News   Jul 19, 2024
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Intercity Bus Services

My thoughts after riding Red Arrow to Kingston last week:


Below, a timetable of the existing bus services between Toronto and Ottawa. Book-A-Ride is another newer service, but its website is not the easiest to navigate. It seems to run much like a charter service, with regular schedule changes, rather than a consistent service.



View attachment 444531
Interesting to compare with my own versions from my post on the previous page:
ottorrbus-png.439672


capture-png.439337


It is indeed remarkable how different the Book A Ride schedules are, even though my timetable is only two weeks old.

The difference in some of the intermediate times for VIA and Flixbus is presumably that I was using departure times while you were using arrival times.

BTW if I'd known you were making your own version I would have sent you my spreadsheet. That probably would have saved you some time even if you wished to modify/update it.
 
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Interesting to compare with my own versions from my post on the previous page:
ottorrbus-png.439672


capture-png.439337


It is indeed remarkable how different the Book A Ride schedules are, even though my timetable is only two weeks old. The difference in some of the intermediate times is presumably that I was using departure times while you were using arrival times.

Thanks.

Yeah. That’s why I was so hesitant to include Book-A-Ride in my maps.
 
Small wonder bus travel is coming back. These new buses and services aren't your Grampa's Greyhound. They are new, comfortable, offer all the amenities of many rail services, and don't suffer from VIA's unreliability. Many of the better services offer reclining leather seats, a complimentary snack & coffee bar, full internet/recharging, individual TVs, more leg & headroom, and even individual side seating. The buses themselves are also much quieter and smoother than the old tanks Greyhound use to use. This will become even more pronounced as electric/hydrogen buses because more common.

The demand is there. There are 38 bus trips between London & Toronto on a daily basis and sometimes that number swells to over 50. People have options and clearly an increasing number don't view VIA as one of them.
 
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Small wonder bus travel is coming back. These new buses and services are your Grampa's Greyhound. They are new, comfortable, offer all the amenities of many rail services, and don't suffer from VIA's unreliability. Many of the better services offer reclining leather seats, a complimentary snack & coffee bar, full internet/recharging, individual TVs, more leg & headroom, and even individual side seating. The buses themselves are also much quieter and smoother than the old tanks Greyhound use to use. This will become even more pronounced as electric/hydrogen buses because more common.

The demand is there. There are 38 bus trips between London & Toronto on a daily basis and sometimes that number swells to over 50. People have options and clearly an increasing number don't view VIA as one of them.
Have you ridden Megabus? Dirty seats smelly people speaking on speaker phone for 3 hours. It's not a pleasurable experience.
 
^^^ I am sure there are some services superior to others. Megabus and Red Arrow are polar opposites.

The difference today is that 20 years ago inter-city bus basically meant Greyhound or nothing but that is no longer the case. There are now services to fit every income and every on-board experience. These 38 buses {and more at busier times} between London & Toronto exemplify the demand between the 2 cities that VIA could capture if the service was reliable, frequent, affordable, and fast and it is none of those things.

This is truly a damning indictment of how VIA has failed as a travel option.
 
^^^ I am sure there are some services superior to others. Megabus and Red Arrow are polar opposites.

The difference today is that 20 years ago inter-city bus basically meant Greyhound or nothing but that is no longer the case. There are now services to fit every income and every on-board experience. These 38 buses {and more at busier times} between London & Toronto exemplify the demand between the 2 cities that VIA could capture if the service was reliable, frequent, affordable, and fast and it is none of those things.

This is truly a damning indictment of how VIA has failed as a travel option.
If Metrolinx buys the north corridor that could change.
 
^^^^ Hydrogen does have a long way to go although battery certainly doesn't.

As both technologies advanced at a dizzying rate, it will make them both even more appealing. Both require a fraction of the amount of maintenance that current diesel do and electric recharging costs are also much lower than having to buy current diesel and both provide a much quieter and smoother ride than standard ICE. This will result in lower fairs and a more pleasant journey making them even more appealing to the travelling public.
 
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If Metrolinx buys the north corridor that could change.
No it wouldn't. Who is going to take a crawling tank to Toronto when they can take a comfortable bus and get there in half the time? Londoners have already voted on this GO "service" and their answer is no thanks.

As far as it going to Pearson, that is a big draw for people from KWCG but not London. Most Londoners do not use Pearson and who can blame them? Besides being a horrible airport, Londoners already have options thru London Airport. By this June London will be served by AC/WJ/Swoop/Flair/SunWing/Transat with non-stops to Van/Edm/Mon/Cal/Hal/Tor and a whole host of southern sun destinations. For the vast majority of London trips, there is no reason to use Pearson and for those going to Europe, they would far rather transfer at PET than Pearson and for damn good reason. American Airlines also served the city before COVID with flights to Chicago but this has been cancelled. They are hoping to get them back which would open every destination on the planet.
 
This appears to be about service across the St Clair River border. [BTW: How long has Trailways been crossing the Niagara border... ?]
https://www.narcity.com/ontario-is-...o-the-us-with-free-wifi-you-can-travel-for-45

Detroit River. There was also the Transit Windsor Tunnel Bus that resumed late last year, but not a direct intercity bus restored between Toronto and Detroit since Greyhound disappeared. There's still no way to get across the St. Clair River, ever since Amtrak cut back the International to Port Huron. There's not even a sidewalk on the Blue Water Bridge.
 
Detroit River. There was also the Transit Windsor Tunnel Bus that resumed late last year, but not a direct intercity bus restored between Toronto and Detroit since Greyhound disappeared. There's still no way to get across the St. Clair River, ever since Amtrak cut back the International to Port Huron. There's not even a sidewalk on the Blue Water Bridge.
Yes, the Detroit River.
I think I've still got the St Clair R. on my mind after a road trip in Michigan. There appear to be some border crossings -- by ferry -- south of Sarnia at "Sombra" and Walpole Island and I briefly wondered how easy these are to use -- presumably only accessible by car. Not exactly my neck of the woods but I've never heard tell of anyone using these crossings.
 

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