Greyhound Canada announced Monday that it is cancelling all bus services across the Prairie provinces, northern Ontario and most of British Columbia as of October 31, ending more than eight decades of operations in Western Canada.
The news came out in an email announcement sent to Greyhound’s partner agencies, including depots located in communities within the Westman region.
The message read, in part: “We have made the difficult decision to downsize our Canadian business by discontinuing operations in all provinces except Ontario and Quebec, and one route in British Columbia.
“We will end all routes… in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In British Columbia, all routes will discontinue except for Vancouver to Seattle…
“In northern Ontario, we will exit the Trans-Canada west of Sudbury.”
Greyhound blames a 41 per cent drop in ridership along with a 35 per cent reduction in cargo shipping since 2010 for the decision to end services. The carrier also cites increasing competition from other transport services, discount couriers, increasing car travel, and the growth of ecommerce as factors.
The company went on to say it believes the cuts in service are necessary to save its overall business. Greyhound has been running an operating deficit within the specified regions since 2004. The decision to close the routes will cut about 415 jobs and impact an estimated two million potential consumers.
“We envision that these changes will result in a viable, sustainable business on the remaining routes,” the company said.
In 2009, Greyhound Canada threatened to pull out of Manitoba if it wasn’t given provincial funding. Then-federal Transport Minister John Baird said it was an attempt to bully the provinces, calling Greyhound’s actions a “shakedown.”
Three years ago, Greyhound reduced the number of buses crossing Manitoba on the Trans-Canada from two a day to one as a cost-saving measure.
Greyhound has been part of the transportation system in Canada for more than 80 years. The company was originally founded in 1929, operating out of B.C., then moving into Alberta.