The loss of Greyhound Bus Service in western Canada could cause some big headaches in the Lakeland. The carrier announced on Monday that service in Western Canada will be cut entirely in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. A lone route will take passengers from British Columbia into Seattle. The changes are due to come into effect on October 31st.
Cold Lake and Bonnyville both have stops along the Greyhound route. Mayor of Cold Lake Craig Copeland says the loss will not only be hard for those who use the bus as transportation but also those that use it as a shipping service.
“I think the economy played a big part. A lot of people up in our area use it for freight. Now people will have to look at options.”
In a press release, Greyhound blamed the downsizing on ” ..a challenging transportation environment that is characterized by declining ridership in rural communities; increased competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services; the new entry of ultra-low-cost carriers; regulatory constraints, and increased car travel.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has also weighed in on the change. She released a statement saying in part:
“Greyhound’s decision this week to suspend services throughout Western Canada significantly diminishes transportation options for hundreds of Canadians throughout our region, potentially harming the economy and quality of life for tens of thousands of people.
“Given its urgency, I will be raising this issue at the Council of the Federation with a view to working on common solutions with my fellow Premiers and the federal government to ensure western Canadians, particularly those living in rural areas, including many Indigenous communities, have access to the transportation services they deserve.”
Copeland hopes the company cutting service is a wake-up call for provincial and federal leaders when it comes to connecting Canadians.
“I think the province and the federal government need to look at the situation in western Canada right now for transportation for people.”