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Even bus companies are deserting the îlot Voyageur, making it a less attractive prospect for any new owner, since the fee paid by the terminus is a percentage of ticket sales.
jeather, David Tighe, Kate, and 6 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
What a mess. How is it that we can’t have a decent bus/train/métro hub in this city? What about that empty lot south of place Bonaventure? Can’t they make that into a central bus hub, suburban and intercity?
Well, the reasons as given by Coach/Megabus are pretty reasonable — and as a user of the bus station, it’s a pretty shitty station, requiring all sorts of stairs up and down and a long walk from the metro.
Are there some kind of restrictions on users of the bus terminal here? Why do we only have one (very overpriced) option to get to Quebec?
La Presse seems to have been asleep at the wheel (joke!) here, as this story was in other media weeks ago. The MegaBus people (can you trust anyone who promises buses for $1 …until you read all the small print) said that for their buses to Toronto, it was too far across town… The Berri Station has easy access to the Ville Marie, the Jacques Cartier bridge and the Metro. And parking is not as difficult as downtown. Rent is going to be a problme anywhere…
jeather, there are rules about this that I don’t understand. For example, you can use Allo-Stop within Quebec, but a bus company got the Montreal-Toronto part of their business shut down some while ago on the premise that it was unfair competition.
Craigslist offers rides of all kinds, but I remember a few years ago a very young driver on one of those minivan runs rolled the vehicle, not that that can’t happen to experienced drivers too.
Singlestar, I can see logical reasons why one might want Toronto bus departures from in or near the Bonaventure bus station.
I am usually not so flexible that a car-sharing option works for me. I don’t want to drive others, and for business travel I can’t charge for a car ride like I can a bus. But the bus is still overpriced.
@Kate It relates to the fact that you need a chauffeur’s licence in Ontario to take paying passengers. See http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2000/05/08/allo000508.html
Last time I was at Allo Stop I couldn’t believe they were still doing everything manually. Usually we use Amigo Express, now.
Megabus provide an excellent service to Toronto at low cost. They are quite right to look for savings where they can. What would Orléans Express or Voyageur charge for the service?
@jeather, does Megabus not go to Quebec City? Because as far as Toronto goes, I have to agree with David Tighe that it is a great service at a very reasonable price. I got a one-way ticket to Toronto for $35 once and a round trip for $58 or something.
From Coolopolis: http://coolopolis.blogspot.ca/2012/10/when-city-violates-conditions-of-deed.html
The bus station was in the middle of downtown till it got moved to Berri.
@Ephraim @Kate There’s also an issue that if you take more than some number of passengers you’re related as a bus in Ontario. There are even strict rules about carpooling, (something along the lines of “the same driver must drive every day, with the same passengers, and no money can change hands” – there’s more info at http://techcrunch.com/2008/11/12/ill-never-let-canada-live-this-down/ ).
My question is what was wrong with the old bus station? It had direct access to the metro, was as modern as any other bus station I’ve been to across the continent, (not very, but how much tech do you need to get onto a bus?), and didn’t force drivers to double-park on Berri to pick up & drop off passengers.
Nope, only Orleans Express goes to Quebec City from Montreal. Round trip is a bit under $100. The service is fine (expensive), but as their buses are full every hour, I would think there’s room for competition. Not that I am bitter.
John B, there was actually nothing wrong with the old bus station on Berri, but UQÀM hatched the idea of redoing the whole block and integrating the station into a new building. Except that UQÀM then ran out of money and the building stands as an uncompleted eyesore, with no prospects of getting sold and finished anytime soon.
Even though the existing station is fairly close to one of the city’s major hub metro stations, as jeather pointed out, it’s a longer walk now from the metro platform to the buses, and (iirc) involves stairs, which is a pain if you’re using a rolling suitcase or have mobility problems.
jeather, if you’re often moving between Quebec and Montreal, can’t you save money by buying train tickets well in advance? Forgive me if this is super obvious and you’ve already ruled it out. I seem to recall the train route to Quebec is quite nice, although there aren’t nearly as many departures as there are for the bus.
You need to go up the escalators to the old bus station, through the entirety of the old bus station, then down some stairs, then along a hallway, then up some more stairs. You can avoid these stairs by using the sidewalk. There were not functional escalators or elevators as of early July. The new bathrooms are, however, much much nicer. But overall, the move was a stupid move.
Unfortunately, the train schedules don’t work for what I need — the first train only gets in at 10:30. (It wouldn’t be much cheaper, but I’d do it for the comfort.)
There appears to be no real competition on intercity routes except between modes. Québec awards route monopolies according to criteria I am ignorant of. As far as I can see Orleans Express can charge what it likes to Québec and has little incentive to be innovative. There are many pros and cons for this arrangement but it certainly must favour the incumbent over competitors. Given the growing importance of rural mobility (in Europe mainly for the moment) some innovative thinking from the Ministry of Transports would be welcome
100$ return to Québec is absurd when one can get to Toronto for about 70$ return. One could get almost anywhere in the UK and back for less despite the cost of fuel. One would be better off taking a car. I certainly would (Shock, Horror!!!!
Googling suggests that the Quebec government awards monopolies on popular routes as long as those same companies continue to service less popular routes. Presumably Orleans Express then charges as much as they possibly can while still keeping the buses full (which they generally are).
And, yes, as soon as I am going with a second person, it is cheaper to take a car. It’s probably cheaper (and definitely faster) to take a car alone if you don’t have a gas-guzzler, but I like to sleep.
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