Monday, November 11, 2019

Mayor Ackerman looking forward to conversation with Transportation Minister about Greyhound pullout

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman says she’s looking forward to having a conversation with Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Treveena about dealing with the fallout of the Passenger Transportation Board allowing Greyhound to cease bus service in Northeast B.C. as soon as June 1st.

Mayor Ackerman said she spoke with Trevena over the phone on Tuesday, when the Minister reached out to advise her that the Passenger Transportation Board was going to be releasing its decision on Greyhound’s application the following day. Trevena told Ackerman that she wanted to meet with impacted communities about the Board’s decision and ways to deal with the lack of intercity bus service north of Prince George.

However, Ackerman said that Trevena did not provide a timeline on when discussions might begin, or what the exact scope would be. “Are we going to have no service for a period of time, or are we going to be able to pull something together to ensure that the service is seamless? We just don’t know that yet,” said Ackerman.

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Trevena issued the following statement on Wednesday after the Board’s decision was released:

“Greyhound’s decision to cut service in northern and interior British Columbia is unfortunate. People rely on Greyhound’s long-haul, inter-city bus service to get to and from major cities.

Eliminating and reducing service along rural and remote routes will leave people vulnerable, particularly Indigenous communities, women, seniors, children and those living with disabilities.

In the coming weeks, I will be speaking to local elected officials, First Nations and others affected by Greyhound’s upcoming service changes, so we can deliver long-term solutions that work for everyone.

It is vital that people throughout the province have access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation. In the short term, my ministry will be working with Greyhound to ensure buses remain running as we work with communities to develop long-term, viable solutions that address people’s needs.

We will be working closely with communities to find safe, reliable and affordable long-haul ground transportation – particularly in the North – to ensure continued bus service remains in place for those who depend on it.”

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