Greyhound’s application to the Passenger Transportation Board. (PTB/Screenshot)

Greyhound’s application to the Passenger Transportation Board. (PTB/Screenshot)

Local politicians slam proposed Greyhound changes

The City of Grand Forks, the RDKB and others are not happy with proposed changes.

Local politicians are speaking out after recent proposed changes to Greyhound service on Highway 3 made the news.

At the regular meeting of Grand Forks council on Oct. 18, council received letters from Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson as well as the office of Grand Forks mayor Frank Konrad regarding the proposed service changes to Greyhound’s Highway 3 Kelowna to the Alberta border route.

The proposed changes, announced last month, include reducing service to twice weekly on Highway 3 and eliminating a route stop in Beaverdell.

The changes are among many Greyhound is proposing for routes across B.C. in an effort that Greyhound said will better align their service with declining ridership and increased operating costs.

All changes to Greyhound routes have to be approved by the Passenger Transportation Board.

In her letter to the board, Larson said she is “deeply concerned” about the application for service reduction.

“My riding is rural, and its demographic included a large senior population and many people that live on low or fixed incomes,” Larson wrote. “These constituents rely heavily on Greyhound’s service to attend medical appointments in Vancouver and Kelowna, as well as to connect with family and friends.”

Larson also notes that other communities in her riding, including Hedley, Princeton and Keremeos, will be impacted by a complete elimination in services, while the reductions to two trips per week will impact every community along Highway 3 between Rock Creek and Christina Lake. Larson notes also notes the service elimination in Beaverdell.

“On behalf of thousands of British Columbians I urge you to weigh the impact that these changes will have on those that will be affected by the proposed changes in Greyhound Canada’s service, and deny their application,” Larson writes.

Konrad also submitted a letter on behalf of the city.

“The Boundary area is considered remote; families, organizations and businesses continually struggle with shipping and passenger concerns to and from our area and largely depend on Greyhound bus services as it currently stands [sic],” Konrad wrote.

Konrad called for the Passenger Transportation Board to deny the proposed changes.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will also be submitting a letter, according to staff.

An email from the board also included in Monday night’s agenda notes that application decisions are posted on Wednesdays, usually in the afternoon, and can be expected 60 to 90 days from the initial date of application.

The initial posting period for Greyhound’s application began on Sept. 13. Comments to the Passenger Transportation Board were accepted until Oct. 13.