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

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Road trip comes to end with split for Grand Forks Border Bruins

The team is coming off its longest road trip this season.

Grand Forks to receive business recovery funds post-flood

The community will receive two Rural Dividends grants for a total of $655,000.

Grand Forks high school students remember

The school and the Legion joined for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Letter: English town remembers Grand Forks on anniversary of Armistice

Phillip Morris writes from Shrewsbury, England.

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr in Alberta

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

Watchdog calls for probe into police board spending on former Victoria police chief

Police Complaint Commissioner says accountable and transparent review is in public interest

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Most Read