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REPORTING · 24th October 2012
Walter McFarlane
Greyhound Bus is reducing its services to the northwest. They will be reducing their number of weekly trips across the Northwest from 22 to 14.

The reason for this change is in the fiscal year for 2011/2012, the company lost $14 million in their operations in British Columbia. The reasons for these costs include the higher costs of fuel and maintenance and reduced riders. The company also blames Northern Health and BC Transit for creating competition against them.

In an explanatory paper provided on their website, Greyhound explains: “The service is unregulated and according to Northern Health Authority’s website is subsidized by the Health Authority to the extent of 80-90% of the cost of travel. Bus connections are provided from points in Northern BC to Prince George, Kamloops, Vancouver and Grande Prairie, Alberta. No policing is undertaken to ensure that only passengers with a physician referral are able to travel on NH Connections bus services.”

Both Councillors Mario Feldhoff and Corinne Scott brought this before Kitimat City Council on Monday, October 15th. Council received a letter from the District of Mackenzie. She made a motion to write the BC Passenger Transportation Board to oppose the reduction of Greyhound service.

Feldhoff suggested sending a copy of the letters to the NCGLA members.

“It’s Via Rail one year, it’s the bussing. Many of our students that attend college or university in Prince George and other take advantage of this bus and maybe every day of the week, it isn’t full but it is a very valuable service which allows people to visit, come home before the weekend and return on the weekend on Sunday night. I think it would be a sad loss if we were to lose the Greyhound,” said Feldhoff.

Scott also pointed out Highway 16 is the Highway of Tears. People have been trying to make the highway safer. The increase in economic development means this is not the time to be cutting services. She did not want to see people hitchhiking because they did not have the bus service. This motion was called and carried.

The Regional District of Kitimat Stikine received two such letters, one from Prince George and one from the District of Mackenzie, during their meeting on October 19th. Director Corinne Scott made a motion to write a letter to oppose the eliminations from the times Greyhound is operating.

“At this time, when the Northwest area is growing and they’ve always been concerned with, as Prince George said, the Highway of Tears, the Bus service is a service we can encourage people to take and not hitchhike,” said Scott.

She was told a letter had already been sent. It had been hidden somewhere else in the Regional District’s package. One of the Directors sympathized with Greyhound, as the Bus Company was losing money from people not using their services. Also, the Greyhound bus service is not subsidized.
Elected Officals just "missed the bus"""
Comment by Larry Walker on 24th October 2012
Look, it is a private for profit company and you can write all the letters you want but don't expect them to reverse their announced position on a decrease in service. You should however look at lobbying Via Rail for better service and connections to Vancouver and Edmonton. You should however , also contact the Health Authority and see if Greyhounds comment on non-qualified riders using their service .... and if so FIX IT. And if you have time....start lobbying for increased air service and get other carriers involved.