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...economic rational behind running passenger trains to remote communities hasn't made sense since WWII...

And most of these communities seem to have stun their growth since passenger rail abandonment since WWII to 1960's. The problem is we don't think about building up these communities because their too far from "civilization:rolleyes:". We have to go back on the path of town/city building again by attracting business to build in these communities with the idea that they can move their products or services fast and effectively by passenger and cargo rail.

Yes, these communities are in the middle of nowhere now, but let's make it so their no longer in the middle of nowhere.
 
I took the Northlander to Huntsville yesterday. These poorly-suspended cars were, I understand, the original GO mono-levels ;^) and ONR trains occasionally tow GO bi-level cars north for refurbishment. GO has a huge budget for keeping its cars in decent shape, for expansion, and for advertising.

Interesting you should say that. I saw a GO bilevel car on the back of the Northlander in Washago on a boat trip last Wednesday and wondered why. Now I know!

But I thought the Bombardier plant was in Thunder Bay. The Northlander goes to North Bay...
 
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Ontario Northland also has some refurbishment work contracts for the GO bilevels, and I believe this work is done in North Bay, where the ONR is centred.
 
I think Metrolinx/GO should revive Grey Coach to serve the markets that Greyhound is abandoning or all-but-abandoning in South/Central Ontario, like the Owen Sound service, which is now once-a-week (but two Friday outbound, two Sunday inbound) from daily between Toronto and Owen Sound (3.5 days a week via Brampton/Orangeville or Guelph/Mount Forest).

It should then also take over Coach Canada's abandoned Guelph-Hamilton route, operate it as either GO or GC, provide a weekend service to Orangeville, resume the Kitchener-Brantford-Simcoe bus route, and even take over Can-Ar's Lindsay service. Maybe see if Greyhound would be willing to sell/turn-over what used to be PMCL, and provide proper bus service to places like Alliston, Midland/Pentang, Owen Sound via Collingwood, etc.

ONTC (Ontario Northland) could step in in Northern Ontario. VIA should re-start the old Canadian route, partly to service places like Thunder Bay, Marathon, Dryden, would could be isolated (TB would require a flight to Toronto or Winnipeg to get anywhere!) OC Transpo could extend its rural partner network (which already is surprsingly vast) as well to cover Perth, Smiths Falls Renfrew/Pembroke and even Cornwall. Greyhound and Coach Canada can duke it out then on the profitable long-distance routes, leaving small communities without abandoning them.
 
I've thought for years that Greyhound Canada doesn't actually want to run buses anymore. After seeing the battered old buses with broken seats, paint scars, logos of previous operators, loose bumpers, etc, that they've used in Southern Ontario for the past few years, and the steady route cutbacks year after year, it's obvious that they're just going through the motions.
 
For all the talk about how GO was impacting Greyhound's Niagara route it seems odd that the reductions are so small.
 
Isn't one of Greyhound's agreement with the province to run the rural routes in order to get monopoly on the popular routes (like toronto-ottawa). If they do that can we finally get (bus) competition on these routes?
 
More cuts

Greyhound Canada Announces Select Route Closures in Ontario

TORONTO, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - Greyhound Canada today served notice to the Ontario Highway Transport Board of its intention to end service of its inter-city passenger bus operations on a select number of routes across Ontario as of April 11, 2010.

"The average number of passengers per trip on those routes targeted for closure is less than seven," said Senior Vice President Stuart Kendrick. "Greyhound Canada takes this decision with great reluctance but with such low ridership, the financial case for maintaining service simply does not exist."

The route closures will affect service in Eastern, Central and Southwestern Ontario. Notwithstanding the closures, in most cases, access to Greyhound Canada's passenger bus service will remain within a 40 kilometer radius and often less.

To view a table detailing the specific routes and communities affected, please go to http://files.newswire.ca/845/Greyhound.doc.

Greyhound Canada emphasized these changes will merely allow the company to break even on its Ontario operations based on current estimates.

"The long-term future of Greyhound Canada's cross-country operations including Ontario will rely upon the outcome of the federal-provincial-territorial Working Group that is due to recommend regulatory and policy changes in September 2010," concluded Kendrick.
 
So Midland, Penetang, Alliston, all lose bus service. PMCL's corpse has been mutilated, leaving only the Collingwood/Wasaga service left. Amazing how much service PMCL provided to Central Ontario before Greyhound bought it. GO or Northland, both provincial agencies, should fill the gap, at least with a Midland-Barrie shuttle bus.

Greyhoundless Quebec seems to do better, with much more bus services off the Montreal-TR-Quebec corridor, plus VIA.

I can understand why the Gravenhurst/Orillia/Casino Rama service is being canned; there's plenty of alternatives, such as all the Chinatown buses, and Ontario Northland along Highway 11.

The Windsor-Niagara service via Jarvis, Simcoe and St. Thomas was always a joke with one bus a week, not sure why that was kept so long, though sizable communities like St. Thomas, Tillsonburg, Simcoe are without any bus service at all. The demand, if any, for service like this would not be an east-west route along Highway 3, but north-south. St. Thomas and London Transits should have a joint route; a bus from Brantford/Hamilton could serve Simcoe and Tillsonburg and take passengers to at least useful places for colleges and universities; hospitals; employment; connecting buses, trains, planes.

Welland and Port Colborne should be part of a Niagara Regional Transit, something that is very sorely lacking in that part of Ontario. The only serious inter-municipal service out there is St. Catharines, which serves Thorold by contract. Any other local transit that crosses lines are only meant to serve students to Brock and Niagara College.
 
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I've long thought that GO will be the only possible provider of decent inter-city service in Niagara. The politics of the region make it near impossible for regional transit to become a reality (heaven knows it's been on the table for decades). Here's hoping that the recent move of GO service into Niagara is the first step towards a seperate regional branch that can link up with the rest of the system via the GO train.
 
I've long thought that GO will be the only possible provider of decent inter-city service in Niagara. The politics of the region make it near impossible for regional transit to become a reality (heaven knows it's been on the table for decades). Here's hoping that the recent move of GO service into Niagara is the first step towards a seperate regional branch that can link up with the rest of the system via the GO train.
Totally agreed :)
Aren't there some tracks running N-S from St. Catharines to Port Colborne? If they're still serviceable, that might be a good contender for another Go service through Niagara Falls. By giving even a commuter hour Go train, it could take some strain off local highways, and might promote new business in St. Catharines, probably in the tech sector. The rest of the routes would probably only be fillable by busses, but with two Go trains branching out from St. Catharines to the east and south, I'm sure it would be quite agreeable to take the bus to a Go station and take the train from there.

As for the other Ontario routes (and Manitoba ones, of course,) what's the province doing on this? Are they going to replace service with a government one? Methinks this may be time to start up a real provincial interurban system. If anyone remembers RedRocket's RailOntario thread way back when, Ontario really the only place in Canada that such a Gearman-like transportation system would work really well. A combination of local train routes for heavier corridors, an expanded Ontario Northland system, and bus routes for lower-population corridors could almost make the car extinct! :eek:
 
I've long thought that GO will be the only possible provider of decent inter-city service in Niagara. The politics of the region make it near impossible for regional transit to become a reality (heaven knows it's been on the table for decades). Here's hoping that the recent move of GO service into Niagara is the first step towards a seperate regional branch that can link up with the rest of the system via the GO train.

I think there are some paralells between Niagara region now and Durham region just before development took off (early 90's?).

Durham was a patchwork of slumbering old cities and slumbering towns with the first hints of mass suburban sprawl on the way. There were separate oddball local transit agencies running minimal service. The region as a whole was stitched together by the 401. GO was there almost exclusively for rush hour service to downtown. If GO had stepped up to the plate and offered reliable service linking destinations in Durham, it could have instilled a presence for public transit in the region that Durham transit could have built on and eventually taken over when it was formed.

Look at Niagara region. There's the same slumbering cities, the small towns, the oddball local transit agencies and everything is stitched together by the QEW. Suburban sprawl is starting. Development has exploded in Lincoln county already. GO has hopefully learned from their mistakes in Durham and can bring this region together. It's not the only piece of the puzzle. I know they can't control the built form and the power centres, but they can be a credible alternative to driving if they put in the effort.

I think GO could also make a paralell to it's 407 service. Right now they run from McMaster to York picking up and dropping off at a few stops and carpool lots in between. What about running from McMaster to Brock the same way?
 
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I could see Hamilton becoming a secondary hub for GO, servicing:
  • South shore (St. Catharines and Niagara)
  • Cambridge & Kitchener/Waterloo
  • Dundas & Brantford

Now that GO has merged with Metrolinx, I do wonder if the focus won't be so GTA&H that intercity travel between Niagara, Brant county and Waterloo Region won't get any attention. Would it be asking too much of Metrolinx to co-ordinate and run service outside of GTAH? Should there be a separate intercity agency set up?
 

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