Minister says beheading on Greyhound bus was 'tipping point' for STC ridership

Daniel Fowler
July 14, 2018

Greyhound Canada says it is ending its passenger bus and freight services across the Prairies, and cancelling all but one route in B.C. - a US -run service between Vancouver and Seattle.

For Greyhound, its expansive network had become a perennial money loser, racking up millions of dollars in losses, even when passenger losses were offset by its more lucrative courier freight business, which it is also ending October 31.

Hollingworth is also concerned about some of his employees who live in other communities but use the Greyhound to get to Valleyview. Sometimes somewhere along the way it has to be about providing service for people.

Canadians who rely on bus services as their sole means of transportation will be cut off from employment, health care and other critical public services, as well as education, and family.

The recent Greyhound cancellations would create a massive gap in transit services and leave many communities stranded.

"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".

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There were previous Greyhound cuts, such as in 2012, when the bus company stopped operating on a number of roads including Highway 2 in Manitoba.

In December, the company outlined its problems in its application to the Passenger Transportation Board to cancel northern routes.

Odelie Bernard-Labelle from Montreal was waiting at the Maritime Bus station in Halifax Wednesday, and said as a person without a auto, she sees buses as an important transportation option.

Without Greyhound, over 60 communities in B.C. will be left with little to no way of connecting with each other. In contrast, the Red Arrow bus service between major cities, offered individual comfort closer to first-class than economy. 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.

She says her ministry is also talking to all providers of bus services to find out what capacity exists in the province to ensure that people have safe, reliable transportation. Some people in small Alberta towns have called the Greyhound lines a lifeline, bringing people to and from larger centres for groceries and medical appointments, and delivering packages. There are 46 stops alone during the 19-hour run from Winnipeg to Calgary - places such as MacGregor, Man., Sintaluta, Sask. and Bassano, Alta.

Read Behdad Mahichi's story here.

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