Greyhound buses have been an essential part of transportation in the prairies for nearly a century, but that ends November 1st.
The company says declining ridership has forced them to take their buses off the roads of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and almost all of B.C.
What happens to communities that rely on them as public transit? Should government step in?
“We’ve had reaction come in from parents whose adult kids are going to post-secondary school in [places like] Kamloops and Kelowna and because they live in the Lower Mainland, they might not necessarily have a car,” explains Butler.
“So, the way they get out to the Okanagan for school every year — and home again — is Greyhound. It’s affordable for people on a student budget and they don’t have to worry about those big insurance costs. Now they’re, ‘What now? I have to pay for a flight every single time I want to go back and forth?'”
Lee says in Alberta, the impact will be most heavily felt in rural areas.
“There are other alternatives in bigger cities like Calgary. There are other buses that can go to and from cities, but in smaller towns, this might be the only way people can get to the big city or from town to town. Especially people who don’t have a driver’s license or a car. We don’t have Via Rail service out here anymore, either. That got cut back in the 1990s. So, it’s a very key service for people in smaller, rural areas.”
You can also hear it online at thebigstorypodcast.ca.