When Greyhound ends its BC bus service this Wednesday, October 31, “83% of its routes will be covered by other private operators by year’s end,” the provincial government announced on Monday.
In the announcement, Claire Trevena, BC’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said she will continue to work with communities and the private sector to find solutions for the 17% of routes that will be without service.
“For so many British Columbians, reliable bus service is critical for work, family life, health care and so much more,” Trevena said. “I’m pleased that private bus operators have stepped up and worked with us to make sure British Columbians will continue to travel around our province safely and affordably.”
Trevena said that when news of Greyhound’s decision broke, the BC government – along with the Passenger Transportation Board – “implemented a fast-tracked application process to replace the service with as little disruption as possible.”
The priority now, she said, is to restore service to the eight route segments servicing smaller, more remote communities.
“Our government is going to work hard to make sure no communities or people are left behind,” Trevena said. “Reliable bus service is critical in making sure people feel secure in the communities they call home.”
The BC government launched BC Bus North earlier this year to cover the majority of northern routes that Greyhound eliminated.
The cost is $35 to $45 per trip, with two round-trips per week between Prince Rupert and Prince George, Prince George and Valemount, and Prince George to Dawson Creek/Fort St. John and one round-trip per week from Fort Nelson to Dawson Creek/Fort St. John.
In making the announcement earlier this year that it was going to end service, Greyhound said the decision was made due to a “challenging transportation environment that is characterized by declining ridership in rural communities.”
The company said it is facing “increased competition” from subsidized national and inter-regional transportation services.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce these service impacts for the end of October. We understand that these route changes are difficult for our customers,” said Stuart Kendrick, Senior Vice President, Greyhound Canada.
Kendrick added that Greyhound Canada ridership has dropped nearly 41% across the country since 2010.
“Simply put, we can no longer operate unsuitable routes.”
In BC, only the Vancouver to Seattle service will remain.