Greyhound passengers in Kelowna expressed dismay Tuesday at news the bus company plans to axe service across the Prairies and in B.C. as of this fall.
On Monday, Greyhound Canada announced it was scrapping all passenger bus and freight services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and keeping just one route in B.C—the U.S. run service between Vancouver and Seattle.
“It’s horrible,” said Christopher Haney, as he waited at the Kelowna station for a bus to take him and his two young sons back to Trail Tuesday.
He said he depends on the bus to get him between Trail and the boys’ home in Vancouver.
“It’s stupid. They should have at least kept the (routes between the) major cities,” he said.
He added it’s too expensive for him to fly from Trail, so he’ll have to buy a car and drive the nine to 10-hour trip.
Another traveller, Adrian Wright of Kitchener, Ont., called Greyhound’s move “terrible.”
He said he uses the bus for long-distance travel once or twice a year and relies on it.
“They shouldn’t be doing this,” Wright said. “We need the bus.”
Visitors Pablo Castro of Spain and Quetzal Soto from Mexico, said they hope a private company will step in to fill the void to be left by Greyhound.
They said they may have to cut their trip to Canada short due to Greyhound’s move, which is due to take effect at the end of October.
Greyhound Canada’s senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick said Monday the decision was made because of dwindling passenger volumes thanks in part to subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services, the growth of low-cost airlines, regulatory constraints and continued growth of vehicle ownership.
The company said it has seen ridership fall 41 per cent since 2010 across Canada.
A total of 415 people are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the bus company’s decision, and approximately two million customers will be impacted.
Employees at the Kelowna Greyhound station, who will be among those to lose their jobs as a result of the service cuts, declined to comment when asked about Greyhound’s move.
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