Seeing Greyhound pull into the depot in Williams Lake will be a thing of the past after Oct. 31, 2018 when the company plans to stop servicing B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. (Monica Lamb-Yorski/Williams Lake Tribune)

Market can fill in Greyhound vacuum, B.C. minister says

Claire Trevena says government buses aren’t a long-term solution

B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says the full-scale withdrawal of Greyhound bus service from Western Canada has taken everyone by surprise, and efforts are underway to arrange other private coach services to pick up the routes.

“We know there are private operators who are very nimble and quick,” Trevena said Tuesday, after Greyhound announced Monday they will be ending service west of Ontario effective this fall. Greyhound’s Canadian operations will be restricted to Ontario and Quebec after October.

BC Transit’s service on Highway 16 to replace Greyhound service that ended in June is a pilot project for that region only, and private services are being sought to take up the other areas, Trevena said.

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The last Greyhound bus pulled out of Terrace on June 1 with a single passenger on board, symbolizing the struggle of long-haul bus service in parts of the province. B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board approved cancelling seven B.C. routes that Greyhound said had accumulated losses of $70 million in the past six years.

B.C. Bus North began interim service on June 4, with two round trips a week between Prince Rupert and Prince George, Prince George and Valemount and Prince George to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.

Trevena said she is meeting with transportation ministers from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Thursday, to see if the federal government can help provinces deal with the lack of bus service.

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