News   Jan 27, 2023
 449     0 
News   Jan 27, 2023
 723     0 
News   Jan 27, 2023
 1.8K     1 

Hoverlink - Toronto to Niagara Hovercraft service starting 2023

lenaitch

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
4,415
Reaction score
4,494
1668564642604.png
 

Allandale25

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
7,883
Reaction score
11,829
Chris Glover MPP (Fort York) is announcing a meeting:

Register Now <https://mcusercontent.com/40bacb5f6a93b8e4455805173/images/edd48366-0bc3-6019-b71f-a895ea258353.png> New Proposed Hovercraft Transit ServiceHoverlink Ontario Inc. will be launching a new hovercraft transit service across Lake Ontario between Toronto (Ontario Place) and St. Catharines (Port Weller). This new service is expected to launch in summer 2023.Join MPP Chris Glover's virtual town hall on Tuesday, November 22 at 6:30 pm to discuss the proposed service. Community members interested in learning more about this rapid transit service are invited to join this discussion with Hoverlink Ontario CEO Chris Morgan, and CFL hall-of-famer and Hoverlink Board Member Michael Pinball ClemonFor more information about Hoverlink, check out their FAQ page: https://hoverlinkontario.com/faq/

Here's the direct URL to register:

 

DSC

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
16,120
Reaction score
17,887
Location
St Lawrence Market Area
I would be very surprised if they actually got this off the ground in 2023. Not having a terminal event designated much less built.
As discussed a month or so ago, their problem is that neither terminal is convenient. Ontario Place is not served by public transit and Port Weller is NOT Niagara Falls! It's a nice idea but .....
 

innsertnamehere

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
17,673
Reaction score
17,682
That's the first time I've seen their website. I agree that a 2023 start is quite aggressive

They do have a rendering on the website for their proposed Port Weller terminal:

weller-terminal-render.png
.

Provided they can provide shuttle service from Ontario Place to downtown (and, to a lesser extent, Niagara), I think this will be competitive and decently used. The time savings are significant enough across the lake to make it worth the slower shuttle rides on either end.
 

crs1026

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
8,571
Reaction score
15,499
^ I know, it's just a rendering.... but.... that's a pretty small bus stop for a service that drops you in the middle of nowhere in suburban St Catherines.

Is the (implied) shuttle bus network part of the business case? Or is the proponent just assuming that Niagara Transit will immediately jump to reroute its lines to the shuttle terminal - at taxpayer expense ?

- Paul
 

afransen

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
6,154
Reaction score
5,942
That's the first time I've seen their website. I agree that a 2023 start is quite aggressive

They do have a rendering on the website for their proposed Port Weller terminal:

weller-terminal-render.png
.

Provided they can provide shuttle service from Ontario Place to downtown (and, to a lesser extent, Niagara), I think this will be competitive and decently used. The time savings are significant enough across the lake to make it worth the slower shuttle rides on either end.

$60/head is kind of steep.

Given the poor convenience of this service, I kind of wonder if something like Lilium e-VTOL service would make more sense. They are still in development, but they are targeting a similar price point, and would cover 30 km in 8
8 minutes. And it would actually be able to take you to Niagara Falls, instead of Port Weller. I, for one, would not be an investor in this business.
 

innsertnamehere

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
17,673
Reaction score
17,682
^ I know, it's just a rendering.... but.... that's a pretty small bus stop for a service that drops you in the middle of nowhere in suburban St Catherines.

Is the (implied) shuttle bus network part of the business case? Or is the proponent just assuming that Niagara Transit will immediately jump to reroute its lines to the shuttle terminal - at taxpayer expense ?

- Paul
it says the hovercraft will fit up to 180 people - so you likely only need 2 or 3 buses to meet demand. I don't imagine they will have much more than hourly frequencies.. likely more like 1.3 hours or so, assuming they only have one hovercraft.

180 people getting dropped at once really isn't *that* much.

What I do hope is that they have a decent parking area in Niagara as I suspect a lot of demand will be for people from Niagara going to Toronto, not vice-versa.
 

innsertnamehere

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
17,673
Reaction score
17,682
$60/head is kind of steep.

Given the poor convenience of this service, I kind of wonder if something like Lilium e-VTOL service would make more sense. They are still in development, but they are targeting a similar price point, and would cover 30 km in 8
8 minutes. And it would actually be able to take you to Niagara Falls, instead of Port Weller. I, for one, would not be an investor in this business.
While it may feel steep, GO fare from Toronto to Niagara is $21.15 right now, or $42 round trip.

Of course you can pull the $10 weekend pass and do it cheaper, though.

To me - if you are doing a day trip to Niagara or Toronto, it would be worth the money to save the time, especially on weekdays. A $20 premium to get to Toronto in ~1 hour instead of 2.5? Yes.

Again - the pick up and drop off locations are not great but the time savings cutting across the lake are so great that taking a slower connecting shuttle on each end still results in significant time savings. The reality is that someone going from Niagara to Toronto could likely get to downtown, including a long shuttle ride in from Ontario Place, in under 1.5 hours all in by taking the ferry vs. 2-2.5 going around the lake. If you can avoid the last-mile connection (i.e, take a bike share in Toronto or have someone pick you up), the time savings are even greater.
 

crs1026

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
8,571
Reaction score
15,499
it says the hovercraft will fit up to 180 people - so you likely only need 2 or 3 buses to meet demand. I don't imagine they will have much more than hourly frequencies.. likely more like 1.3 hours or so, assuming they only have one hovercraft.

180 people getting dropped at once really isn't *that* much.

What I do hope is that they have a decent parking area in Niagara as I suspect a lot of demand will be for people from Niagara going to Toronto, not vice-versa.

180 passengers = 3 fully seated artic’s. (except in Toronto, where we cram in more standees….. which is not acceptable for a service charging this much)

That assumes that every passenger’s destination neatly fits the bus capacities.

I would guesstimate one fairly full busload for Niagara on the Lake, two buses’ worth for Niagara Falls, and one needed for local St Catherines. Possibly a fourth “wine tour” route. Bicycle capacity would be very constrained. Strollers ?

Anyways, the rendering doesn’t show loading space for 4 artics, is my point.

- Paul
 

innsertnamehere

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
17,673
Reaction score
17,682
180 passengers = 3 fully seated artic’s. (except in Toronto, where we cram in more standees….. which is not acceptable for a service charging this much)

That assumes that every passenger’s destination neatly fits the bus capacities.

I would guesstimate one fairly full busload for Niagara on the Lake, two buses’ worth for Niagara Falls, and one needed for local St Catherines. Possibly a fourth “wine tour” route. Bicycle capacity would be very constrained. Strollers ?

Anyways, the rendering doesn’t show loading space for 4 artics, is my point.

- Paul

Indeed, but that assumes 100% of passengers would immediately transfer to buses. they won't. Many will get picked up at the terminal, will have brought bikes they hop on, will take a taxi / uber, etc.

The likely demand is 2-3 regular old buses for a full hovercraft and a typical trip won't be full. That loop looks fine for two or three buses to pull up and unload passengers.
 
Last edited:

crs1026

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
8,571
Reaction score
15,499
^It would be interesting to know what they project their capacity factor to be. I can’t imagine it will be 100% full all the time. Possibly favourable on weekends, holidays, and (more of a stretch) peak commuting hours headed into Toronto.

I would bet money that they are way optimistic compared to what is realistic.

So, yeah, the connecting bus network can be less than 100% boat capacity lots of the time….., but a restricted connection network or a stressed peak capacity situation would be deadly.

- Paul
 

cereal

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
35
Reaction score
49
I still can't believe how there is zero information on the Toronto side Terminal. As i said before, the entire Hoverlink concept is notably absent from any of the current Ontario Place Redevelopment plans and any of the recent public consultation sessions. How can the province be involved in active public engagement without including the concept of Hoverlink? They can't just wrap up the consultation and design reviews and then go, "oh by the way, 20% of the Ontario Place is now going to be occupied by landing pads, a terminal, shuttles buses, pedestrian connections, parking, etc... all that public realm design we proposed will now have to accommodate hourly water-aircraft landing and 200 passengers disembarking somewhere ".

If you look at a map, where would any of the Hoverlink facilities even fit? Between the new Therme Spa covering the entire west island, Trillium park covering entire eastern edge, the expanded Budweiser Stage footprint, the marina, martin goodman trail, the Pods...Even beyond finding space for it, you haven't even gotten into the environmental issues, impacts on recreational boating, the noise, traffic studies, etc...

I truly hope this whole thing is vaporware, if not, I expect we will see some real scumbag moves coming from the provincial government.
 

afransen

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
6,154
Reaction score
5,942
While it may feel steep, GO fare from Toronto to Niagara is $21.15 right now, or $42 round trip.

Of course you can pull the $10 weekend pass and do it cheaper, though.

To me - if you are doing a day trip to Niagara or Toronto, it would be worth the money to save the time, especially on weekdays. A $20 premium to get to Toronto in ~1 hour instead of 2.5? Yes.

Again - the pick up and drop off locations are not great but the time savings cutting across the lake are so great that taking a slower connecting shuttle on each end still results in significant time savings. The reality is that someone going from Niagara to Toronto could likely get to downtown, including a long shuttle ride in from Ontario Place, in under 1.5 hours all in by taking the ferry vs. 2-2.5 going around the lake. If you can avoid the last-mile connection (i.e, take a bike share in Toronto or have someone pick you up), the time savings are even greater.
Ah, it is $60 round trip. I thought it was $60 one way.

Honestly, for a family of four, just rent a car. Waaaay cheaper. Even for a couple. I am deeply skeptical about travel time savings over driving, except maybe on holiday weekends.
 

KevinT

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
749
Reaction score
1,023
Location
Kitchener
If you look at a map, where would any of the Hoverlink facilities even fit? Between the new Therme Spa covering the entire west island, Trillium park covering entire eastern edge, the expanded Budweiser Stage footprint, the marina, martin goodman trail, the Pods...Even beyond finding space for it, you haven't even gotten into the environmental issues, impacts on recreational boating, the noise, traffic studies, etc...

If it could mount the breakwall (or if they reconfigured it), then converting that little parking lot just west of Inukshuk Park to a terminal would put it 600 meters walk from a 509 stop. Not ideal, but probably better than anywhere else in Ontario Place.

How attached are people to Coronation Park? That would knock it down to 300 meters, lol...
 

Top