Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Greyhound to discontinue service in Western Canada

Greyhound to discontinue service in Western Canada

Greyhound Canada will be closing its passenger bus and freight services in Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan (British Columbia will maintain a lone Vancouver-to-Seattle route).

In a statement, Greyhound Canada senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick said declining ridership in rural communities was one of several factors in the decision.

It also explains why Greyhound seemed content at its "temporary" bus station in some moose pasture (the VIA Rail terminal) out by the Yellowhead and 122 Street, having moved after the downtown bus station land was sold to Daryl Katz's ICE District development company.

Greyhound Canada's announcement to pull out of several provinces including British Columbia and Alberta on Monday has local politicians anxious about Oliver residents' accessibility to the rest of the country.

Greyhound Canada will be ending bus service in the Prairies and B.C.

"We never argued with that, we just said 'if that's what you feel is right.' Because we wanted to make sure that those employees were right", said Hargrave.

Ontario-based Kasper Transportation, which provides service to Northwest Ontario and Manitoba, announced expansion plans Tuesday.

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Declining ridership is the primary culprit, said Kendrick, who called the combination of declining ridership and increasing costs an "ongoing spiral" that's making it impossible for the company to continue operations.

Without intervention from other bus operators as well as federal and provincial governments, Cassidy said the "ad hoc" services that he thinks will surely crop up in Greyhound's absence will be insufficient. The only route remaining will be in British Columbia, a USA -run service between Vancouver and Seattle.

The Minister has assured the public that she will be sitting down with the local government, other service providers and the private sector in an attempt to re-establish bus routes that will no longer be available after October 31.

Maritime's business model is built around other transport services such as chartering, tour groups, and municipal services in addition to fixed regional routes.

The issue of transportation along that route, which includes the notorious stretch of B.C.'s Highway 16 known as the Highway of Tears, was a major point of contention last fall during hearings at the national inquiry for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, where a number of women have gone missing.

After Greyhound's latest announcement, the B.C. Minister of Transportation said she hoped private operators would be able to replace Greyhound in the rest of the province.

The name has been synonymous with getting around in much of Canada, but Greyhound now says it is just not financially viable any longer.

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