Greyhound Canada is permanently cutting all bus routes across the country, shutting down the intercity bus carrier’s operations in Canada after nearly a century of service. (Bloomberg/Daniel Acker)

Greyhound Canada is permanently cutting all bus routes across the country, shutting down the intercity bus carrier’s operations in Canada after nearly a century of service. (Bloomberg/Daniel Acker)

Greyhound to cut all bus routes, shutdown operations in Canada

Once the border reopens, American affiliate Greyhound Lines Inc. will continue to operate cross-border routes to Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal

Greyhound Canada is permanently cutting all bus routes across the country, shutting down the intercity bus carrier’s operations in Canada after nearly a century of service.

Its American affiliate, Greyhound Lines, Inc., will continue to operate cross-border routes to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver once the border reopens.

The decision comes a year after Greyhound Canada temporarily suspended all service due to a sharp decline in passengers and mounting travel restrictions amid the first wave of COVID-19.

The bus carrier has struggled for years with declining ridership, increasing competition and deregulation.

But the complete loss of so-called farebox revenue during the pandemic has forced the company to permanently cease operations, said Greyhound Canada senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick.

“It’s been a very tough decision and one we’ve taken with a heavy heart,” he told The Canadian Press in an interview. “It’s been a lifeline for many Canadians for more than 90 years. This will have a massive impact.”

The decision is a blow to rural and remote areas that rely on a patchwork of private intercity bus companies for transportation.

The service has long been part of a network linking smaller communities and big cities, offering an affordable and convenient mode of travel for everyone from essential workers and students to the elderly and backpackers.

Yet the rise in car ownership, ride sharing, discount airlines and urban migration has slowly eroded bus ridership, leading Greyhound Canada to gradually reduce the frequency of some services and cut other routes altogether.

“Private carriers are relying on the farebox revenue to maintain these rural routes,” Kendrick said. “When ridership declines, we have a decision to make. We either cut the frequency, exit the rural markets or look for some help.”

Citing declining ridership, deregulation and subsidized competition, Greyhound Canada suspended all operations in Western Canada in 2018.

Yet despite the ongoing challenges with its remaining routes, nothing could have prepared the company for the dramatic 95 per cent drop in passengers at the outset of the pandemic, Kendrick said.

Multiple coach bus companies teamed up and approached the federal and provincial governments for financial aid amid mounting COVID-19 restrictions. But Kendrick said they were referred to existing pandemic supports — what he called “negligible” for the beleaguered passenger transportation industry — prompting Greyhound Canada to temporarily suspend all service last May.

“There’s really been a lack of support,” Kendrick said. “We don’t get subsidies.”

Intercity bus carriers are also competing with publicly funded train and transit systems, he said, putting private companies at a disadvantage.

The Ontario government has also promised to deregulate the intercommunity bus industry starting in July, a move that would end Greyhound Canada’s control of certain routes.

“We have had exclusive private bus service on certain corridors,” he said, noting that it provided passengers with safe, frequent and affordable service.

“Greyhound Canada’s tough decision today is going to have a massive impact on customers, especially those riding in the rural network.”

About 260 employees were laid off after Greyhound Canada temporarily ended its passenger service last May. An additional 45 employees will be laid off as a result of the permanent closure, Kendrick said.

The company plans to sell the bus stations it owns, he said. As for its leased properties, some of the agreements have expired or have an “out clause,” while it will honour the terms of leases it’s obliged to continue paying, Kendrick said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Just Posted

Daryl Jolly, his wife Kerry Pagdin, their sons Cole Jolly (left) and Graeme Jolly, and their dogs Gracie and Clover. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College arts chair diagnosed with lung cancer, family launches fund drive

Daryl Jolly co-founded the college’s digital arts program

An ambulance waits to pick up an elderly couple injured in a vehicle collision in Christina Lake Monday, June 14. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Christina Lake collision under investigation, say Grand Forks RCMP

No one was seriously hurt in a two-car collision on Highway 3 Monday, June 14

TELUS is proposing to construct a 5G tower at Pople Park. Photo: Sheri Regnier
First 5G tower in Trail proposed for placement in popular park

TELUS has a consultation process open until June 28

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

Most Read