Ontario Northland Temporarily Suspends All Motor Coach Services Due To Labour Disruption



    TORONTO, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - Ontario Northland announced today that all of
its passenger motor coach and bus parcel express services are being
temporarily suspended due to a labour disruption by motor coach operators
represented by Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.
    The territory affected by the disruption includes all Ontario Northland
motor coach routes between Hearst and Toronto, along both the Highway 11
corridor through North Bay and the Highway 144/69 corridor through Sudbury.
    In addition, shuttle services connecting to our Northlander and Polar
Bear Express passenger trains are also suspended. The Northlander train itself
will continue to travel between Cochrane and Toronto daily, except Saturdays,
and the Polar Bear Express will continue to travel between Cochrane and
Moosonee from Monday through Friday.
    Passengers scheduled to travel through or within the affected area may
hold their tickets for future travel or return them to any Ontario Northland
station or agency for a full refund on the unused portion, without penalty. In
addition, passengers traveling along the Highway 11 corridor may redeem their
motor coach tickets for travel on Ontario Northland's Northlander passenger
train, which travels daily, except Saturdays, between Cochrane and Toronto.
    "We sincerely regret the inconvenience being experienced by our customers
as a result of this labour disruption," said Beverly Martin, Chief
Communications Officer with Ontario Northland. "We are committed to working
with our Teamsters union representatives to reach a contract and resume all
services as soon as possible."

    
                         Frequently Asked Questions
    

    Why have you suspended service?
    We are temporarily suspending all of our motor coach passenger and bus
parcel express services due to labour disruption by our motor coach operator
employees, who are represented by Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.

    What areas are affected by this labour disruption?
    Ontario Northland's entire motor coach services territory is affected by
this strike. This includes all routes between Hearst and Toronto, along both
the Highway 11 corridor through North Bay and the Highway 144/69 corridor
through Sudbury.
    In addition, shuttle services connecting to our Northlander and Polar
Bear Express passenger trains are also suspended. The Northlander train itself
will continue to travel between Cochrane and Toronto daily, except Saturdays
and the Polar Bear Express will continue to travel between Cochrane and
Moosonee from Monday through Friday.

    Are there any alternative travel options?
    Passengers traveling along the Highway 11 corridor, from locations
between Cochrane and Toronto, can travel on Ontario Northland's passenger
train, the Northlander. Ontario Northland motor coach tickets may be used for
travel on the Northlander, which travels daily except Saturdays:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Southbound                          Northbound
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cochrane       8:00 a.m.            Toronto       8:40 a.m.
    Matheson       8:55 a.m.            Washago      10:25 a.m.
    Swastika       9:40 a.m.            Gravenhurst  10:50 a.m.
    Englehart     10:20 a.m.            Bracebridge  11:05 a.m.
    New Liskeard  10:50 a.m.            Huntsville   11:40 a.m.
    Cobalt        11:05 a.m.            South River  12:35 p.m.
    Temagami      11:50 a.m.            North Bay     1:50 p.m. arrival
                                                      2:05 p.m. departure
    North Bay      1:25 p.m. arrival    Temagami      3:35 p.m.
                   1:35 p.m. departure
    South River    2:40 p.m.            Cobalt        4:20 p.m.
    Huntsville     3:30 p.m.            New Liskeard  4:35 p.m.
    Bracebridge    3:55 p.m.            Englehart     5:05 p.m.
    Gravenhurst    4:10 p.m.            Swastika      5:45 p.m.
    Washago        4:30 p.m.            Matheson      6:30 p.m.
    Toronto        6:30 p.m.            Cochrane      7:25 p.m.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    Please note that our Northlander shuttle services will be suspended for
the duration of the strike.
    For more information about the Northlander, please visit our web site,
www.ontarionorthland.ca or, contact us at 1.800.461.8558.
    In addition, Greyhound Canada provides services in some of our
communities. For more information about Greyhound schedules and routes, please
visit www.greyhound.ca or contact Greyhound at 1.800.661.8747.

    Will this impact my travel plans or parcel deliveries?
    Unfortunately, all travel on Ontario Northland motor coaches, and all bus
parcel express services, are temporarily suspended. For passengers traveling
along the Highway 11 corridor between Cochrane and Toronto, we would suggest
that you consider traveling on our passenger train, the Northlander (please
refer to the Northlander schedule listed above, visit our web site
www.ontarionorthland.ca or contact us at 1.800.462.8558); in addition, in
areas services by Greyhound Canada, we suggest that you look at Greyhound
routes and schedules (www.greyhound.ca; 1.800.661.8747). We apologize for this
inconvenience.

    What should I do with my ticket?
    If your travel was scheduled to be within affected area, you may hold
your tickets for future travel or return them for a full refund on the unused
portion, without penalty. To obtain a refund, please visit any Ontario
Northland Station or agency or contact us at 1.800.461.8558.
    Motor coach tickets may also be used for travel on our Northlander
passenger train.

    Will your train services be affected?
    Ontario Northland's passenger trains (the Northlander, Polar Bear Express
and Dream Catcher Express) will continue to operate. We do encourage our
passengers to arrive a minimum 45 minutes in advance of their train's
scheduled departure time and to expect delays upon arrival and departure at
Ontario Northland stations.
    Shuttle services connecting to our Northlander and Polar Bear Express
passenger trains are, however, suspended.

    Why couldn't the company and union come to an agreement to avoid the
    strike?
    We are working with union representatives to reach an agreement as
quickly as possible in order to minimize the disruption to you, our customers.
Unfortunately, we were unable to reach an agreement prior to the current
labour disruption. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this temporary
suspension of our services is causing and remain committed to doing everything
we can to alleviate this disruption. We will resume normal operations as soon
as possible.

    Where can I get more information?
    We will be posting updates to our web site, www.ontarionorthland.ca, and
through the media. In addition, if you have any additional questions, we would
encourage you to contact our Passenger Services Department at 1.800.461.8558.





For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Beverly Martin, Chief
Communications Officer, (705) 472-4500 or 1-800-363-7512, ext. 265; cell:
(705) 845-8884

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Ontario Northland Transportation Commission

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