Friday, 17 August, 2018

Trevena says options 'limited'; looks to feds for support on Greyhound cuts

Greyhound Canada Greyhound Canada to end service in Sask. and other Prairie provinces
Russell Knight | 14 July, 2018, 07:46

On Monday, the coach bus company said all routes from Manitoba to B.C. would come to an end on October 31, save for the US -operated route between Vancouver and Seattle. "Simply put, we can no longer operate unsustainable routes".

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

Hollingworth is also concerned about some of his employees who live in other communities but use the Greyhound to get to Valleyview.

As Greyhound gets ready to pull its service out of Western Canada, we're getting a better picture of how much the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) wind-down cost the province. "It's just the routes are not viable and ridership's at a point where it's not sustainable long term".

The authority in charge of approving bus operators in B.C. has promised to fast-track applications from for those wishing to fill the gap left behind by Greyhound.

Greyhound never overcame a perception, rightly or wrongly, that its bus service was not a particularly attractive way to travel, that you only rode the Greyhound if you had no other choice financially or logistically.

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"This government seems complacent with gradual reductions in services to rural communities, over time making our province's small towns less desirable places to live, especially as people age".

Red Arrow, another bus service company, now provides service between Edmonton and Calgary, as well as several other communities, such as Fort McMurray and Cold Lake.

"In the meantime, I hope that other local, private operators will see an opportunity to bring a badly needed service to the parts of the province most affected by Greyhound's decision". The only route that will continue to run in B.C.is from Seattle to Vancouver. 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.

The company said it's suffered a 41 per cent drop in ridership since 2010. That, and increased costs, have created "an ongoing spiral", Greyhound said.

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.

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.

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