Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Greyhound to seek end to Northern British Columbia routes

Greyhound files paperwork to end service along Highway
16 and other areas of Northern BC

Travel between northern British Columbia communities could become just a little bit more challenging in the future, as Greyhound Canada seeks to bring to an end its service along the Highway 16 corridor, as well as points north of Prince George.

The inter-city bus line filed the required application with provincial officials on Wednesday, setting in motion a process that will see the Transportation provider for many British Columbia communities pull out for good, should their application be approved.

Five routes in all have been targeted by Greyhound for cessation, three of them running out of the Northern BC hub of Prince George.

Four of the five routes set to be reviewed would all but eliminate bus Greyhound service in Northern British Columbia, with routes between Prince George to Dawson Creek, Prince George to Valemont and a northern route to Whitehorse all on the list

For the Northwest, the Highway 16 corridor run from Prince Rupert to Prince George is on the chopping block and included as part of the filing to the province's BC Transportation Board today.

An inter urban run between Nanaimo and Victoria puts the wrap on the Greyhound hit list for today.

Declining passenger loads  was cited for the decision to seek approval to shut down the lines, with Greyhound advising that ridership on the lines selected has dropped by 50 percent in the last seven years. With competition from publicly subsidized services also noted as a contributing factor to the request.

A statement issued by Stuart Kendrick, vice president of Greyhound Canada made note of the impact the decision will have on communities across the province.

“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."

The first indications that the filing was in the offing came late last week.

As we noted on the blog on Friday, word of the prospect of Greyhound abandoning the route were first relayed through a discussion page on one of the local Facebook pages.

The official notice has yet to be posted to the Passenger Transportation Board website which will make the final decision on whether to approve Greyhound's request. What steps that the board will take related to the application will be outlined once the Greyhound request has been posted.

As of this afternoon, neither Transportation Minister Claire Trevena, or North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice had issued a statement on the Greyhound application, outlining what options, if any, may be available from the province.

Today's announcement has resonated across Northern British Columbia with a number of media sources taking note of the filing and outlining how the decision may affect communities across the northern half of the province.

Some of the notes can be reviewed below:

August 30 -- Greyhound applies to cut all northern BC service
August 30 -- 'It's Highway of Tears, man': Northern BC Faces life without Greyhound
August 30 -- Greyhound plans cuts across Northern BC  (video)
August 30 -- Greyhound Canada files application to stop services in Northern BC
August 30 -- Greyhound seeks to cease passenger service along Highway 16 and North of Prince George
August 30 -- Greyhound hopes to put brakes on Northern routes
August 30 -- Greyhound files application to discontinue 5 routes in B.C.
August 30 -- Greyhound Canada applies to stop serving Northern B.C. includes 'Highway of Tears'
August 30 -- Greyhound Canada looking to discontinue four Northern B.C. routes
August 29 -- Greyhound wants out of northern B.C.

More background on transportation along the Highway 16 corridor can be found on our archive page here.

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