing faster than your best barista can make a cappuccino. Among the forces driving this are fresh acquisitions and consolidation of the big boys, new disruptive players and rapid shifts in technology and consumer behaviour. More

Companies rev up green transportation products
Business In Vancouver
GreenPower's EV350 relies on an electric drive system, allowing it to hum silently along the road for up to 250 kilometres before needing a recharge. The company has been taking the display model to North American trade shows, transit agencies and rental car companies to generate interest in the newly unveiled high-tech bus. More

TourMatters takes a media approach to multi-day tours
Boston-based startup TourMatters seems, at first glance, to be just another tours-and-activities website. But a second look reveals that it is exclusively focused on multi-day tours and that it has taken a publisher's approach to presenting listings. The company says that what sets TourMatters apart from its rivals is that it "curates" listings. It more or less scrapes tour information rather than makes deals with operators to profile them and list their itineraries. More

Are Ontario highways in the slow lane?
Brant News
Chris Klimek believes there is growing consensus in North America that driving faster on major highways is actually safer and can reduce the number of motor-vehicle accidents that take place. "There is much misconception about driving fast and driving safe," said Klimek, founder of Stop100, an advocacy group that has been working to raise Ontario highway speed limits from 100 km per hour to 120 km per hour and 130 km per hour in express lanes.More

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission president resigns
Northern Ontario Business
Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) will transition into a new chapter of operation without president-CEO Paul Goulet. Goulet, who steered the North Bay-based Crown corporation through a rocky phase of restructuring following the Ontario government's divestment decision in 2012, announced his sudden resignation.More

Company disputes Toronto's private parking ticket ban
Toronto Star
It's been 10 years since the city banned private parking tickets, but the yellow slips that closely resemble Toronto city tickets keep showing up under windshield wipers across town. They're popular in strip malls in Scarborough and Etobicoke, especially the ones immediately across from hospitals, where people duck across the street to avoid the expensive parking.More

The art of using a story to sell
By Anne Rose
A story makes the unfamiliar familiar. A story draws people into the experience, making them a participant, not a bystander. A story ignites their imagination and allows them to assume starring roles in the story. It allows them to feel what the characters feel, see what the characters see, and experience similar outcomes to the characters. Can we use stories in our travel selling? Absolutely. We are fortunate to have thousands of personal experiences from our travels and can also draw from the story banks of our clients. More