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

Surrey Board of Trade ‘disappointed’ with switch to SkyTrain, says delay imminent

SBOT has long supported the former council’s light rail transit vision

Surrey arts community mourns Don Hutchinson, award-winning potter

For more than five decades, he made ‘extraordinary clay works out of his home and studio in Surrey’

Work on South Surrey’s Bailey bridge booked

Week-long closure of King George Boulevard structure to start Monday: ministry

Environment, finance top of mind for new Surrey Councillor Steven Pettigrew

Unexpected advocacy led to political mentorship, says first-term councillor

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

B.C. to fund gender-affirming surgeries for transgender people

Roughly 100 people in B.C. travel each year out of province for lower surgeries

U.S. mayor and dying dog’s roadtrip to B.C. goes viral

First vacation in three years came a month after blood cancer diagnosis

Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

Ottawa committed $50 million over five years for local journalism in ‘underserved communities’ last budget

UK’s May appeals to public on Brexit, braces for more blows

British Prime Minister Theresa May answered questions from callers on a radio phone-in, the day after she vowed to stay in office

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

UPDATED: $136M in transit funding coming to B.C.

The announcement was made at the BC Transit yard in Langford on Friday morning

Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

Plaque installed in Prince Rupert to honour the memory of Shotaro Shimizu

Two B.C. police officers, held in Cuba for months, cleared of sex assault allegations

Port Moody Const. Jordan Long and Vancouver Const. Mark Simms have been in Cuba since March

Most Read