OMCA Report
Dec. 5, 2014

OMCA's Quarterly Driver Licence Status Check identifies downgraded and invalid licences
Last Thursday, OMCA conducted the 4th licence status check of the year. The licence status for 48,100 drivers 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 preempt 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 24th quarterly check) subscribers were thankful that our system caught these problems before anything happened. One bus operator wrote to us saying, "This is a great program for us. It turned up three licences that were invalid and a couple that had downgraded to G. We never would have caught this otherwise."

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. The next Quarterly Status Check will be Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015.More

John Tory, the new 'traffic' sheriff in town
Toronto Sun
Mayor John Tory warned there's a "new sheriff in town" when it comes to traffic. Tory recently rolled out his six-point plan to tackle Toronto's traffic congestion. "I was sent to City Hall to act on traffic among other things," Tory said during a press conference inside the city's traffic management centre. "I am the mayor of Toronto not the sheriff, but I can say when it comes to traffic, there is a new sheriff in town."More

Hwy 17 closure being reviewed by MTO
CBC News
Ontario's Minister of Transportation says he is reviewing how road maintenance was performed in light of the lengthy weekend closure of Highway 17 between Terrace Bay and Marathon. Minister Steven Del Duca said the review will look into whether the private contractor responsible for road maintenance lived up to the province's high standards. More

Suburbs are booming with transit
The Globe and Mail
Roam around the suburbs ringing Toronto and one thing you notice is how much governments are investing in new transit: new buses, new bus corridors, new stations. While Toronto talks endlessly about how to build better transit, the 'burbs are getting it done. More

New GO train station on the way for York Region
Government of Ontario
Ontario's transit agency, Metrolinx, has started building a new GO station in York Region to make it easier for commuters to take public transit, reduce congestion, and create jobs by getting people moving. Construction of a new GO Station in Gormley is underway, extending the Richmond Hill line north to Stouffville Road and Leslie Street. More

Cross-Border Institute demonstrates security technology at Queen's Park
The Cross-Border Institute, part of the University of Windsor, recently hosted an event to demonstrate advances in security, surveillance and fingerprinting technology. This technology has application for border crossing screening, supply chain security and cybersecurity.More

Getting ready to welcome Chinese tourists
By Linchi Kwok
President Barack Obama announced a new visa plan between China and the U.S. during his recent visit to Beijing. The White House expects this new visa agreement will bring more Chinese tourists to the U.S., and thus create 440,000 jobs and contribute about $85 billion a year to the economy. Now that the visa barrier has been lowered, the number of Chinese tourists is likely to double or even triple in a year or two. Is our travel, tourism and hospitality industry ready to welcome that many Chinese tourists? More

Insurance study: Ottawa makes most crash claims
Ottawa Sun
Maybe it's all the snow and ice, but Ottawa drivers crash into things more often than other Canadians, an insurance company study suggests. Canada's capital ranked highest among 50 Canadian cities in Allstate Insurance's study of collision claims. More

2014 Ontario Tourism Awards
Bayshore Broadcasting
Awards have been handed out at the 2014 Ontario Tourism Summit. It was held recently at the Blue Mountain Resort and Blue Mountain Village with some 500 tourism professionals from across the province attending. More

Are travel agents permitted to charge a 'counselling' fee?
Toronto Star
Travel agents are permitted to charge a counselling fee. Just as lawyers, accountants and other professionals levy a charge for their services and professional expertise, so may travel agents. The sale of travel services is regulated in Ontario and consumer-protection legislation exists to protect consumers, such as you, when you are purchasing travel services. More

The Pan Am traffic plan: It's on you, Toronto
The Toronto Observer
The problem: the 2015 Pan Am games will undoubtable spike traffic in Toronto, adding visitors and athletes to an already-gridlocked city. The solution, according to the new Pan Am Transportation Plan: avoid rush hour. More

Grumpy riders share their transit frustrations
Waiting for a streetcar or bus in the heart of winter can be a frustrating — and chilly — experience. Delays, short-turns, and vehicle bunching can make commuters' blood boil in even the coldest of temperatures. That's exactly why transit advocacy group TTC Riders launched its #grumpyrider campaign.More

New Toronto council, same Scarborough LRT agreement — for now
Global News
Toronto's new mayor and council met for the first time this week more than a year after their predecessor buried Scarborough transit underground once and for all. Or so they thought.More

As National Safe Driving Week arrives, Canadians still shown to have dangerous texting habits
The Ontario Provincial Police reports that distracted driving now kills more people in Ontario than drunk driving and speeding combined. A recent Telus survey found that 36 per cent of Canadian drivers admit to breaking the law by using their smartphones while driving. More

Scottish bus maker to establish Ontario plant as part of Metrolinx deal
Canadian Manufacturing
Metrolinx has signed a deal with Alexander Dennis (ADL) to buy 253 double-decker buses that will see the Scotland-based bus maker establish a local chassis assembly facility near Toronto. More

Ontario unveils transportation plan for Pan Am Games
The Globe and Mail
The Ontario government will be limiting access on major highways across the Toronto area during the Pan Am Games next summer, part of a $61 million plan for managing traffic during the athletic competition. More

Willie Nelson's tour bus featured on 'Extreme RVs' for Travel Channel
Houston Chronicle
When you are the undisputed living king of country music, you deserve to ride in style from city to city and venue to venue. This past week the Travel Channel show "Extreme RVs" took a tour inside Willie Nelson's touring bus, which is outfitted with numerous creature comforts for Nelson and his family as he travels the country with his trusty guitar "Trigger" and his band.More