Greyhound exit: Who's going to fill the void?

Saturday, 14 Jul, 2018

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.

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.

"In the countryside, many of our communities are remote".

Kendrick cited decreasing ridership (a 41 per cent decline since 2010), competition with other passenger transportation services, and the growing popularity of low-priced airline travel and vehicle ownership as some of the factors that led to the decision.

The City of Thompson is considering what route to take with its transit service since Greyhound will likely not be around in a few months' time.

Local employees at Greyhound Canada cannot comment on their company's decision or what it means for local bus service.

Western's Canada's transportation ministers say they will be looking to the federal government for assistance, following a meeting to talk about Greyhound's decision to withdraw service.

"There was a commitment to look at our issue, they're well aware of it. It shouldn't come as a surprise that we've had problems but there was no funding commitment at that time", he said.

Greyhound spokesperson Wendy Cummings said the company takes the safety of Indigenous women and girls "very seriously".

All Greyhound routes in Ontario and Quebec will continue to operate except for one: the Trans-Canada, which links a number of smaller communities between Winnipeg and Sudbury, Ont.

He points out that people in many rural communities use Greyhound to get around.

It's application said that Greyhound incurred a $12.9-million deficit on its passenger service in its fiscal year ending March of 2017, and even with offsetting revenue from its freight service, its overall loss was $4.6 million. "When our average load on each schedule is in the single digits, it's just not sustainable and we don't see that trend reversing", said Kendrick, who's been with the company for 31 years.

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.

Band spokesman Rick Tailfeathers said service has been going downhill since Greyhound stopped service to Fort Macleod, just 30 kilometres away.