Intercity Travel Conference

Intercity Travel Conference

Transport Futures was proud to present our 20th learning event on November 27, 2017. It focussed on whether Ontario's intercity rail and bus service can compete -- or at least complement - car and air travel. The conference was timely for many reasons:
 
  • the federal and provincial governments GO Transit, VIA Rail, Greyhound Bus are respectively investing $8.3 billion and $64.6 billion in Ontario’s transit infrastructure over 13 years;
  • depending on the outcome of a $15 million Environmental Assessment, Ontario might spend an additional $21 billion on high speed rail service in the Toronto-Windsor corridor;
  • in 2015, the Ministry of Transportation began consultations on how to modernize Ontario's 30-year old intercity bus industry regulations but, to date, no decisions have been made; and,
  • only a small percentage of the $32.3 billion the province plans to spend on roads will be invested in facilities that collect tolls from drivers, while train and bus customers will continue to pay a fare for their trips.

As detailed in the interactive agenda, the conference featured 13 Canadian and international experts who discussed rail and bus systems from several perspectives: history and culture; planning and infrastructure; technology and interoperability; mobility hubs and first/last mile options; customer service and demand; modal competition and safety; finance and funding; risk and delivery; governance and politics. More than 80 delegates explored how multiple rail and bus services can co-exist efficiently, fulfil different functions, build a cohesive transportation network and make effective use of limited tax dollars. 

As with previous Transport Futures events, 90% of delegates gave the Intercity Travel Conference an excellent rating while the balance said it was satisfactory. Their feedback included these comments:

  • "Excellent conference! Very engaging! I learned so much about intercity transportation. The insights were so useful for our work."
  • "Great presenters from a wide range of the rail and bus industry."
  • "Excellent balance of perspectives and ideas. A great catalyst for dialogue and innovative thinking."
  • "Timely information, great opportunities for discussion and debate."
  • "Exceeded expectations! Highly knowledgeable speakers. Great expertise in the room."
  • "Great conference. Very knowledgeable presenters. Great food for thought and some provocative questions especially during the closing discussion/session."
  • "The conference was a great success. It really fills the gaps for intercity travel, as many of them were highlighted."
  • "A really well organized and informative event with high quality speakers and solid networking."
  • "Thank you for the excellent conference. It was a really interesting event with plenty of issues aired."

Transport Futures thanks all speakers, delegates and sponsors for participating at the Intercity Travel Conference. Please subscribe to our listserv so we can keep you informed of our initiatives in 2018.

Intercity Travel Conference