Bus firm launches twice-daily London-Toronto rides with Greyhound gone – The London Free Press

Badder Bus is stepping into the void left by Greyhound, offering twice-daily bus service between London and Toronto.

Author of the article:

Norman De Bono

badder bus

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Badder Bus is stepping into the void left by Greyhound, offering twice-daily bus service between London and Toronto.

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The regional bus company, founded in Chatham and headquartered in St. Thomas, is partnering with Megabus, a division of Coach Canada, to offer service seven days a week from the Flying J truck stop at Highbury Avenue near Highway 401, starting Thursday.

“We definitely feel there is a need we can help fill,” said Doug Badder, partner in the transportation company. “I think this will help. It’s a start.”

Badder sits on the board of the Ontario Motor Coach Association with officials from Coach Canada and that kickstarted talks about teaming to offer service here. Greyhound Canada announced in May it would not resume service when COVID-19 travel restrictions eventually lift.

“We found out Greyhound was pulling out and we know people at Megabus, we have a good relationship,” Badder said. “We have the infrastructure and they’re set up for line haul (city-to-city service). We thought maybe we can partner. We came to an agreement.”

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Hey, Canada! We’re bringing you a brand new route from London, Ontario to Toronto starting this Thursday! Whether you’re planning a short trip or now seeing a new commuter option, we’re bringing you better travel this summer. Tickets are available now. Book your next trip today. pic.twitter.com/yPfjiTBBn6

— megabus.com (@megabus) July 12, 2021

The daily schedule will see a bus depart London at 6:30 a.m., arriving in Toronto at 9:30 a.m., and a second departure at noon arriving at 3:30 p.m. For the return trip, a bus will leave Toronto at 10:45 a.m., arriving here about 2 p.m., with a second departure at 4:30 p.m., arriving at about 7:30 p.m.

For Badder, the Toronto service is also an opportunity to generate much-needed revenue after seeing its school bus, travel and tourism, and sports team business all grind to a halt amid the pandemic.

It has coped with the downturn by laying off staff, selling properties and leasing space back while applying for government support, he added.

“This is hopefully an opportunity for us. It has been tough, we’re at about five per cent of our revenue,” Badder said. “We’re just trying to keep our head above water.”

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Last year, with provincial funding, Voyago launched inter-county bus service in Southwestern Ontario. That service links smaller communities throughout Middlesex, Huron and Perth counties and Sarnia to London, and as far afield as Owen Sound and Kitchener.

Badder Bus was founded by Doug’s father in 1950 with one school bus and expanded into motor coach service in 1978. The business is now owned by Doug and his brother, Neil.

The London-Toronto service will offer socially distanced seating, ensuring more personal space on board and enhanced cleaning, Megabus said in a statement.

ndebono@postmedia.com


THE NEW SERVICE

St. Thomas-based Badder Bus is teaming with Megabus to offer London-Toronto bus service starting Thursday, July 15. Details:

  • Twice daily departures and arrivals.
  • Depart from the Flying J truck stop, Highbury Avenue and Highway 401
  • Seven days a week
  • $25 one-way ticket
  • Tickets can be purchased at megabus.com
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