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/
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 .....I would be very surprised if they actually got this off the ground in 2023. Not having a terminal event designated much less built.
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:
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.
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.^ 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 ?
While it may feel steep, GO fare from Toronto to Niagara is $21.15 right now, or $42 round trip.$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.
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.
Ah, it is $60 round trip. I thought it was $60 one way.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.
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...