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VIA Rail

White Pine

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Happy?

No. Even better. I don't give a .... about them. I don't think about them. At all.

This is URBAN TORONTO and I am absolutely sick of all our transportation policy discussion being driven by the burghers of Trenton and Brockville. It's bad enough that their votes count for more. I'm supposed to worry about their feelings too?

Really easy. If the riders are there, somebody will cater to it. And if not, they have their pickup trucks.
Glad you're not involved in planning lol.
 

kEiThZ

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Glad you're not involved in planning lol.
Thankfully, nobody in planning cares either.

It's not VIA's mandate to worry about how you get from Ottawa to North Bay.

Also, these routes haven't been running for a year. Where were all the whiners then? The ones that are viable are getting investment. Megabus is taking Ottawa-GTA and going to an even better terminal location in Ottawa. Orleans Express is taking the Ottawa-Montreal route. So it turns out I was right. If there's ridership, operators are willing to invest. I do look forward to HFR eventually reducing demand for them.
 
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roger1818

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I'm pretty sure that Greyhound map is way out of date, and most of those routes were already abandoned before 2020. In fact, many of those routes were already abandoned in 2016 when I fact-checked Greyhound's system map using their website's trip planner. The last time I checked which services they actually ran was in 2019, and these were the only routes which ran at least one bus per weekday:

screen-shot-2019-03-17-at-18-01-32-png.176953

I made the map by mapping out Greyhound’s January 19, 2020 schedules (you can still find them on Greyhound's website if you want to double check). I tried to show significant differences in routing without getting into the weeds with tiny route variations. Sometimes the different routes have different schedules, and sometimes they are on the same schedule. For example, the Ottawa-Monteral Express, Northshore, and Southshore routes are on three different schedule (nos. 780, 781, and 782 respectively), where as the 2 different routes to Kingston are on a single schedule (no. 786).
 

crs1026

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Happy?

No. Even better. I don't give a .... about them. I don't think about them. At all.

This is URBAN TORONTO and I am absolutely sick of all our transportation policy discussion being driven by the burghers of Trenton and Brockville. It's bad enough that their votes count for more. I'm supposed to worry about their feelings too?

Really easy. If the riders are there, somebody will cater to it. And if not, they have their pickup trucks.

A bit overstated, but I get what you are saying. I don’t think many of us stop thinking about commenting in this forum when our VIA train crosses Port Union Road. The general context of many things regional and provincial does matter to the discussion.

If anybody thinks that VIA‘s response to the Greyhound announcement was to rush out to buttonhole CP and CN and ask about reinstating service on those old routes....well, that’s rather naive. But there are probably VIA and GO staffers tweaking spreadsheets and considering what impact there might be on demand, and pricing, and schedules. I doubt the results would move any decimal points, but the impacts might be material in a few spots.

The bus network in this country is in deplorable shape, and the hows and whys of that, and the opportunity cost, is a very worthwhile topic for discussion.... just maybe not in the VIa thread

- Paul
 

roger1818

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It's not VIA's mandate to worry about how you get from Ottawa to North Bay.

I totally agree it isn't VIA's responsibility! The original question is if you were happy that Greyhound has cancelled their buses, and you said yes. There is a big difference between not caring and celebrating.

Also, these routes haven't been running for a year. Where were all the whiners then?

In case you haven't noticed, we are in the middle of a pandemic and people aren't supposed to be travelling.

The ones that are viable are getting investment. Megabus is taking Ottawa-GTA and going to an even better terminal location in Ottawa. Orleans Express is taking the Ottawa-Montreal route. So it turns out I was right. If there's ridership, operators are willing to invest.

It has only been a couple days since Greyhound's announcement, and we are still in lockdown in Ontario. I expect it will take several months for the dust to settle. I still have hope that many of the routes will return one way or another once things return to normal, though I'm sure there will be some casualties.
 

kEiThZ

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The bus network in this country is in deplorable shape, and the hows and whys of that, and the opportunity cost, is a very worthwhile topic for discussion.... just maybe not in the VIa thread

Quite frankly I am getting a bit annoyed by discussions being increasingly driven by how someone might get from Kapuskasing to Timbuktu.

The way I see it, we have a decade of underinvestment in transit in Toronto because the folks who live in these places we are supposed to care about gifted us Mike Harris. These same folks routinely vote for governments federally that underfund VIA at the federal level, to the point that we don't even have decent inter-city service in a corridor with two thirds of the country's population. And now we're supposed to care that bus services that haven't run for a year aren't being reinstated?

I have juicier words for this. But the mods seem to be really sensitive to salty language.

I really don't care if these towns lose service. They can step up locally and fund shuttle buses if they want. They don't need Greyhound for that. Maybe they'll finally come around to actually investing in public transport and support integration with a much better VIA. Though, I think we'll just end up seeing more pickup traffic on the 400 series instead....
 

kEiThZ

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I totally agree it isn't VIA's responsibility! The original question is if you were happy that Greyhound has cancelled their buses, and you said yes. There is a big difference between not caring and celebrating.

Meh. Greyhound is a crappy service. They don't invest in better buses. To top it off, it ain't better for the environment either.

Given that they run parallel to VIA in the Corridor, I'm happy to see them go. I hope to see HFR put intercity bus between the major metros out of business.
 

crs1026

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Quite frankly I am getting a bit annoyed by discussions being increasingly driven by how someone might get from Kapuskasing to Timbuktu.

It matters a lot how people get around out there. And, if we want the dense urban areas to grow without an accumulation of heavy industry, we need to service places where regional development merits some form of public and non-automobile based transportation.

But I agree it’s tedious to keep suggesting that every outlying community can justify rail investment. ( mumble Northlander mumble )

But the mods seem to be really sensitive to salty language.

Are you referring to the mines in Goderich? ;-) A good example of a growable community that could justify a bus service as a matter of a well planned and organized rural bus network, but where (no matter how often the dreamier posters suggest it) bringing back the Dayliner link that existed before 1970 just isn’t on.

To grow a bus network, private investment needs to be de-risked as much as commuter rail or HFR. We seem to agree that HFR needs to be de-risked by government/taxpayers even with a BCA showing it to be profitable. Why not bus service also?

I really don't care if these towns lose service. They can step up locally and fund shuttle buses if they want. They don't need Greyhound for that. Maybe they'll finally come around to actually investing in public transport and support integration with a much better VIA. Though, I think we'll just end up seeing more pickup traffic on the 400 series instead....

Be careful what you ask for. Swapping out Greyhound in favour of Megabus might be sufficient to kill the case for HFR stopping in Tweed, and Kaladar, and Perth. Same with St Marys. Hate to tell ya, but people in those communities vote. And make noise. Having a good bus service on Highway 7 might actually help VIA stay out of the weeds.

- Paul
 

W. K. Lis

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An Open Letter to the Prime Minister and Ontario's Premier

From link.

To: Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, Canada
Caroline Mulroney, Ministry of Transportation of Ontario
Phil Verster, CEO Metrolinx
Cynthia Garneau, CEO VIA Rail


Re: The necessity of a strong train and bus network throughout Canada


I have read with grave concern about Greyhound Bus Lines’ decision to permanently end its operations throughout Canada, following its earlier decision to shut down its routes in western Canada. This, combined with service cutbacks to VIA Rail, have severely reduced public transit options for Canadians living in small towns and rural areas in this country.


In urban centres, it is easy for Canadians to take their mobility for granted. Many of us have cars, or access to good public transit networks to get them where they need to go. But outside of Canada’s big cities, people who cannot drive - either because they can’t afford it or are medically or for other reasons unable to - are effectively locked into their own homes. Services like Greyhound, or the now defunct Saskatchewan Transportation Company, gave people access to medical appointments or jobs they wouldn’t otherwise have had. Bus services like Greyhound have been important links for women fleeing abusive domestic partners.


Public transit is a public service, just like roads and highways. If private enterprise is unable to provide this necessity, it’s up to our governments to step in. A good step to take in the short term would be to contract Greyhound to continue operating its routes, covering its operating deficits. Going forward, a proper national network of connecting bus and train networks should be built so that people can travel across this country without having to rely on cars or planes.


In Canada, in addition to improving VIA service in the Quebec-Windsor corridor, Canada’s national train, the Canadian, should be improved to daily service, and freight railroads strongly encouraged to give this train priority over their tracks. In Ontario, the provincial government could improve service in southwestern Ontario by providing additional funds to VIA Rail for equipment and operations, such as how California provides service through Amtrak. Ontario Northland should receive the funds necessary not only to restore the Northlander, but to take over the Sudbury-White River train and extend it to Thunder Bay or Winnipeg. Bus lines should be set up connecting these train services to smaller towns further afield.


These steps would support Canada’s fight against climate change and support national tourism as that industry recovers from the pandemic. More than that, these steps would ensure that Canadians everywhere have equal access to this country, regardless of their ability to own and drive a car. Mobility rights in this nation have been overlooked for too long, and provincial and federal governments need to step up to address this long-neglected need.


Sincerely,
James Bow, Chief Content Editor, Transit Toronto
Robert Mackenzie, Senior News Correspondent, Transit Toronto
 

Northern Light

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Quite frankly I am getting a bit annoyed by discussions being increasingly driven by how someone might get from Kapuskasing to Timbuktu.

The way I see it, we have a decade of underinvestment in transit in Toronto because the folks who live in these places we are supposed to care about gifted us Mike Harris. These same folks routinely vote for governments federally that underfund VIA at the federal level, to the point that we don't even have decent inter-city service in a corridor with two thirds of the country's population. And now we're supposed to care that bus services that haven't run for a year aren't being reinstated?

I have juicier words for this. But the mods seem to be really sensitive to salty language.

I really don't care if these towns lose service. They can step up locally and fund shuttle buses if they want. They don't need Greyhound for that. Maybe they'll finally come around to actually investing in public transport and support integration with a much better VIA. Though, I think we'll just end up seeing more pickup traffic on the 400 series instead....

Uhhh, Kapuskasing consistently votes NDP, as, for that matter, does the majority of Northern Ontario. (North Bay and sometimes the Sault are exceptions)

The path to Conservative victory is the 905 and central and (rural) eastern Ontario.

But for clarity, without the suburban GTA.....the Conservatives are going nowhere.

While I certainly think many voters in rural areas vote in a way that may not serve their own interests and certainly doesn't align with urban interests..............

Its important to understand that doesn't apply to all rural voters.

Its also important to note that some of those rural voters would vote differently if they had been properly connected to urban communities via rail/bus.

The first round of savage cuts to VIA by the way came during the government of Pierre Trudeau, he slashed VIA by 40%.

While Mulroney's cuts were even worse.............another round of cuts happened during the brief tenure of Liberal PM Martin as well.

There's really more nuance in these things than your post suggests.
 

reaperexpress

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I made the map by mapping out Greyhound’s January 19, 2020 schedules (you can still find them on Greyhound's website if you want to double check). I tried to show significant differences in routing without getting into the weeds with tiny route variations. Sometimes the different routes have different schedules, and sometimes they are on the same schedule. For example, the Ottawa-Monteral Express, Northshore, and Southshore routes are on three different schedule (nos. 780, 781, and 782 respectively), where as the 2 different routes to Kingston are on a single schedule (no. 786).
Thanks for that link! Would have been helpful when I was marking those maps. I think the discrepancy was that I was looking for buses which ran at least one time per day, whereas many of the routes actually only ran a couple times per week. For example the Ottawa-Cornwall service only operated on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, Pembroke-Peterborough on Fridays and Sundays, Ottawa-Montreal northshore on Fridays and Sundays, etc.
 

kEiThZ

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Be careful what you ask for. Swapping out Greyhound in favour of Megabus might be sufficient to kill the case for HFR stopping in Tweed, and Kaladar, and Perth. Same with St Marys. Hate to tell ya, but people in those communities vote. And make noise. Having a good bus service on Highway 7 might actually help VIA stay out of the weeds.

Megabus ain't go be stopping at those towns either.

I've actually long maintained that feeder bus service should be run from these towns to train stations. By VIA (a la Amtrak model) or the towns themselves (local transit) model. A system which relies on a Toronto-Ottawa bus to connect Tweed to Peterborough is pretty bizarre when you think about it.

Uhhh, Kapuskasing consistently votes NDP,

And Timbuktu isn't in Canada. I think it was clear I was using a metaphor.

There's really more nuance in these things than your post suggests

Is there? How about that ridiculous councillor in Southwestern Ontario who campaigned against the Toronto-Kitchener-London HSR? They now want publicly funded bus services to their hamlets.

I am sick of cities in this country being held hostage to rural interests. And now that the GTA, Hamilton and Ottawa have the vote share to be drive the agenda in this province, I hope these rural interests are given exactly the priority they deserve.
 

roger1818

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Thanks for that link! Would have been helpful when I was marking those maps.

You can thank @Urban Sky. He shared it on SSP a few months ago.

I think the discrepancy was that I was looking for buses which ran at least one time per day, whereas many of the routes actually only ran a couple times per week. For example the Ottawa-Cornwall service only operated on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, Pembroke-Peterborough on Fridays and Sundays, Ottawa-Montreal northshore on Fridays and Sundays, etc.

That makes sense. Properly I should have changed the thickness of the lines based on the frequency of service, but I didn't really look at how frequent the route was.
 

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