Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Greyhound Canada cancels all prairie bus routes

1:20pm


Image Credit CFJC Today 1:20pm Image Credit CFJC Today
Ginger Lawrence | 14 July, 2018, 07:45

"This federal funding plan must ensure there is no interruption or reduction in bus service, so no community is left stranded", Singh writes in the letter released Wednesday.

Greyhound Canada announced Monday that its cutting its passenger and delivery services in those regions, triggering outrage and apprehension among rural and First Nations communities that rely heavily on the company's long-ubiquitous coaches and shipping services.

According to the website, ridership has dropped nearly 41 per cent across Canada sing 2010.

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 auto ownership as some of the factors that led to the decision.

Kendrick says Greyhound Canada will continue to petition Ottawa to help fund transportation in northern communities.

Greyhound's departure from B.C. will leave many areas of the province without inter-city bus service and access to essential services, such as work and education, and safe transportation.

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. "Greyhound's 90-day deadline for service withdrawal is extremely short for alternatives to be developed".

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"We're going to see if there's an opportunity for a private operator to come in", the minister said Tuesday.

"At no point did Greyhound reach out to me or my staff to have a conversation on solutions to keep people connected - something I would have expected, given their long history in this province", Trevena said.

Greyhound spokesperson Wendy Cummings said the company takes the safety of Indigenous women and girls "very seriously". In Merritt, for example, the company provided the primary mode of transportation.

The cancellations are scheduled to take effect October 31. Greyhound Canada applied to provincial regulators past year to discontinue routes in northern B.C., including between Prince George to Prince Rupert, citing the problem of declining ridership.

On Wednesday, the Passenger Transportation Board said it will allow operators who want to begin servicing routes vacated by Greyhound to jump to the front of the application line.

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.