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Intercity Bus Services

Although I'd quite seriously support ONR taking and rebuilding everything necessary to re-open an Ottawa Valley route. Adding Hearst- Sault - Sudbury - Ottawa to the ONR really does make a lot of sense in network terms.
In what dream world would it be even close to viable to spend untold millions to re-lay rail for a low-volume passenger only service? As for the rest of the rail network, so long as taxpayers are ok with spending even further multi-millions buying up and operating low volume lines, sure, why not.
 
In what dream world would it be even close to viable to spend untold millions to re-lay rail for a low-volume passenger only service? As for the rest of the rail network, so long as taxpayers are ok with spending even further multi-millions buying up and operating low volume lines, sure, why not.
One where there is actually a commitment to rail as key national infrastructure.
 
One where there is actually a commitment to rail as key national infrastructure.
Fair enough, but wouldn't that make it a federal priority rather than a provincial one?

I suspect that even if you pick a country where passenger rail is, in fact, a "key national infrastructure", they still need a reasonable ridership. How many people do you suspect travel between Hearst and Sault Ste. Marie or even between Sudbury/North Bay and Ottawa? There has to be some kind of economic foundation to it beyond a hopeful 'if they built it they will come'.
 

Red Arrow Expands its Premium Intercity Motorcoach Service to Ontario Français


News provided by
Red Arrow
Nov 15, 2022, 07:00 ET

TORONTO and OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 15, 2022 /CNW/ - Over recent years, the methods we use to travel have undergone many changes. Many travellers are now looking to find ways to maximise their time, health, and safety and impact on the environment when selecting their choice of travel. In light of this, we are proud to announce that Red Arrow is now bringing its long-desired intercity passenger service to Ontario, offering an affordable premium experience the province has never experienced before.

On December 4th, Red Arrow will launch service between Toronto and Ottawa seven days a week, initially with 4 daily trips. Then on December 8th with its full six daily trip schedule. This stress-free service includes stops in Scarborough and Kingston, allowing our passengers a greater selection of destinations to embark and disembark.

"This introduction of service between the province's two most populous cities proves our continued commitment to the travel needs of Canadians. We invite all Ontario travellers to experience the Red Arrow difference," says Raelene Miller, Vice President, Motorcoach division. "With higher gas prices, continued hassles with flying, and limited rental car availability, we're a stress-free, convenient, and reliable alternative."

Pacific Western Transportation has served Ontario for over 30 years, and we are honoured to bring the iconic Red Arrow brand to the marketplace. Our customers can expect the same elevated experience we've been offering western Canadians for decades.

Since its inception, Red Arrow has provided a safe, reliable, and stress-free travel experience with premium single-row privacy seating, advanced seat selection, onboard entertainment, complimentary Wi-Fi, snacks, and beverages.

"At Red Arrow, we believe in going above and beyond for our valued customers. Whether you are travelling on business, home from school for the weekend, or visiting friends and family, you can enjoy the many comforts of our Motorcoach" says John Stepovy, Director of Motorcoach. "No matter your plans, you can rest easy knowing Red Arrow has you covered"

Advanced reservations are available to book online now by visiting www.redarrow.ca or 1-800-232-1958

About Red Arrow
Founded in 1979, Red Arrow has been at the forefront of innovation in motorcoach travel, being the first to offer single-row privacy seating, complimentary Wi-Fi, and many features we come to associate with a premium travel experience. Red Arrow is guided by our commitment to our Core Values, with Safety being at the heart of all we do.
SOURCE Red Arrow
 
I took a look at the current ONTC Sudbury - North Bay - Ottawa timetables, and it seems that ONTC has fully picked up the slack that Greyhound left between Sudbury and North Bay. ONTC has added a daily trip which roughly fills the gap left behind by Greyhound, providing roughly the same timetable as pre-pandemic.

However, between North Bay and Ottawa, service is significantly less practical than pre-pandemic. There is only 1 bus per day, versus 2 pre-pandemic. And there is no longer any OC Transpo (partner) commuter service from Arnprior to Ottawa. @ShonTron 's suggestion to run additional trips beween Petawawa and Ottawa would complement the existing schedule really well, given the current lack of eastbound trips in the morning and westbound trips in the evening.

Capture1.JPG
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request stops not shown

An odd thing about the current routing is that the bus makes a big detour just before Ottawa Station to serve the Ottawa General Hospital and Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). This is especially inconvenient for riders because Ottawa Station is the only viable connection to downtown.

Current ONTC routing shown in Yellow, O-Train Confederation Line in Red.
Capture4.JPG


Swapping the order of the Station and Hospital would allow buses to exit the highway directly into the train station, saving 12 minutes for customers heading anywhere other than the hospital.

I also think it would make sense to add a stop at Bayshore, like the Greyhound service used to have. That would allow people from central or western Ottawa to access the bus without needing to backtrack. Though it would add around 4 minutes to the schedule, bringing the net savings to 8 minutes for passengers heading to the Station. There isn't any convenient connection from Bayshore to downtown at the moment due to LRT construction, but it is still a major bus hub for the area.

Proposed ONTC routing shown in Yellow, O-Train Confederation Line in Red.
Capture5.JPG


Once the LRT extension opens, I wonder if it would make sense to reroute the ONTC bus via Baseline Rd (which has bus lanes) and the Southeast Transitway. This would provide a more convenient connection to the airport and Carlton University via the Trillium Line, as well as the south of Ottawa in general. The route would be a bit slower than the route via the 417, but the bus lanes and busways should make it more reliable. Passengers heading downtown would be best off transfering to the LRT at Bayshore anyway, regardless of the ONTC routing.

Possible future ONTC routing shown in Yellow, O-Train Confederation Line in Red, Trillium Line in Green.
Capture6.JPG
 
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Red Arrow Expands its Premium Intercity Motorcoach Service to Ontario Français


News provided by
Red Arrow
Nov 15, 2022, 07:00 ET

TORONTO and OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 15, 2022 /CNW/ - Over recent years, the methods we use to travel have undergone many changes. Many travellers are now looking to find ways to maximise their time, health, and safety and impact on the environment when selecting their choice of travel. In light of this, we are proud to announce that Red Arrow is now bringing its long-desired intercity passenger service to Ontario, offering an affordable premium experience the province has never experienced before.

On December 4th, Red Arrow will launch service between Toronto and Ottawa seven days a week, initially with 4 daily trips. Then on December 8th with its full six daily trip schedule. This stress-free service includes stops in Scarborough and Kingston, allowing our passengers a greater selection of destinations to embark and disembark.

"This introduction of service between the province's two most populous cities proves our continued commitment to the travel needs of Canadians. We invite all Ontario travellers to experience the Red Arrow difference," says Raelene Miller, Vice President, Motorcoach division. "With higher gas prices, continued hassles with flying, and limited rental car availability, we're a stress-free, convenient, and reliable alternative."

Pacific Western Transportation has served Ontario for over 30 years, and we are honoured to bring the iconic Red Arrow brand to the marketplace. Our customers can expect the same elevated experience we've been offering western Canadians for decades.

Since its inception, Red Arrow has provided a safe, reliable, and stress-free travel experience with premium single-row privacy seating, advanced seat selection, onboard entertainment, complimentary Wi-Fi, snacks, and beverages.

"At Red Arrow, we believe in going above and beyond for our valued customers. Whether you are travelling on business, home from school for the weekend, or visiting friends and family, you can enjoy the many comforts of our Motorcoach" says John Stepovy, Director of Motorcoach. "No matter your plans, you can rest easy knowing Red Arrow has you covered"

Advanced reservations are available to book online now by visiting www.redarrow.ca or 1-800-232-1958

About Red Arrow
Founded in 1979, Red Arrow has been at the forefront of innovation in motorcoach travel, being the first to offer single-row privacy seating, complimentary Wi-Fi, and many features we come to associate with a premium travel experience. Red Arrow is guided by our commitment to our Core Values, with Safety being at the heart of all we do.
SOURCE Red Arrow

Whoa.

So the traveller has the choice between Rider Express, Megabus, Book-A-Ride, and now Red Arrow between Toronto and Ottawa? Along with VIA and the airlines?

I liked Red Arrow out west, where there are no trains (they offer nice waiting rooms in downtown Calgary and Edmonton, comfy 2+1 seating, and complementary soft drinks) but why would I choose Red Arrow over VIA? The train is smoother, there’s full meal service in Business Class, and is still somewhat faster than a bus.
 

Red Arrow Expands its Premium Intercity Motorcoach Service to Ontario Français


News provided by
Red Arrow
Nov 15, 2022, 07:00 ET

TORONTO and OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 15, 2022 /CNW/ - Over recent years, the methods we use to travel have undergone many changes. Many travellers are now looking to find ways to maximise their time, health, and safety and impact on the environment when selecting their choice of travel. In light of this, we are proud to announce that Red Arrow is now bringing its long-desired intercity passenger service to Ontario, offering an affordable premium experience the province has never experienced before.

On December 4th, Red Arrow will launch service between Toronto and Ottawa seven days a week, initially with 4 daily trips. Then on December 8th with its full six daily trip schedule. This stress-free service includes stops in Scarborough and Kingston, allowing our passengers a greater selection of destinations to embark and disembark.

"This introduction of service between the province's two most populous cities proves our continued commitment to the travel needs of Canadians. We invite all Ontario travellers to experience the Red Arrow difference," says Raelene Miller, Vice President, Motorcoach division. "With higher gas prices, continued hassles with flying, and limited rental car availability, we're a stress-free, convenient, and reliable alternative."

Pacific Western Transportation has served Ontario for over 30 years, and we are honoured to bring the iconic Red Arrow brand to the marketplace. Our customers can expect the same elevated experience we've been offering western Canadians for decades.

Since its inception, Red Arrow has provided a safe, reliable, and stress-free travel experience with premium single-row privacy seating, advanced seat selection, onboard entertainment, complimentary Wi-Fi, snacks, and beverages.

"At Red Arrow, we believe in going above and beyond for our valued customers. Whether you are travelling on business, home from school for the weekend, or visiting friends and family, you can enjoy the many comforts of our Motorcoach" says John Stepovy, Director of Motorcoach. "No matter your plans, you can rest easy knowing Red Arrow has you covered"

Advanced reservations are available to book online now by visiting www.redarrow.ca or 1-800-232-1958

About Red Arrow
Founded in 1979, Red Arrow has been at the forefront of innovation in motorcoach travel, being the first to offer single-row privacy seating, complimentary Wi-Fi, and many features we come to associate with a premium travel experience. Red Arrow is guided by our commitment to our Core Values, with Safety being at the heart of all we do.
SOURCE Red Arrow
The Red Arrow trip planner indicates that the bus will depart from Level 2 of the Union Station Bus Terminal in Toronto, and the bus platform at Ottawa VIA station. No awkward street loading like Flixbus originally did.

I wonder if Metrolinx discounted or eliminated the fees for using the terminal - these private operators typically try to avoid terminal fees, especially Flixbus.
 
Whoa.

So the traveller has the choice between Rider Express, Megabus, Book-A-Ride, and now Red Arrow between Toronto and Ottawa? Along with VIA and the airlines?

I liked Red Arrow out west, where there are no trains (they offer nice waiting rooms in downtown Calgary and Edmonton, comfy 2+1 seating, and complementary soft drinks) but why would I choose Red Arrow over VIA? The train is smoother, there’s full meal service in Business Class, and is still somewhat faster than a bus.

If I'm going to spend $100 plus...I'm taking VIA business class. No way i would spend that kind of money on a bus ticket, unless i have zero options.
 
If I'm going to spend $100 plus...I'm taking VIA business class. No way i would spend that kind of money on a bus ticket, unless i have zero options.
This will give Megabus a run for the money.


But I bet their busses are cleaner and in better condition than Megabus.
 
Whoa.

So the traveller has the choice between Rider Express, Megabus, Book-A-Ride, and now Red Arrow between Toronto and Ottawa? Along with VIA and the airlines?
And Flixbus!

Here's my consolidation of all the bus schedules for the week of 5 December 2022:
Capture.PNG

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That's is in addition to 8 daily Via trains. So:
OttOrrBus.PNG


Though most trips are operated by buses, VIA still provides 71% of the capacity in the corridor, due to the larger size of trains.
Capacity.PNG
Distribution.PNG

I assumed that the VIA trains are composed of 1 business class car and 3 economy cars. I couldn't find specific capacities for Rider Express or Book a Ride, so I assumed the same capacity as Flixbus.

Here are how the prices compare for a trip on Monday 5 December 2022 arriving around 14:00 if you book today.
Capture1.JPG

There isn't much difference in terms of travel time between the bus companies. Megabus and Flixbus take a bit longer because they head all the way into downtown Kingston, whereas the other companies stop next to the highway. This particular VIA train is already faster than any bus trip despite being the slowest train of the day. The other VIA trips range from 4h22 to 4h49.

Bizarrely, the final price on the Red Arrow site was nothing at all like the advertised price, which made it by far the cheapest option despite being the second-most luxurious:
Capture.JPG


I'm not sure if this was due to demand-based pricing (there was only a single seat occupied when I booked), or an opening-day promo or something, but either way you'd surely want to advertise the lower price at the front of the website. As it stands now, you only see the discount after you've already decided to pay $97 for the trip and entered your personal info to book a ticket.

Three companies (Rider, Red Arrow and Book a Ride) hid the cost breakdown until you enter an email and sometimes phone number. All three accepted fake emails and phone numbers, but it's still annoying for potential customers who want to know what the trip would actually cost including taxes and fees. It's an especially stupid website design for Red Arrow and Book a Ride, since those companies already include tax into the advertised price, but you wouldn't know that until you see the cost breakdown.

When it comes to price transparency, Flixbus definitely gets top marks. The cost breakdown is clearly shown as soon as you select a trip, and the advertised price is exactly the price you pay (unless you choose upgrades like seat selection). Megabus has the biggest discrepancy between the advertised price and the actual price, but at least the cost breakdown is clearly shown as soon as you select a trip. Rider Express is the least transparent about their pricing, since they don't include tax in the advertised price, and they also don't tell you that they didn't include the tax until the last second before you pay.
 
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Any chance that any of these companies will permanently offer Kitchener to Hamilton service? Or what sorcery do we have to perform to make Metrolinx do it?
 
Any chance that any of these companies will permanently offer Kitchener to Hamilton service? Or what sorcery do we have to perform to make Metrolinx do it?
If you go back in this thread you can read about the saga of Flixbus' Kitchener-Hamilton service
 

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