BC to consider private bus service providers in wake of Greyhound Canada cancellation announcement
July 11, 2018
Wednesday, July 11 ~ BC. BC Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) Minister Claire Trevena said yesterday that she will hold a discussion on Thursday July 12 with her western Canada counterparts about different approaches to providing intercity bus service.
This is in the wake of Greyhound Canada announcing that by October 31, 2018 it will end all intercity bus service in western Canada (points west of Sudbury, Ontario through Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC).
“We got very little notice that Greyhound was pulling out of western Canada,” Minister Trevena told media. “It’s a a Canadian problem affecting people in Ontario, out to the coast,” she said. Only one route remains in BC — that one runs Vancouver-Seattle, operated by the Greyhound out of the United States.
Trevena says that the BC government aims to assure people that they will have safe, reliable transportation by bus. She articulated that not everyone can afford to travel by plane, train or car.
“We”ll need to have some bus service, and will try to deal with that before October 31,” said Trevena, adding that private bus service providers will be part of a possible future solution. She also said the Ministry would be “talking to people within communities” (apparently including municipalities) to try and “make sure the gap is filled”.
“Very quickly private operators came in and built a route,” said Trevena about working with private operators in other situations. “Nothing is off the table.” BC Transit will also be in the discussion loop.
“We want to make sure people can travel safely and affordably around this province,” the Minister declared, adding that “the federal government does have a role to play” in seeing that bus service is provided “right through” Canada. “They have not done so, so far.”
Trevena said that the BC Government did not want to directly subsidize Greyhound, in part because the company’s services were not meeting the needs of riders. She said that daytime routes are more suitable for intercity travel.
BC has been running a pilot project in the north on Highway 3 and some other interior routes this year, in response to Greyhound providing an earlier notice about “pulling out in the north”, said Trevena.
It would seem by Trevena’s surprise at Greyhound’s announcement this week, that MOTI did not extrapolate a pullout beyond the north. That’s even though “Greyhound executives spent the last five years trying to work some resolutions out,” as Trevena told media yesterday.
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