Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by buddah
 
Just happen to find this in the Toronto Sun paper this morning and linked a few web sites below...

Look out VIA, Mega bus has entered the ring......
As if it wasn't an already aggressive market in the corridor with air shuttle, VIA Rail, Greyhound, and Coach Canada, a spin off from Coach Canada has entered the ring for Toronto-Montreal runs. Mega Bus is offering free WI-FI, new double decker buses, and ridiculous low rate that compete directly with VIA Rails Express deals. It will be fun to see what will VIA Rail uses to bring customers back if the passenger trend shifts the Mega bus way. free WI-FI as well ? more renaissance trains in place of LRC cars that need to be over hauled? maybe even a restaurant car ( between business class and Coach) to sway customers in comfort/coach class and drop the walk by snack attack? I would like to know what others think about this and what would be a great retaliation move for VIA Rail.

I'll start............... no matter what the train trip by VIA will be quicker than a bus on the 401 (at least for now)


http://www.marketwire.com/press-release ... 29565.html

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2009 ... newscanada

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2009/0 ... ml?ref=rss
  by Ken V
 
It's hard to say how the introduction of the Megabus will affect VIA's ridership. I expect it won't be significant, but who knows? One key element that seems to be missing for the Megabus is advertising. VIA's recent seat sale following the strike was quite popular but much of that was attributed to extensive coverage of the promotion on almost every national TV newscast. Megabus has not had the same good fortune. In fact, the same service has been running between Toronto and New York City for several months now, including the $1 special fares, but you almost never hear about it.
  by goodnightjohnwayne
 
I don't exactly see how a fee give-away gimmick bus fares will exactly upend the entire travel industry?

The reality is that aside from the novelty of double-decker buses, Megabus is a very conventional bus company, with a very conventional fare structure from what I've seen. Yes, I actually bothered to look up the fare for a route once, and they really weren't all that much cheaper than Amtrak - and the Amtrak train in question was sold out. I doubt that Megabus was sold out?

It's time that people gained a little perspective on this issue of start-up bus companies.
  by marquisofmississauga
 
Wow, a double-deck bus - but it is still - well, a bus. Never mind Wi-fi; what about leg room? I have only once travelled on a bus that had room for my legs and that was a premium-fare one-hour transfer between London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports. I believe that service is no longer offered, but the "2+1" seating was arranged like a British Pullman car and there were table lamps.

It's interesting to note that Megabus's parent company, Stagecoach, offers a similar cheap ticket sheme on railways it owns in Britain, such as Southwest Trains, or partially owns, such as Virgin Trains. Because we always buy Britrail passes on our trips to Britain I have not used the Megatrain, but it appears that passengers using these cheap tickets (on off-peak services) must sit in a designated standard coach. Perhaps VIA could start something similar if they should suffer from this competition, although they would have to create their own catchy name.
  by David Benton
 
What is the bus / train /plane / auto market shares on the corridor now ??? Possibly the buses would complement Via , by allowing more public transport choices , i.e bus one way , train the other .
It works on me , when i find a cheap pflight to my home town , i always book a train trip back , a train trip i wouldnt have taken if it wasnt for the cheap flight .
  by AgentSkelly
 
I always got the impression that on the Windsor-Quebec corridor, each mode of transportation is just another spillover for more capacity.

In my experience with buses (with Greyhound and CoachUSA/Canada among other minor carriers) you are limited by well the limitations of the highway. The Wi-Fi will probably make the ride more bearable, but nothing else. Passenger wise from what I have seen, usually are people that either are not aware of the train or are occasional riders that don't care what mode they take.
  by buddah
 
well friends im actually on another adventure for my research group Im currently on VIA train 73 to Windsor as Im writing this, then Im finding my own way across the border. to board a megabus from DET to Chicago I will let everyone know how the adventure goes at the end. Im doing this a to show the physical limitations and stress and not having a train connection for Windsor/ Detroit. I ll report back when the trip is complete.
  by Montrealrail
 
I just seen one of these "Mega-Bus" today in Montreal,a high blue bus with two levels,ressembling to a coach bus,I did'nt had the time to get a picture,cause I was on the road..
  by george matthews
 
It's about 12 years since I took the bus from Montreal to Toronto. I have also taken the train. I prefer the train. Megabus is just a bus. (It's owned by Stagecoach, a company with a rather dubious record in Britain).
  by Montrealrail
 
I saw again these buses,and I just wanted to be curious and ask for the price of a travel,around 50$ for a ride from Montreal to Toronto,they ca make low pric,because they have two level buses and they able to drive two times more passengers,finally,I got one in picture
Image

But I rater to take the trains
  by superbad
 
If it goes the way it did in the Chicago region, it will have little to no impact on Via ridership. There is no way the bus can beat the train time-wise. And those super low fares only exist if you book well in advance, try booking the day of travel and it will cost more than the train for sure.
  by buddah
 
superbad wrote:If it goes the way it did in the Chicago region, it will have little to no impact on Via ridership. There is no way the bus can beat the train time-wise. And those super low fares only exist if you book well in advance, try booking the day of travel and it will cost more than the train for sure.
Sorry friends works got me busy before the OCT 22 deadline at Microsoft. so I haven't had time to write my review on my last VIA trip. Im back in the US for now.

Don't be to sure about the last part of your post the train will definitely get you there quicker ( Toronto-Montreal) but the Bus may work out to be way cheaper even last minute. it was for me on the US side of the border just 2 -3 weeks ago. I took VIA Rail from Toronto to Windsor as it was cheaper and quicker than any bus option, however I booked Megabus for Detroit to Chicago as the trip time was almost identical train vs. bus ( 10-15 min. difference in trip time) and booking the bus 24-48 hrs before departure cost only 25% of what Amtrak would have cost me at the same time. with less than 12 hrs until departure I checked it again and although the price went up it was still less than 50% of what Amtrak was asking for the same trip. It will be interesting to see how MegaBus structures there prices to compete for VIA rail comfort class passengers. However I will note: the Double Decker Megabus I was on had very uncomfortable seats compared to VIA's comfort class seats I was in just an hour earlier. PS: the bus was 90-95% full.

AS I stated it might be time for VIA to pull a rabbit out there hat ! I got some good inside info from VIA employees on a few things VIA will be doing soon on the corridor but Ill write about that later.
  by buddah
 
Montrealrail wrote:I saw again these buses,and I just wanted to be curious and ask for the price of a travel,around 50$ for a ride from Montreal to Toronto,they ca make low pric,because they have two level buses and they able to drive two times more passengers,finally,I got one in picture
But I rater to take the trains

me too but Ill one up you on the picture....
Megabus I took..
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3971786441/
VIA Rail train I was on just 2 hours hour earlier
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3971772375/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3972521304/
  by Montrealrail
 
I made a comparaison between the two options.

Fisrt,I get the megabus from Kingston to Montreal,45 $ to get on and I get happy to have the first seat on the front,upstare,I get nothing in video or picture,overnight,we see nothing...
Here it is,when he leave Montreal after
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJuQKp3Or1I

With the trains,soo much less time to do the ride,more confort,cause I don't have my knees on my sin :-D like on the bus..
And with the train,the travel is more smooth,cause we get trough Brockville on the Kingston sub,and get nice sight seeing on the day..
More better with the train to don the ride,on the train,we can byu some drinks and little lunch,but on the bus,you must have it,because,nothing you can do once on the bus,if you want to eat or to drink...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db4QN7qlBhY

For me,The trains get my fisrt choice..
I'm going Toronto Next january 22 to january 24,just for railfanning on this area on the week end,and for this time,I take the train...
  by gaspeamtrak
 
I know this is kind of off topic but here is my question?
The second youtube video you have here shows train #68 with Renaissance cars.
I thought that only train #52 which becomes train #67 and train #53 which becomes train #66 had Renaissance cars?
Was train #68 just a fluke that it had Renaissance cars or is this a regular consist?
If so,from what i can figure out in the schedule would train #61 have Renaissance cars and come back as train #68?
Thanks for any help in answering this for me! :-)
Montrealrail wrote:I made a comparaison between the two options.

Fisrt,I get the megabus from Kingston to Montreal,45 $ to get on and I get happy to have the first seat on the front,upstare,I get nothing in video or picture,overnight,we see nothing...
Here it is,when he leave Montreal after
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJuQKp3Or1I

With the trains,soo much less time to do the ride,more confort,cause I don't have my knees on my sin :-D like on the bus..
And with the train,the travel is more smooth,cause we get trough Brockville on the Kingston sub,and get nice sight seeing on the day..
More better with the train to don the ride,on the train,we can byu some drinks and little lunch,but on the bus,you must have it,because,nothing you can do once on the bus,if you want to eat or to drink...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db4QN7qlBhY

For me,The trains get my fisrt choice..
I'm going Toronto Next january 22 to january 24,just for railfanning on this area on the week end,and for this time,I take the train...