Regulations and Terms

Fare terms and conditions

Bus
  • Ontario Northland will not be held responsible for lost or stolen tickets.
  • All reservations and tickets expire on the date of travel posted on the ticket. Tickets and reservations are non transferable. 
  • Each passenger must present either a printed or electronic ticket AND valid photo ID at boarding.
  • Ontario Northland will only be responsible for transportation on its own lines in accordance with its tariff rules and regulations and assumes no responsibility for any acts of omissions of another party or interline carrier.
  • Ontario Northland tickets will not be accepted by interline carriers.
  • Schedules and services are subject to change without notice. Ontario Northland may substitute alternate carrier or means of transportation.
  • Layover’s/stop over’s not permitted on a point to point segment once ticket is issued (i.e. for the route Toronto to North Bay, there is no stop over privilege in between).
  • Baggage liability is limited to damage only to a maximum of $100.00 CAD.
  • Senior, Military, Student, or other discounts require valid ID or other proof of eligibility.
  • Children under the age of eight must be accompanied by someone age 16 and over. No exceptions will be permitted.
  • Ontario Northland will not be held liable for delays due to breakdowns, weather, or other conditions beyond the carrier’s control.
  • Fares are payable in Canadian dollars.

Please also refer to our Rules and Regulations for travelling on Ontario Northland’s bus service.

Refunds and Exchanges

Ticket Refunds

Eligible tickets are subject to a 15% refund fee. Tickets sold under this tariff will be redeemed to the original purchaser at fare paid when no portion of the trip is made, and at the difference between the fare paid and the published fare between points used, if the trip is discontinued and not completed.

Ticket refunds after the original travel date and time will not be permitted.

If a passenger misses a schedule, they are required to purchase a new ticket in order to travel.

All other requests for refunds shall be forwarded to:

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
555 Oak Street East
North Bay, ON P1B 8L3
Attention: Passenger Care

Ontario Northland will not refund any ticket issued by other carriers.

All ticket refunds are subject to a 15% administration fee on any un-used portions. Refunds on partially used tickets are calculated based on the difference between the value of the ticket and the value of the fare used. Refunds will only be processed provided Ontario Northland is notified of such refund request prior to the original scheduled travel date.

Online Ticket Refunds

Ontario Northland will refund eligible online tickets under the following conditions:

  • Online ticket refund form is received by Ontario Northland a minimum of 24 hours prior to your scheduled departure time. If received after scheduled date of travel, the refund will not be processed.
  • All requested information on the form must be completed.
  • Ontario Northland requires a valid phone number – we will call you to process the refund to your credit card.
  • All refunds are subject to a 15% refund fee.
  • Ontario Northland representative will contact you within 3 business days.

Tickets purchased at a station or agency cannot be refunded via this form. Please visit your nearest Ontario Northland Station or Agency to refund eligible tickets (prior to your scheduled date of travel). Ticket refunds are subject to a 15% refund fee and will be refunded to the original form of payment.

Bus Ticket Exchanges

Tickets may be exchanged for a new time or date of travel. The exchange request must be made prior to the scheduled date of travel. An administration fee of 15% of the total fare will apply to all ticket exchanges. Origin and destination may not be changed under any circumstances in an exchange.

Note: 10 Trip/Multi Trip tickets are non refundable and may not be exchanged for a new date or time, no exceptions.

Train

General Terms and Conditions

  • Ontario Northland will not be held responsible for lost or stolen tickets.
  • All tickets expire on the date of travel posted on the ticket. Tickets are non transferable. 
  • Each passenger must present either a printed or electronic ticket AND valid photo ID at boarding.
  • Ontario Northland will only be responsible for transportation on its own lines in accordance with its tariff rules and regulations and assumes no responsibility for any acts of omissions of another party or interline carrier.
  • Baggage liability is limited to damage only to a maximum of $100.00 CAD.
  • Senior, Military, Student, or other discounts require valid ID or other proof of eligibility.
  • Children under the age of eight must be accompanied by someone age 16 and over. No exceptions will be permitted.
  • Ontario Northland will not be held liable for delays due to breakdowns, weather, or other conditions beyond the carrier’s control.
  • Fares are payable in Canadian dollars.

Please direct any inquiries or questions about online ticketing to Ontario Northland Passenger Services.

Refunds and Exchanges

We understand that travel plans change. If you are unable to travel on your original scheduled date, please notify Ontario Northland no later than midnight on the day prior to your scheduled travel to ensure your ticket or reservation is changed without penalty.

Ticket Refunds:

Ontario Northland will refund eligible tickets under the following conditions:

  • Online ticket refund form is received by Ontario Northland a minimum of 24 hours prior to your scheduled departure time.
  • If received after scheduled date of travel, the refund will not be processed. All requested information on the form must be completed. Ontario Northland requires a valid phone number – we will call you to process the refund to your credit card.
  • Ontario Northland representative will contact you within 3 business days.

Tickets purchased at a station or agency cannot be refunded via this form. Please visit your nearest Ontario Northland Station or Agency to refund eligible tickets (prior to your scheduled date of travel).

All other requests for refunds shall be forwarded to:

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
555 Oak Street East
North Bay, ON P1B 8L3
Attention: Passenger Care

Delays and Cancellations

Schedules and services are subject to change without notice. Ontario Northland may substitute alternate carrier or means of transportation where available. Unscheduled delays can sometimes occur. Ontario Northland is not responsible for delays or cancellations caused by traffic, road conditions, weather or other causes over which it has no control. Alternatively, where Ontario Northland fails to provide on-time reliable service for reasons wholly within our control, refunds, vouchers or alternate travel arrangements may be offered.

Connections: Arrivals, departures, and connections at times stated are not guaranteed. Ontario Northland is not responsible for the expense of connecting bus service missed as a result of a delay.

We encourage bus passengers to use our Track My Bus website, and train passengers can call us at 1-800-265-2356 to obtain up to date train information.

Baggage

Bus

Checked Baggage

All Ontario Northland buses have a baggage storage compartment underneath the bus. Passengers are welcome to check two pieces of baggage at no charge. Be sure that all checked bags and carry-on bags have an Ontario Northland baggage tag with your name, phone number and destination clearly printed.

For your convenience, Ontario Northland will check two additional pieces of baggage at $5.00 each. If you require checking more pieces of baggage, you will be charged the BPX (Bus Parcel Express) rate.

Baggage identification tags are available at all stations and agencies.

If you are transferring to another carrier enroute, you will need to collect your baggage and re-check it with the connecting carrier.

Size & Weight Limitations

No baggage will be accepted that is larger than 24 inches (61 cm) in depth, 24 inches (61 cm) in width and 45 inches (114 cm) in length (except snowboards, skis and ski poles).

All baggage must weigh less than 50 pounds (23 kg).

Children travelling on a half fare ticket are allowed two pieces of checked baggage; the two pieces combined must weigh less than 50 pounds (23 kg).

Carry-on Baggage

Each passenger is welcome to carry-on one piece of baggage, weighing no more than 15 pounds (7 kg).

The carry on should be placed in the overhead bins or under your seat and must not be larger than 9 inches (23 cm) height, by 16 inches (40.5 cm) width, by 20 inches (70.5 cm) depth.

Bicycles

Bicycles must be checked as baggage and meet the following criteria:

  • It is the responsibility of the passenger to ensure the bike is packaged properly and ready for loading onto the bus at departure time.
  • Ontario Northland will not be held liable for damage that may occur during transport, as we cannot verify the contents prior to packaging. If you wish to purchase insurance, the bike must be shipped via Bus Parcel Express and freight charges will apply.
  • Passenger must pay a fee of $20 plus HST to check the bike as baggage.
  • The bike charge is valid for a one-way trip on Ontario Northland lines only. If connecting to another carrier, please contact the carrier directly for their information on shipping bikes.
  • Bike boxes are available for purchase, at an additional cost of $25 plus HST, at select stations. Please call us at 1-800-461-8558 to confirm bike box availability. If no bike boxes are available at your departure location, we will make every effort to ship a box to your nearest Ontario Northland station or agency, in advance of your departure date.

For further information, please call one of our helpful customer service agents at 1-800-461-8558.

Baggage Claims and Liability

Baggage liability in the event of loss or damage is $100.00 dollars per adult ticket and $50.00 dollars per child ticket.

Customers may wish to purchase additional insurance at a cost of $3.00 for each additional $100.00 of declared worth, up to a maximum value of $1000.

All claims in respect to baggage should be addressed to Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, 555 Oak St. East, North Bay, ON P1B 8L3 Attention: Passenger Care.

Loss or damage to baggage must be reported within thirty (30) days after the date of travel.

Prohibited Baggage

The following articles are prohibited as checked baggage on Ontario Northland:

  1. Alcoholic Beverages and Liquors
  2. Dangerous Articles (ammunition, fireworks, flammable substances, radioactive materials, etc.)
  3. Matches (exception - strike-on box, book and card matches)
  4. Fragile articles
  5. Controlled or illegal substances

Baggage which contains the following commodities, articles, materials or substances, will not be accepted for transportation when the Declared or Released Value is more than one hundred ($100.00) dollars:

  • Electronic Equipment (includes laptops, net books, mobile phones, DVD players, component modules, speakers, computer equipment, CD's, electronic games, camcorders, televisions, computers/printers, records and jewellery, etc.)
  • Electronic equipment can be accepted for carriage when the declared value is greater than one hundred ($100.00) dollars, but the insurance is limited to loss only.

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (Motor Coach Services) will not accept or transport any article, material, or substance the possession of which or the transportation of which is unlawful.

Train

Checked Baggage

The Polar Bear Express is equipped with a baggage car, allowing passengers to check their baggage before they depart. Ontario Northland also provides an Express Freight service allowing passengers to ship oversized and/or overweight baggage up to 34 kg or 75 lbs.

  • Three-Piece Limit: Each ticketed passenger is allowed a maximum of three (3) pieces of checked baggage at no charge.  Additional pieces may be checked at an additional charge of $5.00 each (includes HST).
  • Weight Restrictions: Each checked piece of baggage may weigh a maximum of 23 kg or 50 lbs. Proper weight should be determined prior to boarding at all Ontario Northland stations. Items weighing more than 23 kg or 50 lbs may be shipped through Express Freight at an additional charge.
  • Size Restrictions: Each checked piece of baggage may have maximum dimensions of 91 cm x 91 cm x 91 cm (36 in x 36 in x 36 in). Larger items may be shipped through Express Freight at an additional charge.
  • Visible Tag Required: Each checked piece of baggage must be visibly tagged with the name, contact information and destination of the passenger. Passengers may use their own personal identification tags or can obtain an Ontario Northland identification tag from any of Ontario Northland’s train stations or agencies. All baggage must be checked and tagged at the departure station, either in Cochrane or Moosonee.

Allowable Checked Baggage

The following articles may be checked as baggage:

  • Any type of gun, firearm, replicas, ammunition, explosives, or weapons, including cross-bows and arrows (must be locked and secured in proper receptacles)
  • Sharp objects such as axes, ice picks, knives or swords (must be locked and secured in proper receptacles)
  • Plants
  • Bicycles
  • Animals
  • Groceries (not in excess of 23 kg or 50 lbs and properly packed)

Carry-On Baggage

Due to space limitations and for the safety and comfort of our passengers, baggage limit guidelines will be strictly enforced by Ontario Northland personnel.

  • One-Piece Limit: Each ticketed passenger is allowed a maximum of one piece of carry-on baggage. Personal items such as purses, briefcases, laptops, or infant items such as strollers, car seats or diaper bags are not included in this limit.
  • Weight Restrictions: Each carry-on bag may weigh a maximum of 23 kg or 50 lbs.  Proper weight should be determined prior to boarding at all Ontario Northland stations.
  • Size Restrictions: Each carry-on bag may have maximum dimensions of 66 cm x 46 cm x 23 cm (26 in X 18 in X 9 in) or the size of a standard suitcase. Proper size dimensions should be determined prior to boarding at all Ontario Northland stations.
  • Visible Tag Required: Each checked and carry-on piece of baggage must be visibly tagged with the name, contact information and destination of the passenger. Passengers may use their own personal identification tags or can obtain an Ontario Northland identification tag from any of Ontario Northland’s train stations or agencies. All baggage must be checked and tagged at the departure station, either in Cochrane or Moosonee.

Excess or Oversized Baggage

Pieces of baggage in excess of the allowable one piece of carry-on and three pieces of checked baggage can be transported at a surcharge of $5.00 per item (includes HST). Passengers may check unlimited pieces of excess baggage at this surcharge rate.

Oversized baggage (baggage weighing in excess of 23 kg or 50 lbs or with dimensions greater than 91 cm x 91 cm x 91 cm [36 in x 36 in x 36 in]), can be shipped through Ontario Northland’s Express Freight offices located in both Cochrane and Moosonee.

Baggage Storage

All baggage must be properly packed and protected. All articles must be packed in the original box or in a rigid container that provides proper protection. A plastic or paper bag alone is not sufficient and will not be transported. Hooks, hangers, straps and sharp objects must be removed or secured to baggage to prevent damaging other baggage. Groceries must be packed in baggage or boxes and securely fastened.

Prohibited Baggage

Ontario Northland personnel will refuse to accept any article that cannot be safely handled or stored in the cars, or whose transportation involves hazards.

In addition, Ontario Northland cannot carry articles that are improperly packed or too fragile to withstand normal handling.

The following items are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage on Ontario Northland’s Polar Bear Express:

  • Controlled or illegal substances
  • Dangerous articles (fireworks, flammable substances, radioactive materials, etc.)
  • Corrosive or dangerous chemicals or materials, such as liquid bleach, tear gas, mace etc.
  • Batteries with acid that can spill or leak

The above listed items may be shipped using Ontario Northland’s Express Freight services and will be charged Express Freight shipping fees.

Baggage Claims and Liability

Liability

We accept limited liability for checked baggage only. Ontario Northland will not be held liable for:

  • Exterior damage to the protective case;
  • Articles damaged inside any piece of baggage, if there is no visible damage to the exterior;
  • Minor scratches, nicks, marks or dirt considered normal wear and tear, which may occur despite all necessary care being taken in handling;
  • Pilfering, if the suitcase was not locked or if the box was not closed and sealed with adhesive tape.
  • Maximum liability in the event of loss or damage to personal checked baggage is $100 per piece.
  • Additional coverage is available if baggage shipped through freight services and the items condition can be verified and valued.

Limitations

Passengers with baggage in excess of the weight restrictions may carry their own baggage onto the train at their own risk. Ontario Northland personnel will not be responsible for loading or unloading heavy baggage items. Ontario Northland personnel reserve the right to refuse any heavy baggage that may cause any potential safety issues to passengers or train personnel. Safety issues may include but are not restricted to the ability to safely store heavy baggage in the coaches.

Unaccompanied Minors

Ontario Northland's Unaccompanied Minor service ensures that children travelling alone receive the best of care, from the moment they board our transportation services until they reach their destination.

Unaccompanied Minor tickets cannot be purchased online. Tickets must be purchased at a station or agency.

Under certain conditions, your child may travel alone on our buses and Polar Bear Express Train. Unaccompanied Minor services are offered to children between the ages of 8 to 12 inclusive. By contacting our reservation line below, a parent or guardian must register and reserve their child’s trip 12 hours prior to departure with an Ontario Northland Customer Service Agent. At that time the Agent will explain our policy regulations, provide tips for travel and answer any of your questions.

With your child’s safety in mind, Ontario Northland has carefully selected trips that are available for unaccompanied children. For more information on select schedules, including fare prices please call our information and reservation line at 1.800.461.8558. Tickets for unaccompanied children are not sold online.

Travel Tips for Unaccompanied Minors

Ontario Northland strives to provide peace of mind to parents and their children travelling on our services. It is with great importance that parents/guardians and children ensure that all policy regulations are adhered to. Please refer to our Unaccompanied Minor Policy for further details.

  • Reserve your trip 12 hours in advance.
  • Arrive at station 30 minutes prior to departure to complete request for carriage form and purchase ticket.
  • Ensure pick up arrangements for the child are confirmed with adult listed on the Request for Carriage form.
  • Ensure parents/guardians and children all have proper identification indicating the full name and date of birth of each individual.
  • Ensure child is aware of their responsibilities while traveling and that they must wait for instructions from Ontario Northland drivers and staff to meet parents/guardians at their destination station.
  • Ensure child has beverages and snacks for their trip.
  • Supply child with entertainment such as books, small hand held games, and other items that will help make their trip fun and keep them occupied.
  • It’s always a good idea to provide child with calling card/mobile device in order to contact you and ensure they have parent/guardian contact numbers.

For more helpful tips and information on children traveling unaccompanied, please contact our info line at 1.800.461.8558.

Travelling with Pets

Bus

Pets are not permitted on our motor coach service. People with disabilities that travel with a service animal are welcome on our motor coaches.

Train

Passengers wishing to travel with pets on the Polar Bear Express may do so by shipping the pet in an approved pet carrier cage and must purchase an excess ticket from the Ontario Northland ticket counter in Cochrane or Moosonee. The customer is responsible for loading the pet in the approved carrier onto the Baggage Car. People with disabilities that travel with a service animal are welcome on our Polar Bear Express train.

  • Pets are transported at a surcharge of $22.00 plus HST.
  • Pets must be transported in an approved* pet carrier, clearly marked and checked as baggage on the baggage car (not allowed as carry-on baggage).
  • Pets must not exceed 75 lbs.
  • Pets will be placed in our locked baggage car. Passengers may not visit their pet during the trip.
  • Persons requesting the transportation of pets must be travelling as passengers on board the train, the same day.

*The kennel/carrier must be big enough to allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably.

Application of Fares - Motor Coach Service

Except as otherwise specifically provided herein, the Rules, Regulations and Rates published in this section apply to the transportation of passengers, and transportation, storage or parcel checking of baggage, in connection with transportation sold over Ontario Northland lines.

A. General Application

  1. Fares published herein are One-Way Fares shown in dollars and cents, and are payable in Canadian Funds or the equivalent thereof.
  2. When a through fare is not published, one may be constructed by adding together the fares for each segment on the route operated.
  3. Fares to or from intermediate points not specifically shown herein will be the same as the fare to or from the next more distant point.
  4. Non-ticketed passengers boarding coach at non-agency points must pay cash fare to destination, such fare not to exceed the regular tariff fare between the last station and destination.
  5. For passengers over-riding the stop limit applicable to origin or destination shown on ticket, an additional collection will be made of the difference between the one-way fare between points shown on ticket and the one-way fare between the points of actual transportation. A one-way punch type ticket must be issued for the difference.
  6. Excursion and Special rates of fare other than regular rates will be effective as published in Bulletins or Supplements to the Passenger Tariff from time to time.

B. Children’s Fares

  1. Children aged 2 to 11- Children, who have not yet reached their twelfth (12) birthday, will be charged one-half (1/2) of the one-way fare applicable to adults, increased when necessary to end in "0" or "5".
  2. Children aged 12 and older - Children, twelve years and over, will be charged the fare applicable to adult or student passengers.
  3. Children under the age of 2 - One child, (less than 2 years of age), when accompanied by an adult or other passenger at least 15 years of age and when not occupying a seat to the exclusion of another passenger, will be carried free.
  4. Children travelling alone: Unaccompanied Minors.

Note: All fares exclude HST.

C. Regular Round-Trip Fares

Adult and child regular round-trip fares will be two (2) times the applicable one-way fare.

D. Minimum Fares

Minimum fares will apply to all regular and discounted fares.

Agents Duties

Agents can in no case deviate from the tariff rates, sale dates, limits and the rules and regulations shown herein. Agents must abide by the terms contained in their agency agreement with the Commission, unless superseded by Company bulletin. Only authorized Ontario Northland employees may override when conditions require special arrangements.

Lost or Stolen Tickets

Ontario Northland will not be responsible to patrons for lost or stolen tickets. They will not be replaced, refunded or redeemed.

Disputes

In the event of any dispute over tickets or fares, passengers should pay the fare, take receipt and forward refund request to:

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
555 Oak Street East
North Bay, ON P1B 8L3
Attention: Passenger Care

Passenger Search

As a condition of carriage, ONTC reserves the right:

  1. To conduct a search of all passengers, baggage, and cargo for any substance, material, or article of a kind or quality that is likely to be disagreeable to or dangerous to passengers or is likely to expose passengers or baggage to risk, loss or damage;
  2. To refuse to accept for transportation any such substance, material, or article; or
  3. To require any such substance, material, or article to be placed in the lower baggage compartment as a condition of transport.
  4. No person is obligated to permit a search of their person, baggage, or cargo to be carried out if they choose not to board or have their baggage or cargo placed on the bus.

Objectionable Persons

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission reserves the right to refuse to transport a person:

  1. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  2. Whose conduct or behavior is objectionable to other passengers or prospective passengers;
  3. Who is incapable of caring for himself or herself, unless travelling with an adult attendant (see the Exception, below);
  4. Who refuses to comply with any lawful rule or regulation of ONTC.

Objectionable persons may be removed from the bus at any usual stopping place or at such other places as the driver may select.

In the event of such removal, the liability of ONTC shall not exceed the amount of the excess fare paid by the passenger.

At the driver’s discretion, persons who have consumed any amount of alcohol or illegal substances may be refused travel privileges.

EXCEPTION: A person who is ill or physically handicapped to a degree of being incapable of taking care of himself or herself and/or being unable to board or disembark from the coach without assistance, will be transported only when he or she is accompanied by an adult attendant (see Rule No.15). The adult attendant accompanying such passenger must be capable of aiding such passenger on and off the bus without additional assistance. In such cases, where a ticket has been purchased, same will be refunded as provided under the heading of "Refunds" (Passenger Tariff (this links to an external document), Rule No. 5).