OMCA Report
May. 30, 2014

OMCA Resource Guide Deadline: June 2
In recent newsletters and e-blasts, we have been asking for our members to kindly update their information so that their listing is current for the 2014-2015 Annual Resource Guide. The membership survey is new for this year, so it is imperative that you update your information as we do not have your previous survey information.

The deadline to update profiles for printing is June 2, 2014.
If you do not update your information, then a full listing will not appear in the Guide. (Company name, contact only.)

Updating is easy — simply log into My Association, select Member Profile from the menu, and update your company description and profile. NOTE: Members with outstanding membership dues after June 2 will be suspended and will not be included in the 2014/2015 Resource Guide. More

Donate today to the annual OMCA Silent Auction!
This year marks the 17th Annual OMCA Silent Auction. Your donations go towards the OMCA Development Fund, which grants scholarships for outstanding students in travel and tourism programs, and funds projects that benefit the motor coach tour and travel industry.

Donations are a great way to promote your business with three days of on-site visibility to all conference delegates — bus and tour operators and suppliers from across North America. Your company will be listed in the auction catalogue, an excellent way to promote your business (and your auction item!) and listed on the OMCA website as a Silent Auction donor.

The Silent Auction is only possible through your generosity and we thank you for your continued support! We hope that you will donate to our Silent Auction! To make a donation, click here to fill out a donation form or contact Rozi Humphrey at

Have you registered for the 2014 OMCA Marketplace?
We want to see you in Ottawa, ON, this November for our annual Marketplace at The Westin Ottawa! Click here to register now, and be sure to book your hotel accommodations early! For alternate hotels in the OMCA block, please see our Accommodations page. *Please note that all outstanding invoices must be paid before the option to register opens. If you need any assistance, please contact us at the office at or 416-229-6622. More

Already registered? Check out our new micro-site for OMCA Marketplace
Already registered for Marketplace, or thinking about it? On top of doing business on the Marketplace floor, we want you to know what's happening in Ottawa during your stay. Courtesy of Ottawa Tourism, we have a new micro-site online that features great info on our host city, including travel planning tips, things to do, delegate discounts and more! Check it out at

OMCA's Driver Licence Status Check detects hundreds of downgraded and invalid licences — and drivers with 'Code W' medical condition
Last Monday, OMCA conducted the second licence status check of the year. The licence status for 47,600 drivers (our largest number ever) 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 pre-empt any possibility of a driver getting involved in an accident or incident while holding an improper or suspended licence. As with past status checks (this was our 22nd quarterly check) many subscribers were surprised by their results, thankful that our system caught these problems before anything happened. The status check report also flags drivers having a "Code W" medical condition that prohibits them from driving a bus or truck in the U.S.A. The next Quarterly Status Check will be Monday Aug. 25, 2014. More

Partial intersection closures: York and Rees Streets, Toronto
The York St. and Rees St. intersections will be partially closed starting June 2 for the rebuild of the TTC streetcar corridor. Westbound traffic on Queens Quay will be maintained through the intersections. During this work, vehicles will not be permitted to travel northbound onto York Street or Rees Street from Queens Quay. There will also be no southbound access to Queens Quay from York Street or Rees Street. Lower Simcoe St. and Lower Spadina Ave will re-open before these closures occur. For further information call the Queens Quay hotline at 416-214-9990. To subscribe to the weekly Queens Quay construction update online go to:

MTO inspects prom night limos and buses in Barrie
As reported by the Barrie Advance, MTO conducted a bus and limo blitz last weekend targeting vehicles taking Barrie teens to their prom. "The buses where checked after kids were dropped off to prom at multiple locations in Barrie," MTO enforcement officer Hank Dubee said. The vehicles came from Brampton, Toronto, Newmarket and Barrie and one-quarter of those inspected were taken off the road until repairs could be done, he said. Charges were laid for no insurance, expired safety inspection stickers, no daily trip inspections, no CVOR and missing safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and first-aid kids. Dubee said a number of the drivers also didn't have a public vehicle licence to pick up and deliver in the Barrie area. A total of 14 charges were laid. Nottawasaga OPP officers also helped confiscate open liquor from two of the vehicles as they arrived at a Barrie-area golf course. More

The worst road in Ontario is in Toronto, and it is...
Toronto Star
Dufferin Street has defended its title as the worst road in Ontario for the third year running. "Over the years," the Canadian Automobile Association says in announcing its 2014 list, "Dufferin Street has made the CAA's Worst Roads list eight times." Seven of the top 10 worst roads are in Toronto, the CAA says. More

Advocate: Raise speed limits to make Ontario highways safer
CTV News
A drivers' advocacy group says Ontario is keeping speed limits on 400-series highways artificially low to make money off speeding tickets, and that increasing highway speeds would actually make drivers safer. The advocacy group,, has launched a petition to have the current 100 kilometre-an-hour speed limit raised to a "reasonable" 120 or 130 kilometres per hour. The group's website says current speed limits make safe freeway speeds illegal, “exposing drivers to unfair punishment." More

Bi-national tourism on heart of the continent agenda
A panel discussion on cross-border partnerships and presentations on bi-national tourism projects will be among the topics on the agenda for a two-day meeting of the Heart of the Continent Partnership. The Heart of the Continent Partnership, a coalition of public land managers and interested community stakeholders from Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario, is holding its spring quarterly meeting at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. More

John Tory's 'One Toronto' transit plan
Mayoral candidate John Tory recently announced his transit plan during an address to the Canadian Club. The plan is almost entirely about one line — "SmartTrack" in Tory terminology — that would be built mostly on existing GO Transit corridors to link Markham, downtown Toronto, and the Airport Corporate Centre. "SmartTrack" would serve western Scarborough, southern Toronto, and the centre of Etobicoke — a transit line for everyone, not just those pesky downtowners. More

Festival organizers seek more tourism investment
Montreal Gazette
On a glorious spring day, the organizers of Quebec's summer festivals gathered in downtown Montreal to encourage the newly elected Liberal government to increase investment in tourism, saying the industry creates thousands of jobs and provides millions of dollars in tax revenue. "About 400,000 jobs here are connected to tourism," said Louise Beaudoin, the former Parti Québécois cabinet minister who now chairs the Major International Events Network. More

Reincarnation of Ken Kesey's psychedelic bus gears up for 50th anniversary run across America
Times Colonist
When the late author Ken Kesey and his pals, the Merry Pranksters, took their psychedelic bus ride across America to visit the New York World's Fair, the nation was mourning President John F. Kennedy's assassination and the Grateful Dead was not yet a band. For their trip, they rode in a bus painted with brightly colored swirls, outfitted with a sound system and emblazoned with the word "Further" as the destination. More

The story of Canada's own Route 66
The Leader-Post
There's a Canadian equivalent of American's iconic Route 66 — and Clark Saunders has found it. It's the old No. 1 Highway West — and chances are you're close to where it used to run through Saskatchewan. Saunders — raised in Winnipeg, but living in B.C. — has driven it more times than he can count. More

Why Detroit-Windsor bridge could become Canada's white elephant
The Globe and Mail
It risks becoming a very expensive bridge to nowhere. At issue is the long-planned, and even longer-discussed, new bridge linking Windsor and Detroit — one of the busiest border crossings in the world. The whole project is slated to cost $3.4-billion. More

Bus operators ramp up PR battle
London Free Press
Yellow may be anything but mellow for Ontario Liberals in a much-anticipated spring election. The possibility that yellow school buses will dog Grits on the campaign trail, is very real, says the executive director of the Ontario Independent School Bus Operators Association. More

Altoona testing of first 40-foot, zero-emissions electric rapid transit bus is complete
Fort Mill Times
The Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center under the Larson Institute and sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), recently completed the FTA's "new model bus testing program" of the first 40-foot, all-electric bus. The BYD Electric Bus has successfully completed the Altoona structural integrity testing program in a fast 116 track days. More