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Ontario Northland awarded routes.

Ontario Northland awarded routes

The Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC) is expanding its bus services and operations.

The sale of Sudbury to Toronto and North Bay to Toronto bus routes by Gray Coach Bus Lines Inc. to Ontario Northland has been approved by the Ontario Highway Transport Board.

Ontario Northland is also purchasing some northern connecting routes, related coach equipment and the Barrie bus terminal from Gray Coach.

The sale was formally opposed by Penetang Midland Bus Coach Lines and the Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) on the grounds that it would constitute a major and harmful intrusion by a government-run operation.

The board ruled, however, that Ontario Northland's bus division is operated commercially and is not subsidized by the government.

"It (the division) was set up as a commercial operation so it wouldn't be a parasite on the public purse," explains Peter Dyment, Ontario Northland's president and chief executive officer.

Dyment insists that Ontario Northland's commercial telecommunications, highway freight transportation and motor coach operations do not receive any benefits from the subsidies received by NorOntair and the company's marine and rail divisions.

According to Dyment, the purchase of the routes connecting Sudbury and North Bay to Toronto was identified as necessary to the economic viability of the system in a feasibility study conducted by the accounting firm Peat Marwick Thorne.

The Transport Board supported that conclusion. However, it denied Ontario Northland permission to operate any charter services in southern Ontario.

"Chartered trips from Metropolitan Toronto and Barrie will be restricted to points north of the Districts of Parry Sound and Nipissing," the board ruled.
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Title Annotation:Ontario Northland Transportation Commission expands bus services and operations
Author:McDougall, Douglas
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Aug 1, 1991
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