Greyhound Substitution

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

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Greyhound Substitution

Postby MikeCDN » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:11 am

Why couldn't VIA Rail not pick up where Greyhound is abandoning its operations west of Sudbury ON?

I know I'll get the usual reasons of CN and CP not wanting to cooperate for profit's sake. However, something needs to happen with Greyhound leaving and a reluctance of bus companies wanting to enter the markets they're leaving.

Do we not have the technology here in North America for efficient self propelled rail cars? Could the federal government not front money for sidings, signals and time slots?

People do not seem to realize that we, as Canadians, are entering a crisis once Greyhound leaves - much like the drastic cuts to VIA Rail in 1990.

Most of the rail infrastructure exists and Canadians are not willing to pressure the governments into doing something.

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Re: Greyhound Substitution

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:54 am

On the US side,Greyhound dropped a lot of towns and a lot of"money loosing" routes,some were brought back by small business startups,others
by state supported transit districts.
This was around 2013 when Greyhound did the drastic cuts in the US,as did some of the affiliated lines such as TNM&O.
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Re: Greyhound Substitution

Postby NS VIA FAN » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:34 am

If Greyhound can’t fill a bus…how is VIA going to fill a train!

Everyone is in their own car now or on that 2 hr flight from Toronto to Winnipeg vs: 36 hrs on a train and probably a cheaper fare!
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Re: Greyhound Substitution

Postby mdvle » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:12 am

A RDC-1 seats 90 passengers.

A Greyhound bus seats 50.

Greyhound essentially uses the roads for free, a train would have to pay to use the tracks.

If a bus, which is substantially cheaper to operate, can't make a profit then running a much more expensive train will only make things worse.

If there truly is a need for a transportation service to be provided then the best use of limited tax dollars would be to operate a bus service.
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Re: Greyhound Substitution

Postby Mark0f0 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:45 pm

CN makes a few hundred thousand $$ for each monster-train they dispatch on their mainline.

VIA, they pay what, I hear its $25k or so, give or take, for each Toronto-Vancouver trip. Not even covering the cost of the infrastructure. And even with 200 people on The Canadian (probably average load year-round, lighter in the winter, double that in the summer), that's a lot more than it costs to fuel an Airbus for the whole trip (Vancouver-Toronto burns about $80 worth of fuel per seat).

Long haul rail is a cute relic of the past, but it will never be competitive against modern technology. And worse, if governments were to mandate timely handling of VIA trains, it could somewhat damage actually valuable and useful freight operations.
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Re: Greyhound Substitution

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:52 pm

Or VIA could move The Canadian over to CP between Sudbury and Winnipeg, and run an RDC over CN. :P
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Re: Greyhound Substitution

Postby MikeCDN » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:36 am

Mark0f0 wrote:CN makes a few hundred thousand $$ for each monster-train they dispatch on their mainline.

VIA, they pay what, I hear its $25k or so, give or take, for each Toronto-Vancouver trip. Not even covering the cost of the infrastructure. And even with 200 people on The Canadian (probably average load year-round, lighter in the winter, double that in the summer), that's a lot more than it costs to fuel an Airbus for the whole trip (Vancouver-Toronto burns about $80 worth of fuel per seat).

Long haul rail is a cute relic of the past, but it will never be competitive against modern technology. And worse, if governments were to mandate timely handling of VIA trains, it could somewhat damage actually valuable and useful freight operations.


I agree with your post.

However, this is about a public service. Nobody ever questions the profitability of city transit, garbage collection, police etc. Why are we using a for-profit mentality for this public service?

Should access to transit become a right in Canada?

Private / public partnerships do not appear to work very well in Canada. Gryehound and Hydro One two prime examples.

CN, as a private company, was handed off with no debts to the share holders and makes billions on infrastructure that built using public money. We paid for it. With this shouldn't CN be obligated to give VIA proper time slots?

With new railway technology it can be cheaper to use trains than buses and planes.

M.
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Re: Greyhound Substitution

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:06 pm

Mark0f0 wrote:VIA, they pay what, I hear its $25k or so, give or take, for each Toronto-Vancouver trip. Not even covering the cost of the infrastructure. And even with 200 people on The Canadian (probably average load year-round, lighter in the winter, double that in the summer), that's a lot more than it costs to fuel an Airbus for the whole trip (Vancouver-Toronto burns about $80 worth of fuel per seat). Long haul rail is a cute relic of the past, but it will never be competitive against modern technology. And worse, if governments were to mandate timely handling of VIA trains, it could somewhat damage actually valuable and useful freight operations.
If rail is so costly, why is it still being cited as a essential service? Just like many smaller communities in western and southern states would protest losing LD Amtrak service.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: Greyhound Substitution

Postby bdawe » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:38 am

R36 Combine Coach wrote:
Mark0f0 wrote:VIA, they pay what, I hear its $25k or so, give or take, for each Toronto-Vancouver trip. Not even covering the cost of the infrastructure. And even with 200 people on The Canadian (probably average load year-round, lighter in the winter, double that in the summer), that's a lot more than it costs to fuel an Airbus for the whole trip (Vancouver-Toronto burns about $80 worth of fuel per seat). Long haul rail is a cute relic of the past, but it will never be competitive against modern technology. And worse, if governments were to mandate timely handling of VIA trains, it could somewhat damage actually valuable and useful freight operations.
If rail is so costly, why is it still being cited as a essential service? Just like many smaller communities in western and southern states would protest losing LD Amtrak service.


Various rural communities in Canada are rail-only remote in a way that isn't really true of anywhere in the US outside Alaska
B. Dawe's map of routes and urban populations https://brendandawe.carto.com/viz/80b9d ... /embed_map NOW updated with 2016 Canadian Populations
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Re: Greyhound Substitution

Postby dowlingm » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:03 pm

There is a private bus operator who is linking up with Ontario Northland's bus operations to White River to bring people to Thunder Bay.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/ ... -1.4500432
https://www.facebook.com/KasperTranspor ... 0614560963

To my mind, this is VIA's best short term play - get in bed with Kaspar at White River also, and do your best to ensure OTP is as good as it can be for a smooth transfer between services. Kaspar intersects the Canadian (CN) route at Longlac, Sioux Lookout and Winnipeg also, which if the latest timetable revision actually holds might create other transfer opportunities.

There was rumours for a time of VIA switching Canadian to the CPR through Northern Ontario but that left the question of how to service the communities which have come to depend on the CN route service.
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