Ontario Seeks Better Intercity Bus Regulations

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Greyhound_CanadaTHUNDER BAY – The Ontario Government is looking to improve inter-city bus and transportation options. Your input can assist the Liberal Government in improving transportation options by bus in Northwestern Ontario. You can make your comments either online or in writing to the Ministry of Transportation.

Northwestern Ontario communities from Thunder Bay to the Ontario / Manitoba provincial boundary often have consumers left with few choices. Ontario Northland Transportation does not offer service in many of the communities in the north. Some transportation operators have raised concerns that the competitive playing field isn’t level as the provincial run Ontario Northland does not have to follow the same regulations that the private operators do.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is proposing a plan to reform the intercity bus regulatory regime. The proposed path forward will open up opportunities for innovative solutions to meet the needs of Ontarians, while ensuring that safety and insurance remain the highest priority.

The input is being sought on a discussion paper that the Ministry of Transportation says will serve as the basis of the consultation. It highlights the current challenges facing the intercity bus industry and how the province proposes to address these challenges through regulatory reform. Towards the end of the discussion paper, key questions will be asked and comments are welcome.

The ministry is building on the momentum of earlier consultations, including the Intercity Bus Modernization posting on the Environmental Registry, which closed on October 23, 2015. The comments received in response to the previous posting were carefully considered in developing the proposed path forward outlined in the attached discussion paper.

As part of Ontario’s commitment to facilitate new and innovative choices for intercity passenger travel, over the next few months MTO will be consulting with communities, the intercity bus industry and members of the public to discuss a potential path forward. Consultation on intercity passenger travel links with a broader government commitment to consult on a provincial approach to the sharing economy: an emerging sector in which online platforms and innovative technologies facilitate exchanges of goods and services (e.g. Uber, AirBnB).

To ensure that modernization of the intercity bus regime provides the best outcomes for the public, service providers, and communities, three guiding principles outline the ministry’s proposed plan for regulatory reform of the intercity bus regime:

  1. Ensuring safety and insurance requirements are held to the highest standard
  2. Fostering an open, innovative and dynamic market
  3. Responsive to the needs of communities and the travelling public

Additional Information

The documents linked below are provided for the purposes of enhancing public consultation.
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