Two-three weeks until Greyhound routes cut in Okanagan

The Greyhound bus route reductions for Southern BC should be in effect within a few weeks, according the Greyhound Canada.

Last week the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board approved Greyhound's application to cut routes in some areas within the province due to competition and increased costs.

"The schedule that we run in this province is largely historical and we've gotten to the point now where it's just not possible to sustain the kind of losses we've seen in the province," said Grant Odsen, regional manager for Greyhound Canada.

Odsen said it varies across the country whether routes are expanding or contracting, but here in the Okanagan it has definitely been the latter as cities improve local transit systems making Greyhound less necessary to travel around the valley.

That said, Odsen made it clear there are other reasons for the cuts, including the cost of providing new terminals, rising labour costs and fuel costs.

"We're now taking action to try to right-size the business without abandoning any service in the province," he said.

As such, the four trips south to Penticton daily will be limited to two and there will be two less trips to Vancouver daily, though five buses will still run to the Lower Mainland. A circuitous route to Alberta via the Kootenays will be cut back to one trip from two daily.

To generate more ridership the bus line plans to bring a new high-end express service to the region. The buses have leather interiors with more leg room and WiFi on board.

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