Greyhound Canada cancels all prairie bus routes

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Travellers lamented the end of an era Monday, as Greyhound announced it is ending its bus service in western Canada except for one lone route between Vancouver and Seattle. "Simply put, we can no longer operate unsustainable routes".

Whitecourt Mayor Maryann Chichak said many in her town use the Greyhound service, from students who travel to Edmonton for school to seniors who use it for medical appointments.

After losing 41% of their ridership since 2010, Greyhound has chose to discontinue almost all routes in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

"If I weren't able to take the bus for this trip, I wouldn't have a choice but to hitchhike across the country because the planes or trains are very expensive compared to the bus", said Fortier, who is from Quebec and is visiting as many Canadian cities as he can while journeying back to his home province.

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I'm really happy that now I'm finally here. "So I'm really glad and happy to be here". He had an incredible season last year and I hope he can do it this year too.


It also explains why Greyhound seemed content at its "temporary" bus station in some moose pasture (the VIA Rail terminal) out by the Yellowhead and 122 Street, having moved after the downtown bus station land was sold to Daryl Katz's ICE District development company.

Greyhound Canada did not respond by press time about how many jobs would be impacted at the Grande Prairie location. "It's just the routes are not viable and ridership's at a point where it's not sustainable long term". Those cancellations went into effect June 1. Despite best efforts over several years, ridership has dropped almost 41 percent across the country since 2010 within a changing and increasingly challenging transportation environment.

Greyhound never overcame a perception, rightly or wrongly, that its bus service was not a particularly attractive way to travel, that you only rode the Greyhound if you had no other choice financially or logistically.

"In the weeks and months ahead, I will be sitting down with other service providers, the private sector and local government to discuss how we can ensure people have access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation to get from one community to the next".

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"(It) would be a number of years ago when there was that murder on the bus in Manitoba", Joe Hargrave said Friday.

The recent Greyhound cancellations would create a massive gap in transit services and leave many communities stranded.

After Greyhound's latest announcement, the B.C. Minister of Transportation said she hoped private operators would be able to replace Greyhound in the rest of the province.

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