Kelowna Chamber past president Tom Dyas. —Image: Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

Kelowna chamber concerned about service, job loss as result of Greyhound pulling out

But chamber spokesman Tom Dyas says he believes the private sector will step in to fill the void

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has weighed in on Greyhound Canada’s move to end passenger bus and freight service on all but one route in Western Canada.

“At the Kelowna chamber, we were as surprised as anyone when we heard the announcement,” said chamber past president Tom Dyas, speaking on behalf of the chamber.

“We know that transportation linkages between Kelowna and surrounding communities are critical for both those living in smaller communities who access services here and for the many businesses that count on customers from around the region to add to their bottom lines.”

Dyas said the chamber has not had any feedback from its 1,200 members yet about Greyhound’s move, but knows some chamber member businesses use the package delivery service the bus company provides.

Given that Greyhound also plans to end all freight services, Dyas said those chamber members will now have to find alternate carriers.

“Fortunately, there are options,” he said. “But less competition usually leads to an increase in pricing which is a concern.”

Earlier this week, Greyhound Canada announced because of a sharp drop in ridership over the last eight years, it was ending all service in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and only keeping the route between Vancouver and Seattle in B.C. That route is run by the American arm of Greyhound.

The company said since 2010, ridership has dropped 41 per cent.

Dyas said the loss of jobs as a result of the Greyhound Canada’s move is also a concern.

“First and foremost, the loss of the 415 plus jobs (across Western Canada) is a negative,” he said.

“While it may be felt more in the smaller communities around us, as a regional centre we know there is quite an impact here (in Kelowna). It is another sign of the growing rural-urban divide and as a regional centre that is connected to those living in the many small communities up and down the valley, the loss of this service should be a concern to our community leaders.”

Dyas said he expects other businesses will step up to help fill the void and is recommending government resist any temptation to jump in with a publicly operated inter-community bus service. Instead, he said, the government should look for partnerships with the private sector to fill the gap created by Greyhound’s departure from the market.

B.C.’s Transportation Minister Claire Trevena has said she would like to see the private sector step in to replace Greyhounds operations, which are scheduled to end Oct. 31.

“Going forward it is important for governments at all levels to understand why this business decision has been made and work together to ensure community connectivity is addressed,” said Dyas.

“It will require the involvement of the government, as well as industry, to come up with solutions that result in a service that meets the needs of our communities without creating an undue burden on local taxpayers.”

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna Fire Department to handle Vernon, OKIB dispatch

Five-year contract will net Kelowna more than $200,000 says fire chief

Two vehicle crash in West Kelowna

One person was treated for minor injures this morning following a collision

Central Okanagan candidate running two races in two different communities

Wayne Carson wants to keep his regional director’s job, and wants a seat on Kelowna city council

Kelowna council puts controversial Capri-Landmark plan on hold

Councillors concerned about proposed plan to extend Sutherland Avenue

Kelowna overdoses prevented with supervised consumption site

Supervised Consumption Services helping people avoid overdose and receive health services

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

21 new paramedics promised for B.C. Interior

A total of 18 new full-time paramedics will be hired for Kamloops and three are being hired for Chase.

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Tilray to export cannabis formulation to U.S. for clinical trial

Marijuana remains illegal in most of the U.S.

Court of appeal grants injunction on Taseko’s exploratory drilling in B.C. Interior

The decision provides temporary protection and relief, said Chief Joe Alphonse

Volunteer crew ready to build ramps for B.C. amputee

Jean Moulton will soon have an easier time getting in and out of her home.

VIDEO: B.C. tour offers unique underground glimpse of generating station

About 1,250 people expected at sold-out tour on Sunday

Most Read