Greyhound Canada announced July 9 that it will end all of its bus and freight services in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as of October 31. One Greyhound route, between Vancouver and Seattle, is run by Greyhound Lines, Inc. (USA) and BoltBus, and will continue to operate.
The move is expected to eliminate 415 jobs and it caught the provincial government by surprise.
"It's unfortunate that Greyhound did not communicate their plans sooner," said B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena.
"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."
Trevena said that she will meet in the months ahead with service providers, the private sector and local governments to discuss how to ensure that people have access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation to get from one community to another.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce these service impacts,” Greyhound Canada senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick said in a statement.
“We understand that these route changes are difficult for our customers. Despite best efforts over several years, ridership has dropped nearly 41% across the country since 2010 within a changing and increasingly challenging transportation environment. Simply put, we can no longer operate unsustainable routes.”
On June 1, Greyhound stopped its operations in Northern B.C.
Last September, when Greyhound applied to the Passenger Transportation Board for permission to eliminate service along the entire length of Highway 16, from Prince Rupert to the Alberta border, as well as along Highway 27 to Fort St. James, and along Highway 97 from Prince George to the Yukon border, it noted that its most recent fiscal year showed that its B.C. operations lost $12.9 million.
On July 9, the company blamed its decision to end all B.C. service stemmed from declining ridership in rural communities, increased competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services, the entry of ultra-low-cost airlines, regulatory constraints and increased car travel.
“Greyhound envisions that these changes will result in a viable sustainable business on the remaining routes,” the company said in a statement.
All routes in Ontario and Quebec will continue unchanged, except for trans-Canada service west of Sudbury, which it will stop providing.