Categories: Breaking NewsBusinessCanadian NewsCanadian Press

Greyhound Canada to end routes in Prairies, B.C., leaving small towns in lurch

OTTAWA — Greyhound Canada says it is ending its passenger bus and freight services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and cancelling all but one route in B.C. — a U.S.-run service between Vancouver and Seattle.

As a result, when the changes take effect at the end of October, Ontario and Quebec will be the only regions where the familiar running-dog logo continues to grace Canadian highways.

“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 said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“But simply put, the issue that we have seen is the routes in rural parts of Canada — specifically Western Canada — are just not sustainable anymore.”

Kendrick said 415 people will be out of work as a result of the decision, which he estimates will impact roughly two million consumers.

The company is blaming a 41 per cent decline in ridership since 2010, persistent competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services, the growth of new low-cost airlines, regulatory constraints and the continued growth of car ownership.

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.

He said the company has raised its concerns with provincial and federal officials over the years and wanted to ensure both levels of government were “fully aware” of the situation. Greyhound Canada has long advocated for a community funding model to allow any private carrier to bid on essential rural services, he added.

Kendrick said Greyhound Canada will continue to push Ottawa to look at improving transport in northern communities.

“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.

“The company has experienced significant losses despite continued efforts to return to viability. In the affected regions, the company has run an operating deficit since 2004. We have had substantial losses over several years as a direct result of declining ridership.”

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.

Kendrick said the decision will leave most of the affected communities with no other transportation options.

Greyhound Canada applied to provincial regulators last year to discontinue routes in northern B.C. from Prince George to Prince Rupert because of declining ridership. Those cancellations went into effect June 1.

The issue of adequate transportation came up repeatedly during the ongoing inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, since one of the affected routes included the notorious stretch of Highway 16 in B.C. known as the Highway of Tears, where a number of women have gone missing.

The cancellations are scheduled to take effect Oct. 31.

Janice Dickson, The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press

As Canada’s national news agency for 100 years, The Canadian press has provided Canadians an unbiased news source, driven by truth, accuracy, and timeliness.

Comments are closed.

Share
Published by
The Canadian Press

Recent Posts

  • Breaking News
  • Business
  • Canadian News
  • Opinion
  • Politics

Warning bells are sounding; more Canadian bankruptcies are expected

Brace yourself Canada. It appears more bankruptcies are on the way.

6 hours ago
  • Analysis
  • Canadian News

Three times Ahmed Hussen contradicted himself on immigration

From heavy increases to immigration levels to mishandling Canada's border and ever-growing wait times, Minister Hussen has gambled with Canada's…

22 hours ago
  • Breaking News
  • Ontario News
  • Politics

Ontario PC Party passes resolution no longer recognizing gender identity theory

The policy was introduced by Tanya Granic Allen and is not binding government policy.

1 day ago
  • Canadian News
  • Politics

TAGHVA: Union representing Canadian journalists declares itself the resistance to Andrew Scheer

Can the mainstream media be trusted when the union representing them actively declares its opposition to a party not even…

1 day ago
  • Canadian Press
  • Ontario News
  • Politics

Social conservatives say their voice is being ignored at Ontario Tory convention

Wilfrid Laurier political science professor Barry Kay said the divide between social conservatives and progressives in Ontario's Tories is a…

1 day ago
  • American News
  • Analysis
  • Canadian News
  • Editorial
  • Opinion
  • Politics

As American asylum claimants climb sixfold in 2017, both Trump and Trudeau are to blame

After Haitians and Nigerians, Americans were the third largest group of asylum seekers in 2017.

1 day ago