Bus service can be a lifeline

EDITORIAL: Bus services are essential to rural communities.

Greyhound Canada recently advised the public that it was seeking approval to eliminate some routes, reduce route frequency on others, and eliminate certain route points.

This change will impact Grand Forks; Highway 3 service between Kelowna and the Alberta border will go to twice weekly rather than each way daily.

The route stop in Beaverdell will also be eliminated, if approved, as part of these changes, in a move the company hopes will streamline the trip.

In rural communities, many choose to own a vehicle to get around – it would seem to be a necessity given the travel required for many services, especially through the winter months and without a broad public transit service. However, removing services from rural areas just further isolates already isolated communities, with many residents who do not or cannot own a car or drive.

While the Greyhound is responding to the real challenges of cost, profits and route delays, these changes will have a big impact on our communities and residents should speak up. The Passenger Transportation Board is considering comments; we urge residents with thoughts on the issue to speak out. We need to keep as many services as possible in rural areas – they can be a lifeline.

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