The association was pleased to see the Federal Government’s Transit Committee – Inter City Bus Report released this week: https://www.ourcommons.ca/content/Committee/441/TRAN/Reports/RP12444313/441_TRAN_Rpt13_PDF/441_TRAN_Rpt13-e.pdf
The association presented to this committee in November of 2022 and has continued our lobbying activities asking for support for private bus operators. The recommendations show a strong acknowledgement of the need to collaborate with private operators and to include private operators in federal transit funding programs. The association is now working to set up meetings with the Transport committee members and Ministers to discuss the recommendations and next steps.
The recommendations related to this study are listed below:
- Intermodal Connections
That the Government of Canada collaborate with all stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities, municipalities, as well as public and private operators, to encourage the coordination of intercity bus routes with passenger rail and air travel.
- Creating a National Clearing House/Communications Platform
That the Government of Canada work with the provinces and territories and with private and public bus operators to facilitate the creation of a non-profit, national clearing house/communications platform to allow for seamless travel between provinces for passengers.
- Better Intermodal Connections Between VIA Rail and Other Modes of Transport
That VIA Rail establish a system to provide real-time reporting of arrivals and departures to other modes of transportation (ex. taxis, ride-sharing operators, etc.) to facilitate timely and convenient intermodal connections.
- Assessing and Addressing Knowledge Gaps (Habits of Intercity Transit Users)
That the Government of Canada collaborate with all stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities, municipalities, as well as public and private operators, to assess and address the current knowledge gaps with regards to the habits and needs of intercity transit users in Canada.
- Expanding the RTSF to Cover Private Bus Carriers and Intercity Routes
That the Government of Canada expand the Rural Transit Solutions Fund to incentivize the development of intercommunity rural routes and allow private bus carriers providing services on such routes to access the Fund.
- Harmonization of Licensing Requirements
That the Government of Canada recognize that the private sector plays an important role in providing intercity bus service and take steps to harmonize licensing requirements between provinces, while respecting provincial and territorial jurisdiction.
- Government’s Responsibility for Reconciliation
That the Government of Canada recognise its role in delivering safe, reliable and affordable inter-regional transit to Indigenous communities, as part of its responsibility towards Indigenous reconciliation.
As our industry heads into a busy charter and tourism summer season, I wanted to extend my personal thank you to all association members that have renewed for 2023 and continue to support our industry. For those that have yet to renew your membership. Please take a moment today to show your support and connect with our team to process your membership.
Have a great summer season.
Motor Coach Canada President