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The Big Story: The wheels come off in the West

Last Updated Jul 11, 2018 at 7:27 am PDT

Greyhound passengers collect their luggage after arriving in Vancouver, on Monday July 9, 2018. Greyhound Canada says it is ending its passenger bus and freight services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and cancelling all but one route in B.C. -- a U.S.-run service between Vancouver and Seattle. As a result, when the changes take effect at the end of October, Ontario and Quebec will be the only regions where the familiar running-dog logo continues to grace Canadian highways. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Summary

Small towns will feel the biggest impact of Greyhound eliminating service in Alberta

Parents of adult children in post-secondary in the Okanagan have shared concerns about how Greyhound affects them

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?

In today’s “Big Story” podcast, reporters Kaitlin Lee from 660 NEWS in Calgary and Kayla Butler from NEWS 1130 in Vancouver are hearing from Canadians about what it means when service stops.

“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 hear the full episode and subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

You can also hear it online at thebigstorypodcast.ca.