In addition to the number of trips being lost on October 31st including Prince George to Kamloops, Regional Vice-President for Western Canada Greyhound Peter Hamel says some people will be out of a job.
“Fourteen people in Prince George will be affected, the provincial impact is 175 jobs lost and 415 overall throughout the entire closure.”
Hamel adds despite a desire to stay in the area, the financial picture didn’t make it feasible to stick around.
“We’ve been operating in the region since 1929 and have been in an operating deficit since 2004, we would love to still maintain the service there, unfortunately, it’s a story we have told every time whether its a year ago or five years ago that we can no longer sustain the losses.”
One burning question the public wants to be answered is if the bus company had any notion to cancel more routes than why wasn’t the Prince George to Kamloops route listed among the northern BC cancellations on June 1st?
“At the initial time of our application to cancel routes, this corridor was not slated for route elimination at all almost some 294 days ago, unfortunately, we have seen a steady decline and there was probably some noise from the information of other locations that have seen this considerable drop on this corridor.”
On Tuesday, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Claire Travena announced the province isn’t leaving anything off the table when it comes to a replacement service for Greyhound.
Earlier this year, the province announced a one-year pilot project called BC Bus North to help fill the void for a temporary time period, however, that might have to be extended following the recent cuts.
Hamel says anyone bus company who wants to pick up some of the cancelled routes will have to fill out an application with the Transportation Safety Board and adhere to certain conditions surrounding fiscal operations, licensing, equipment and safety.
This discontinuation has also generated a reaction from the Federal NDP with its leader Jagmeet Singh urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today to intervene especially in rural areas of B.C.
“It has been well documented that the lack of bus service along the Highway of Tears was a contributing factor to the murdered and missing of many vulnerable Indigenous women who had no other option than to hitchhike along that route. If your government does not intervene to ensure service continues, you will be increasing these perilous conditions that put so many Indigenous women and girls in danger.”