OMCA Report
Dec. 19, 2014

Pan Am Games travel expenses on the radar
Toronto Star
TO2015 estimates that airfare alone cost some $500,000 for the past four years. But critics say closer to $800,000 was spent on flying TO2015 and Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) officials to far-flung destinations where they were wined and dined. More

Metrolinx announces GO bus schedule changes for Kitchener-Toronto corridor
The Record
GO Transit is adjusting the schedule of its buses that connect Kitchener and the University of Waterloo to schools and transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area. Starting Jan. 3, the daily weekday bus trip departing Kitchener at 8:24 a.m. will leave 10 minutes earlier. Also, new bus trips will depart the University of Waterloo for York University and Mississauga's Square One shopping mall on Fridays. More

TTC rebrands its airport bus — the cheaper if not faster way to Pearson
Toronto Star
As Metrolinx officials have been fending off controversy about the fares for the new Union Pearson Express train, the TTC has been quietly putting the finishing touches on a new branding campaign for its own airport service. About 4,500 people a day take the 192 bus known as the Airport Rocket. Many of them are airport workers. But avid travellers, including TTC CEO Andy Byford, also avail themselves of the bus that is fitted with luggage racks and makes only three stops between both Pearson terminals and Kipling Station. More

Bus lane decisions need supporting context
Raise The Hammer
It appears as though decisions to remove Hamilton's controversial bus lane are being made in the absence of supporting context. To single out the transit lane for removal only, with no other proposals to improve the transportation network, would be irresponsible. More

Ontario, Quebec finance ministers: Joe Oliver must provide more infrastructure cash
The Huffington Post
Finance ministers from across Canada issued a collective plea for the Harper government to dig deeper into its pockets to help build bridges, repair roads and improve public transit across the federation. Provincial and territorial finance ministers pressed federal counterpart Joe Oliver to consider investing more cash in infrastructure projects as a way to help further stimulate the economy. More

TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am road race routes released for Toronto
Canada Newswire
Maps detailing the routes for the Pan Am marathon, triathlon, race walk and cycling road race, as well as the Parapan Am cycling road race are now available at TORONTO2015.org. These competitions are part of the Ontario Place West Channel (OPW) venue contained within CIBC Pan Am Park, located at Exhibition Place. More

NDP: Salt shortage and bad winter maintenance making northern Ontario roads treacherous
NorthumberlandView.ca
NDP Transportation critic Michael Mantha is demanding that the Liberal government explain why there's a salt shortage and bad maintenance on northern Ontario roads this winter. He's calling on the Minister of Transportation to immediately fix the problem, which has been a concern ever since the Liberals expanded the privatization of winter road maintenance in the province. More

Ontario Provincial Police concerned by rise in drunk driving offenses
eCanadaNow
The return of the annual RIDE program in Western Ontario has seen an increase in the number of those arrested for impaired driving and has been accompanied by an increase in the number of those charged. Ontario Provincial Police, the law enforcement agency responsible for operating the program have explained their concerns through a spokesperson who stated the agency was worried by the rise in impaired driving. More

Ontario hosting Celebration Zone during 2015 Games
Government of Ontario
The Celebration Zone will be accessible and free for the public. It will showcase Ontario tourism, business, sport, culture, innovation and achievements through experiential programming that includes live entertainment featuring Ontario artists, interactive exhibits, culinary demonstrations and tourism information. More

Shofur introduces disruptive platform to the charter bus industry as market poises for growth
Digital Journal
"The basic services that charter buses offer have not changed dramatically over time, leaving limited room for substantial growth in demand for such services," noted researchers in a July 2014 report by IBIS entitled: "Scheduled and Charter Bus Services in the U.S." Tony Harris, president of Shofur, a website for booking charter buses, is changing all that through a digital, mobile website that connects consumers, travel agents and event organizers to over 5,000 buses in more than 200 locations. More

Helsinki unveils experiment to cut down on car ownership
Global News
The city of Helsinki, Finland, has a different take on transportation. It announced a public transit experiment — something it thinks could lead to drastically-reduced car ownership. Under this model, it believes, many residents won't need a car. According to reports in the Guardian and the Helsinki Times, a single transit app will link together taxi services, buses, carpools, trains, car-shares, bike-shares and more, to provide citizens with many options at different price points for getting to their destination. More

Is it time Ontario mandated snow tires?
Global News
Ontario drivers aren't required by the province to equip their cars with winter tires — but is it time they did? Minister of Transportation Stephen Del Duca says no. More

Expect to pay way more in Toronto for express transit to airport
The Globe and Mail
In Cleveland, the trip costs $2. Ditto for Baltimore. In Vancouver and Chicago, fares are a few dollars more. In Toronto? Expect to pay significantly more. Metrolinx will soon announce the fare for its Union Pearson Express. More

Toronto's new mayor announces measures to reduce gridlock
OMCA
Toronto's newly elected mayor John Tory recently announced a six-pronged strategy intended to help relieve some of the city's traffic congestion headaches. OMCA has had a number of conversations with Mr. Tory and his staff about this issue already. More

Canadian Association of Retired Persons: Age drives discrimination for Ontario motorists
Northern Life
Discrimination against older drivers has become pervasive, says the chair of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons Sudbury chapter. "We paint all seniors with the same brush," said Hugh Kruzel, referring to any accident that involves a person 65 years of age or older. More