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Trevena says options 'limited'; looks to feds for support on Greyhound cuts

14 July 2018

"Today we announced that we were going to exit our operation in western Canada, from Sudbury, Ontario west which includes all of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, except for the Vancouver to Seattle piece of business which the USA area operates", said Stuart Kendrick, senior vice-president with Greyhound Canada, in an interview with CTV Calgary on Monday.

Kendrick said the move is going to cost some 415 jobs and impact an estimated two million consumers.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena has said she was taken by surprise over Greyhound's announcement and nothing is off the table when it comes to restoring service, including subsidized bus routes.

"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".

In shutting down, 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-priced airlines, regulatory constraints and the continued growth of auto ownership.

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.

The minister responsible for the now defunct Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) cited the beheading of a passenger aboard a Greyhound bus in Manitoba 10 years ago as the point where bus ridership began to slip in the province.

Odelie Bernard-Labelle from Montreal was waiting at the Maritime Bus station in Halifax Wednesday, and said as a person without a vehicle, she sees buses as an important transportation option. "Given the extent of the announcement we will have to again examine our options that would fall between the extremes of no service to continuing to run what we now have at the cost of the operation". "We have had substantial losses over several years as a direct result of declining ridership". "How will they get access to adequate health care now?" UBER, now one of the biggest people transport companies in the world, must be examining ways of providing a rural UBER passenger service.

All routes in Ontario and Quebec will continue unchanged, aside from the Trans-Canada service west of Sudbury in northern Ontario, which we will exit.

The cancellations are scheduled to take effect October 31.

Band spokesman Rick Tailfeathers said service has been going downhill since Greyhound stopped service to Fort Macleod, just 30 kilometres away.

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.

Trevena says options 'limited'; looks to feds for support on Greyhound cuts