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An industry friend has told me the Ontario Highway Transport Board has received 3 applications for Intercity Bus Service.

2 applications are on behalf of FlixBus. Zoom Tours (Northstar Limousine) will operate the Toronto - New York City run and a Boston Operator will operate the Toronto - Boston run.

The third application is for Equinox Bus Lines to operate Toronto - Boston but no connection to FlixBus.

I guess FlixBus wants to get a head start on deregulation and you can say, take advantage with the pandemic.

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  • 1 month later...

I am going to leave this here since this carrier applied for the same Toronto - Boston route.

Equinox Bus Lines also applied to operate scheduled bus service between Toronto and Boston, their routing is different from Zoom Tours and the Boston Carrier. It seems Equinox Bus Lines is operating on their own since they have a US subsidiary called Equinox Bus Lines USA that will operate on the US leg of the service.

https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-gazette-volume-154-issue-03-january-16-2021

They also had the public petitioning their application through their website and being transparent about this service: http://www.equinoxbus.com/petition.html

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1 minute ago, Megabus Rider said:

I am going to leave this here since this carrier applied for the same Toronto - Boston route.

Equinox Bus Lines also applied to operate scheduled bus service between Toronto and Boston, their routing is different from Zoom Tours and the Boston Carrier. It seems Equinox Bus Lines is operating on their own since they have a US subsidiary called Equinox Bus Lines USA that will operate on the US leg of the service.

https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-gazette-volume-154-issue-03-january-16-2021

They also had the public petitioning their application through their website and being transparent about this service: http://www.equinoxbus.com/petition.html

Megabus and Greyhound already have routes to NYC. 

Do we really need a third carrier?

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Just now, Shaun said:

Megabus and Greyhound already have routes to NYC. 

Do we really need a third carrier?

They all applied to operate between Toronto and Boston, New York City was not mentioned in those applications based on what was published. Perhaps they know that and decided to service Boston instead of New York City.

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Apparently the Ontario Highway Transport Board made a mistake with North Star Limousine (Zoom Tours, Toronto Charters) application and published that they are actually doing Toronto - New York City and not Toronto - Boston: https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-gazette-volume-154-issue-04-january-23-2021/ontario-highway-transport-board

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Been hearing chatter that Greyhound Canada, Greyhound Lines and Coach Canada have opposed Zoom Tours and Galaxy Tours' Application to operate a Line Run between Toronto and NYC presumably with Flixbus. I would not be surprised if Coach USA and Adirondack Trailways add themselves as interested parties and object the application.

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  • 1 month later...

All 3 companies working with Flixbus to operate out of Toronto, all had their applications successfully opposed by both Greyhound Lines and Greyhound Canada. All 3 of those companies had to pay an additional $500 each to the Board for a written hearing. The 3 companies are North Star Limousine (Zoom Tours), Gallexy Tours and Tribal Sun Bus Company. I'd expect to see them all operating sometime after July 1 when deregulation begins!

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On 4/18/2021 at 4:20 PM, MCIBUS said:

And I'll bet those 3 companies wiill lose and Greyhound will win and we'll still have no service by Greyhound after July 1.

A written hearing was already issued for each company, they did lose. Ya, all eyes will be on what happens for July 1!

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On 4/27/2021 at 4:52 PM, leylandvictory2 said:

didn't zoom sold their buses already?

Yes I recalled the newest unit on Prevost's website for sale as a brokered unit but then they out bid Great Canadian Coaches with Durham College and that new bus ended up being wrapped for Durham College. Zoom has their Prevost Coaches parked on that Street where the Fairfield Hotel is located near Pearson Airport.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/18/2021 at 10:54 AM, Megabus Rider said:

All 3 companies working with Flixbus to operate out of Toronto, all had their applications successfully opposed by both Greyhound Lines and Greyhound Canada. All 3 of those companies had to pay an additional $500 each to the Board for a written hearing. The 3 companies are North Star Limousine (Zoom Tours), Gallexy Tours and Tribal Sun Bus Company. I'd expect to see them all operating sometime after July 1 when deregulation begins!

Well, Greyhound died. Let's see what happens next with these operators.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Flixbus has set up in Canada. They start their first route: Toronto - Niagara Falls, ON on April 8 running twice a day each way with fares starting as low as $4.99 (Not sure if CAD or USD). Galaxy Tours is the operator of that Service. You may recall Galaxy Tours filed a application when the OHTB regulated the industry to operate Toronto - NYC service with Flixbus.

There is a stop in St. Catherines, ON. The Toronto stop is on York Street and Queens Quay in the Loading Zone, not the same stop that Equinox/Ourbus and Onexbus use.

The Niagara Falls stop is on the street in front of Embassy Suites Hotel. Seems they got the Hotel on-board as Flixbus is listed on their Transportation section on their website: https://embassysuitesniagara.com/transportation.php

Trying to figure out why Galaxy Tours won't cross into the US and connect with the Flixbus Service from Niagara Falls, NY to NYC? This is a great opportunity to go head to head with Equinox/Ourbus along with Greyhound, NY Trailways and Megabus when they start on May 13.

This Flixbus service may indirectly compete with Safeway Tours' Cash Passengers who don't go to the Casino but just to visit the Falls since the bus stop is across the street from the Casino. Other competitors include Megbus and Go Transit. Not sure if it affects Equinox/Ourbus since Equinox is more focused with service to Buffalo Airport and beyond with Ourbus. They have fully migrated over to the Ourbus booking platform and I don't blame them, Oubus has an app which allows passengers to track their bus and that's not cheap.

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57 minutes ago, Megabus Rider said:

Trying to figure out why Galaxy Tours won't cross into the US and connect with the Flixbus Service from Niagara Falls, NY to NYC? This is a great opportunity to go head to head with Equinox/Ourbus along with Greyhound, NY Trailways and Megabus when they start on May 13.

Could be a few reasons.

One reason I can think of on the top of my head would be CBSA/CBP clearance to operate cross border service.  

The other would be the ongoing land border restrictions.  (Which is slowly being lifted) 

Though it would be good to have a one 💺 ride from NYC to Toronto 

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On 3/22/2022 at 9:47 PM, Oc4526 said:

Could be a few reasons.

One reason I can think of on the top of my head would be CBSA/CBP clearance to operate cross border service.  

The other would be the ongoing land border restrictions.  (Which is slowly being lifted) 

Though it would be good to have a one 💺 ride from NYC to Toronto 

My friend who does Ourbus said all he did was physically visited both Port of Entries, talked with the Supervisor, obtained websites to get information on entry requirements, handouts were given especially with Canada and the COVID protocols. When Ourbus operated during the US Border closure, the Niagara Falls, NY Port of Entry was used, then on November 8, Buffalo Port of Entry is currently being used. For Canada they have always used Fort Erie, for some reason Niagara Falls, ON Port Entry doesn't want to deal with Line Run Buses.

Ourbus/Equinox are using a Minibus so it's obvious that the current restrictions have reduced tourists entering Canada but Greyhound and Trailways seem to be ok.

My friend mentioned that each Carrier engaged in Line Runs are fully responsible for all Passengers even if a Passenger is refused entry. My friend has an account with Niagara Falls Taxi. Also Carriers can be fined like Airlines when they bring a Passenger to a Port of Entry when that Passenger does not have proper documentation such as a Visitor or B1/B2 Visa. Each Line Run Carrier should know who is allowed and not allowed to enter Canada or the US.  If Galaxy Tours has no clue on crossing the Border, it would be in their best interest to not do cross border service especially that there are fines involved.

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13 hours ago, Megabus Rider said:

Quite a network right off the bat:

Toronto to Ottawa
- No Trips T, W
- 1x daily Th, F, S, Su, M
Toronto to St. Catherines, Niagara Falls
- 1x daily T, W
- 2x daily Th, F, S, Su, M
Toronto to Mississauga, Guelph, Kitchener, University of Waterloo
- 1x daily T, W
- 2x daily Th, F, S, Su, M

Complete list of stops is:
Toronto
- 8 York St
- "Bus will stop on York Street between Queens Quay West and Harbour Street. Bus will board on the west side of the street at the Motorcoach Loading Zone."

Mississauga
- Duke of York Blvd (between Prince of Wales Dr and Princess Royal Dr)
- "Bus will stop on the south side of Duke of York Blvd, between Prince of Wales Dr and Princess Royal Dr in front of the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, ON"

St. Catherines
- Carlisle Street (between King St and Church St)
- "Bus will stop on the north side of Carlisle Street in St. Catherines, Ontario near the corner with King Street."

Niagara Falls
- 8700 Fallsview Blvd
- "Our stop is located at the Embassy Suites Fallsview in Niagara Falls, ON. Bus will stop on the curb next to the Starbucks and The Keg along Portage Road."

Guelph
- 139 Carden St
- "Bus will stop at Gate 15 at Guelph Central Station on Macdonnell Street in Guelph, ON."

Kitchener
- 1 Victoria St
- "Bus will stop at 1 Victoria Street South in Kitchener, Ontario, near The Round Table"

University of Waterloo (Only shows up when you search Kitchener)
- 295 Phillip St

Ottawa
- 33 George St
- "Bus will board on George Street between Sussex Street and the ByWard Market. Bus will board on north side of the street at the bus loading zone."

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Here is the Official Press Release (Browser kept on refreshing non-stop, so I copied it to this post) https://corporate.flixbus.com/the-global-expansion-continues--flixbus-launches-canada-domestic-service-routes-with-toronto-ottawa-connections-starting-april-7/ :

Toronto,
24
March
2022

The Global Expansion Continues: FlixBus launches Canada domestic service routes with Toronto, Ottawa connections starting April 7

 

++ Sustainable, affordable intercity bus travel in Canada is now a reality with cross-border U.S. service arriving in summer 2022 

++ Canada domestic network will initially feature new connections running between Waterloo-Toronto, Niagara Falls-Toronto and an express Ottawa-Toronto route  

++ Tickets go on sale on March 24 and as a special offer for new Canadian customers, FlixBus will run special $4.99 fares from March 24 until April 6 

canada launch

FlixBus, the fast-growing mobility tech company, will launch domestic service in Canada beginning on April 7, 2022. In addition to an express route between Ottawa-Toronto, FlixBus will debut in Canada with a Niagara Falls-Toronto line including a stop in St. Catharines, as well as a more comprehensive local line with stops including Waterloo (University of Waterloo), Kitchener (Downtown), Guelph, Mississauga and Toronto. The start of Ontario domestic service is just the first phase of a planned expansion, with cross-border routes to and from the U.S. planned for summer 2022. Tickets go on sale on March 24 and as a special offer for new Canadian customers, FlixBus will run special $4.99 fares from March 24-April 6.

With the Ontario intercity bus market being deregulated in 2021, the door was opened for new mobility providers to begin service and FlixBus brings its unique blend of tech startup, e-commerce platform and sustainable transportation to a market of eager Canadian travelers. FlixBus began service in the U.S. in 2018 and had long-term plans to expand into Canada, but these were delayed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that restrictions are being lifted and the demand for travel is coming back, FlixBus is poised to bring new options for eco-friendly travel, value and convenience for Canadians.

“FlixBus is making sustainable bus travel comfortable, affordable and easy-to-use for everyone,” said André Schwämmlein, Founder and CEO of FlixBus. “Our success in Europe and the ongoing growth in the U.S., Brazil, and now Canada, proves that with a smart business approach and a great product, FlixBus can globally change the way people travel and help them discover the benefits of shared, green intercity bus transportation.”

The digitalization of the traditional bus market has been FlixBus’ recipe for success across Europe and in the U.S. With new buses, free Wi-Fi, power outlets at every seat, carbon-neutral ticketing options, tech solutions like the FlixBus App and more, FlixBus is setting a new standard for Canadian intercity travel and making buses not just an affordable option, but the preferred choice for all passengers looking to experience the world, no matter their budget.

“Ontario is a dream bus market with some of North America’s most vibrant cities and we are immensely happy to begin building connections here.” said Pierre Gourdain, Managing Director of FlixBus North America. “We also hope, the service will offer Ontarians a financial reprieve in a context of rising gas prices with a green mobility alternative to help riders re-discover this wonderful province.”

The FlixBus Canadian domestic network will feature new connections running Waterloo-Toronto, Niagara Falls-Toronto corridor, including stops in Kitchener (Downtown), Guelph, Mississauga and St. Catharines, as well as an express service on the Ottawa-Toronto route. Ottawa-Toronto will run Thursday-Monday with one trip in each direction per day, while Niagara Falls-Toronto and Waterloo-Toronto will run daily service in each direction, with service doubled on Thursdays-Mondays.

First local partner for FlixBus: Gallexy Tours

The FlixBus network is comprised of and driven by local bus partners, many of which are family-owned. Riding with FlixBus means customers are helping to support these local businesses and play a part in giving back to the community that these partners serve.

FlixBus’ new Canadian domestic network will be operated by Gallexy Tours, the company's first local Canadian partner, who trusts in FlixBus' technological expertise in pricing, marketing and sales, route intelligence, quality management and continuous product expansion. The buses will also apply the company's international standard, which includes services such as free on-board Wi-Fi. Gallexy Tours has been serving the city of Toronto for the past 20 years primarily providing charter services.

“We could not be more proud or excited to partner with FlixBus on the launch of the Canadian market. FlixBus came to us with a vision for what the future of intercity bus travel will look like. Together, we have a unique opportunity to re-shape how passengers travel. Now after planning and preparing throughout COVID for this moment, we are ready for the main event which is to provide new transportation for travelers in Canada and eventually connect passengers between the U.S. and Canada,” said Dilan Jey with Gallexy Tours.

Tickets are now available on the FlixBus website or downloaded through the convenient FlixBus App.

For more information visit FlixBus online, download the FlixBus app, and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

About FlixMobility

FlixMobility is pioneering the public transport sector by offering climate-friendly alternatives for convenient and affordable travel via the FlixBus and FlixTrain brands. Thanks to a unique business model and innovative technology, FlixMobility has quickly established Europe’s largest long-distance bus network and swiftly moved on to a global expansion including the United States and Brazil. As a trailblazer for sustainable traffic FlixMobility operated the first green long-distance trains in 2018, initiated a pilot project for all-electric long-distance buses in 2018 and launched EU’s first biogas-powered long-distance buses in 2021.

While FlixMobility handles technology development, network planning, operations control, marketing and sales, quality management and continuous product expansion, trusted Flix-partners maintain the daily route operations. The unique combination of technology start-up, e-commerce platform and classic transport company has positioned FlixMobility as a leader against major international corporations, permanently changing the global mobility landscape.

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While I may be pleased that FlixBus is setting up shop in Canada, I'm hoping that this new player in the intercity bus market in Ontario - will be competitive. 

I'm hoping that if FlixBus is successful in Canada, I'm hoping that the company will fill the voids left by the now-defunct Greyhound in Canada - especially the Toronto-Collingwood (Ontario) bus route once operated by Greyhound. 

 

 

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On 3/25/2022 at 11:51 PM, Megabus Rider said:

Here is the Official Press Release (Browser kept on refreshing non-stop, so I copied it to this post) https://corporate.flixbus.com/the-global-expansion-continues--flixbus-launches-canada-domestic-service-routes-with-toronto-ottawa-connections-starting-april-7/ :

Toronto,
24
March
2022

The Global Expansion Continues: FlixBus launches Canada domestic service routes with Toronto, Ottawa connections starting April 7

 

**Snip**

Here’s a CityTv news release (basicly same info) 

I also noticed that Flex Bus will have some sort of 🚲 racks on some trips (possibly internally mounted in the luggage rack or front bumper mounted). 
 

per 

18D386B0-5D8C-4F65-8D22-6B169664A73D.thumb.png.f7ee69fb7ffd224cb71aa0f8819b79bf.png

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The stops in Ottawa, I wish they where better located. True it's in the "Byward Market Area" but I wish they'd have done stops at either St Laurent BRT/LRT Station or Via Rail Station.

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