Greyhound Canada to end service in Sask. and other Prairie provinces

Irving Hamilton
July 14, 2018

Singh urges the prime minister to take "immediate action" and develop a funding plan that would prevent Greyhound from shutting down crucial routes in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, northwestern Ontario and rural British Columbia.

And its property at 100 Woolridge St., next to Ikea, will also be put up for sale after the business closes October 31, a company spokesperson told The Tri-City News today (Tuesday).

She said Ottawa should play a role in filling the gap, considering that Greyhound's decision affects all of Western Canada.

"We're going to be talking to all providers", Trevena said during a conference call with reporters.

While Greyhound didn't get a subsidy it appears the answer for other private operators is "maybe".

The Passenger Transportation Board says Greyhound previously suggested a government subsidy, and had asked to reduce service or eliminate some of its routes six times.

Greyhound has been the maker of its own demise in Northern Ontario. The cancellation of Greyhound's freight service may drive up the costs of shipping items in our community, as there will be fewer options for consumers.

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The loss of Greyhound is also a concern to Canada's largest reserve. "The Greyhound bus service for many, many generations has served as the principle mode of transportation for our people". 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 Canada applied to provincial regulators a year ago to discontinue routes in northern B.C., including between Prince George to Prince Rupert, citing the problem of declining ridership. One of the ideas it proposed was for government to set up a "connecting communities fund".

The Toronto route to Sudbury will continue, but not go beyond that stop.

The provincial government announced a rural transportation pilot project earlier this year, but Mason said the project would mainly focus on local transit and in its current form, would not be a suitable replacement for the longer routes previously serviced by Greyhound.

That said, there is government obligation to ensure ALL Canadians can travel from their homes to urban centres for medical care and to access other essential services.

The issue of transportation along that route, which includes the notorious stretch of B.C.'s Highway 16 known as the Highway of Tears, was a major point of contention last fall during hearings at the national inquiry for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, where a number of women have gone missing.

In a statement, BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena says talks were "positive and productive".

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