Western Canada transportation ministers to discuss Greyhound departure

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The day after Greyhound Canada announced a decision to effectively end service to Western Canada, the B.C. government says it isn't ruling out alternatives to provide service to communities in need.

In a statement, Greyhound Canada senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick said declining ridership in rural communities was one of several factors in the decision. "Simply put, we can no longer operate unsustainable routes".

"This decision is regrettable and is due to a challenging transportation environment that is characterized by declining ridership in rural communities; increased competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services; the new entry of ultra-low-cost carriers; regulatory constraints, and increased vehicle travel", the company said in an announcement posted on its website.

Western's Canada's transportation ministers say they will be looking to the federal government for assistance, following a meeting to talk about Greyhound's decision to withdraw service.

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.

"The company has experienced significant losses despite continued efforts to return to viability".

"We've seen in the last eight to 10 years a complete spiralling down of our ridership".

"This government seems complacent with gradual reductions in services to rural communities, over time making our province's small towns less desirable places to live, especially as people age".

"I think the government should make it easier for investors", he said.

"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".

The withdrawal has left a number of Interior B.C. communities wondering what options are left, as many riders who have come to rely on Greyhound do not drive or are not within reach of an airport.

According to its revamped online route map, Greyhound will continue to run service out of Sudbury east to Ottawa and south to Toronto. We know that the risks for woman and girls on the highways, as illustrated on the "Highway of Tears" in northern British Columbia, are great, and has directly contributed to the national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

In a Facebook post, it said it will be offering service from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, Ont., Thompson, Man., Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert, Sask., starting October 31 - the day Greyhound shuts down its western operation.

Trevena says many people can't afford to drive a auto or buy a train or plane ticket, and they rely on bus service, adding that others choose not to use personal vehicles.