Greyhound shuts down services across Western Canada

Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and most of B.C. to lose passenger and freight services starting Oct. 31

Mario ToneguzziGreyhound Canada is shutting down its passenger and freight services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as of Oct. 31 as a result of declining ridership.

The company announced it was downsizing its operations due to a 41 per cent plunge in ridership since 2010.

In British Columbia, it said, all routes will cease except for Vancouver to Seattle, which is operated by Greyhound Lines Inc. (U.S.A.) and BoltBus. All routes in Ontario and Quebec will continue unchanged, aside from the Trans-Canada service west of Sudbury in northern Ontario, which it will drop.

“This decision is regrettable and is due to a challenging transportation environment that is characterized by declining ridership in rural communities; increased competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services; the new entry of ultra-low-cost carriers; regulatory constraints, and increased car travel. Greyhound envisions that these changes will result in a viable, sustainable business on the remaining routes,” it said in a statement.

“Greyhound Canada had taken a range of cost reduction steps over the last few years, including frequency adjustments to route schedules and other efficiency measures. Unfortunately, these actions were insufficient and the downward trajectory continued.”

Stuart Kendrick, senior vice-president of Greyhound Canada, said the company understands the route changes are difficult for customers but the company can no longer operate unsustainable routes.

The company says on its website that it’s the largest provider of intercity bus transportation in Canada, serving nearly 1,100 locations. It has become an icon of bus travel, providing safe, enjoyable and affordable travel to 6.5 million passengers each year. The Greyhound running dog is one of the most-recognized brands in the world.

Until now, Greyhound Courier Express service has offered parcel delivery across Western Canada and beyond.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

greyhoundThe views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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