Greyhound is set to get rid of its passenger and freight service in October in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and B.C. (File)

Greyhound to end bus service in B.C., Alberta

Company axing passenger bus and freight services in Prairies, and cutting all but one route in B.C.

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.

READ MORE: B.C. launches new bus service to replace some discontinued Greyhound routes

READ MORE: Last Greyhound bus leaves Terrace, marking end of service

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.

This came as news to Claire Trevana, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, who released a statement Monday saying her office had not been warned.

“It’s unfortunate that Greyhound did not communicate their plans sooner. 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.”

Trevana said this decision is “hugely problematic” for people who depend on Greyhound, as it will leave people with limited options to get around and will “likely impact the most vulnerable”.

Meanwhile, 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

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Ladysmith RCMP probe armed robbery at Timberlands Pub Liquor Store

Ladysmith RCMP are investigating after an armed robbery at the Timberlands Pub… Continue reading

Vancouver Island designated as foreign trade zone

NANAIMO - Trade zone designation simplifies importing and exporting and provides duty relief

Penelakut Tribe threatens legal action on freighters

Lack of consultation cited by Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP MacGregor

Vancouver Island pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Getting along and information flow essentials for Area G director candidate

Jonas feels working productively together makes a better community

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Misspelling B.C. toddler’s plane ticket leaves travel agent on the hook for $1100

Mom and toddler couldn’t get on flight from Iran to Vancouver

Tempering the B.C. cannabis legalization ‘gold rush’

Retail selling of marijuana offers potential business opportunities and pitfalls

Trump boasts of America’s might, gets laugh at UN

President Donald Trump received an unexpected laugh at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Federal use of A.I. in visa applications could breach human rights, report says

Impacts of automated decision-making involving immigration applications and how errors and assumptions could lead to “life-and-death ramifications”

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

Most Read