Your statements that, “Transit vehicles are an inhospitable environment for bed bugs,” and “If they’re seen on a vehicle, they came on board with someone and won’t survive long on their own.” are unfortunately untrue.
As pest control professionals, we treat for bed bugs everywhere; offices, vehicles, you name it. So yes, bed bugs can nest and survive on a streetcar, bus or other vehicle. They can also lay dormant without a blood meal for up to 1 year. Bedbugs adapt quite well. Change the environment, bedbugs will change their feeding and nesting habits. In other words, bed bugs will start feeding during the day! Bring a bedbug onto a streetcar and it may very well survive on the vehicle long term, not only hitchhike home with a passenger. There are plenty of regular food sources available (humans) and nesting is easy with all the dark, warm and hidden crevices available under the seats of each vehicle.
We hope the affected 501 streetcar that made headlines the other day was indeed treated with an integrated pest management approach before being put back into use; however we encourage communication of the facts regarding bed bugs and their survival habits.
The Bed Bug Professionals of Advantage Pest Control Inc.
(In response to recent Toronto news headlines: TTC responds to online photo of bedbug on streetcar)