Greyhound shutdown 'pretty drastic' move that will hurt rural Albertans, minister says

Galtero Lara
Julio 14, 2018

Greyhound Canada announced Monday afternoon that it is cancelling all bus service across the prairies, northern Ontario and most of BC as of October 31.

"This move will leave people with limited options to get around and this will likely impact the most vulnerable", said Trevena.

British Columbia's transportation minister says she will speak with her western Canadian counterparts on Thursday to discuss Greyhound's plan to end bus service in the region this fall.

The Native Women's Association of Canada said in a press release the Greyhound bus routes are sometimes the only safe way for Indigenous women and girls to travel between small Prairie towns. "When the ridership declines, we need to make decisions to take routes out, reduce schedules and it's just to the point now where it's not sustainable any longer".

The company blamed "a challenging transportation environment that is characterized by declining ridership in rural communities; increased competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services; the new entry of ultra-low-cost carriers; regulatory constraints, and increased vehicle travel".

That attitude doesn't jibe with Flin Flon NDP MLA Tom Lindsey, who said sometimes it is up to the government to provide services for people even if they can't be delivered profitably. "It shouldn't come as a surprise that we've had problems but there was no funding commitment at that time", he said.

Transport Canada said Greyhound Canada operates on a commercial basis with no support from the federal government, and that there are no existing federal programs that would subsidize a private intercity bus carrier.

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"The company has experienced significant losses despite continued efforts to return to viability".

"I automatically think of 2012", Cassidy said, referring to the parallel between Acadian Lines shutting down and the news from Greyhound.

"It is already well documented that our citizens have to ride the bus for hours, some longer than 14 hours, in order to see a doctor".

The statement pointed to what the company characterizes as a "challenging transportation environment" in rural areas, including an increase in competition and vehicular travel. Greyhound says 415 people will be without a job across Canada once this takes effect, however, it's not known how many people are out of work locally.

He also urged Trudeau to listen to those anxious about safety, citing the notorious stretch of B.C. highway known as the Highway of Tears, a region where many Indigenous women have gone missing.

According to its revamped online route map, Greyhound will continue to run service out of Sudbury east to Ottawa and south to Toronto. That, and increased costs, have created "an ongoing spiral", Greyhound said.

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