Greyhound Canada pulls out of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Greyhound Canada to end service in Sask. and other Prairie provinces

Greyhound Canada to end service in Sask. and other Prairie provinces

This week, Greyhound Canada announced it would cancel all passenger and freight bus routes in Western Canada save one in B.C that runs from Vancouver to Seattle.

"This decision is regretful and we sympathize with the fact that many small towns are going to lose service", Greyhound Canada senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick told The Canadian Press.

After losing 41% of their ridership since 2010, Greyhound has made a decision to discontinue almost all routes in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

"It's going to impact about 415 people and that's a combination of drivers and ticket employees and maintenance staff and management staff as well across the country", said Kendrick.

In retrospect, of course Greyhound wasn't interested in returning to a central location - not when its top brass knew the company's presence in all Western Canada was fast ending. "It's just the routes are not viable and ridership's at a point where it's not sustainable long term".

Greyhound was operating on an obsolete model of scheduled bus service at fixed prices, leaving at the same time of day and heading out on the same routes no matter the demand or number of passengers on board, not caring about how passengers got to-and-from its bus depots.

"In the weeks and months ahead, I will be sitting down with other service providers, the private sector and local government to discuss how we can ensure people have access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation to get from one community to the next".

Claire Trevena said on Tuesday that she hopes other private bus operators in B.C. will step in to serve some of the routes. The closures will go into effect on October 31. In Merritt, for example, the company provided the primary mode of transportation.

In a background document, the company said its executives had outlined concerns about its declining business in meetings with the ministry in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Bus North operates twice-weekly on routes in Northern B.C. including between Prince George and Prince Rupert, the so-called Highway of Tears where at least 18 women have been murdered or gone missing after last being seen hitchhiking.

Trevena says many people can't afford to drive a auto or buy a train or plane ticket, and they rely on bus service, adding that others choose not to use personal vehicles.

Rachel Rappaport, a spokeswoman for Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott, said the government recognizes the impact that Greyhound's decision will have on First Nations communities, including those who require transportation for medical appointments.

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