FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Greyhound Canada has applied with the BC Passenger Transportation Board to drop four routes in Northern B.C. due to declining ridership.
Greyhound claims that ridership on the four routes: Prince George to Prince Rupert; Prince George to Valemount; Prince George to Dawson Creek; and Dawson Creek to Whitehorse, has declined by 51 percent in the last seven years. The company said that province-wide, it has seen ridership decrease by 46 percent in the same time frame.
In addition to the drop in ridership, Greyhound said that part of the reason it is dropping the routes is because of escalating costs and increased competition from publicly subsidized services. Due to the decline in oil prices in recent years, the company explained that more people are travelling by car due to reduced fuel costs.
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The company said that it will continue normal operations during the regulatory process review period, and that it does not foresee any changes to operations before the end of year. Greyhound added that it does not expect an impact on passenger ticketing and package transport for the remainder of the year, nor does it anticipate any changes will come into effect until early 2018.
In conjunction with today’s announcement, Greyhound Canada senior vice president Stuart Kendrick released the following statement:
“I know that the proposed route reductions will be a difficult change for affected passengers and communities, and we deeply regret having to issue this filing. The situation has come to a head, however, and despite a long-standing series of corrective measures and discussions with regulatory officials, the reality is that we can no longer operate the unsustainable routes, and we are proposing changes that will make other BC routes more viable.
We are continuing our discussions regarding viable options for rural connectivity in British Columbia with the provincial and federal governments. We will continue to provide up-to-date information, signifying our ongoing commitment to our customers. Our focus moving forward is to offer a viable bus service that provides the level of safe, enjoyable and affordable travel that our customers have come to expect.”
Energeticcity.ca had an interview scheduled this morning with a Greyhound Vice President, but that phone call has not been returned. A spokeswoman with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation said that the Ministry will be commenting on the situation later today.
This is a developing story, and we’ll have an update once more information becomes available.