Greyhound Canada's decision to cancel service in Western Canada may leave some communities in Alberta without affordable intercity transportation. Despite best efforts over several years, ridership has dropped almost 41% across the country since 2010 within a changing and increasingly challenging transportation environment.
"On average, there's a couple million people in Canada, in western Canada, that use this service that will be impacted", said Kendrick.
He said the company has raised its concerns with provincial and federal officials over the years and wanted to ensure both levels of government were "fully aware" of the situation.
Labour Minister Patty Hajdu was surprised to hear the shocking announcement saying it's bad news.
"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 auto travel", the company said in an announcement posted on its website.
"What should have happened was STC and the government could have taken a look at how they could have better utilized the public service that they were providing, whatever that could have meant", she said.
"This government seems complacent with gradual reductions in services to rural communities, over time making our province's small towns less desirable places to live, especially as people age".
In a July 9 news release, Greyhound said all routes in Ontario and Quebec "remain unchanged", with the exception of a huge swath of territory on the Trans-Canada Highway, west of Sudbury to Sault Ste.
On Monday, Greyhound announced the end of its money-losing business in Western Canada effective October 31. "Greyhound's 90-day deadline for service withdrawal is extremely short for alternatives to be developed".
And to Greyhound - some thanks for providing rural/inexpensive transport up to this point, but mostly good riddance. One of the affected routes included a notorious stretch of Highway 16 in B.C. known as the Highway of Tears, where many Indigenous women have gone missing over the years. The only route remaining will be in British Columbia, a USA -run service between Vancouver and Seattle.
North said Greyhound Canada's announcement will make vulnerable people who rely on others for transportation "even more vulnerable".
"It takes more control away from them and their safety they have less control".
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