BC Minister of Transportation criticizes Greyhound on discontinued routes

Greyhound logo

Greyhound logo

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). "Simply put, we can no longer operate unsustainable routes".

"If I weren't able to take the bus for this trip, I wouldn't have a choice but to hitchhike across the country because the planes or trains are very expensive compared to the bus", said Fortier, who is from Quebec and is visiting as many Canadian cities as he can while journeying back to his home province.

She says her ministry is also talking to all providers of bus services to find out what capacity exists in the province to ensure that people have safe, reliable transportation.

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. "It's just the routes are not viable and ridership's at a point where it's not sustainable long term".

Conversations of possible cuts continued past year when Greyhound applied to provincial regulators to discontinue routes in northern B.C from Prince George to Prince Rupert because of declining ridership.

Without Greyhound, over 60 communities in B.C. will be left with little to no way of connecting with each other. The closures will go into effect on October 31.

The statement pointed to what the company characterizes as a "challenging transportation environment" in rural areas, including an increase in competition and vehicular travel.

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.

Claire Trevena said on Tuesday that she hopes other private bus operators in B.C. will step in to serve some of the routes.

According to its revamped online route map, Greyhound will continue to run service out of Sudbury east to Ottawa and south to Toronto.

"We're trying to keep it affordable and us in business", he said.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says in many ways these buses really are an essential service.

By contrast, she said that the province's B.C. Bus North service, being operated by B.C. Transit as a pilot project, has seen "good uptake" since it started earlier this year.

Lack of bus service to small communities has been a chronic regional issue, exacerbated by the company's service cuts in the northwest in 2015.

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