Western Canadian Provinces to Work Together on Solution to Greyhound Bus Pullout

"This is not just a BC problem, it's a Canadian problem": BC Transportation Minister Claire Trevena.

Greyhound Canada announced earlier this week that they will cease all of their passenger and freight services in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and some parts of Western Ontario with the exception of one route between Vancouver and Seattle.

During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said all options are on the table.

"We're going to be talking to all providers of bus services to find out what capacity there is in the province to ensure that people do have that safe, reliable transportation."

As well, she says she will be meeting with her provincial counterparts in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba this Thursday to discuss potential solutions and any and all ways the governments can work together. Although Ottawa has not stepped forward on the matter yet, Trevena adds that the federal government will likely be a key component in getting a new system of some kind going.

"One of the things we're going to be looking at is how that bus service can be provided. We have many vulnerable people in our province, many who choose not to use personal vehicles who will need to have some bus service. That's one of the things we're going to be trying to deal with before October 31."

Unlike when Greyhound previously announced that they would be ceasing service in northern BC, Trevena says the province was given next-to-no notice for this.

She recalls the bus provider stating in prior conversations that they wanted some kind of deregulations in order to stay afloat, but as of this time, BC is not considering that as an option.

Despite the hole that Greyhound's departure would leave for public transportation, the Minister does have some hope.

"We know that there are private operators who are very nimble and quick. Look at what happened when Greyhound pulled out of Vancouver Island - we had very quickly, a private bus operator who came in and filled the route and is doing so very successfully."

Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski says he will be writing to the federal Transportation Minister to see what could potentially be done about this.

- David Opinko

Audio: Claire Trevena, Transportation Minister, Province of BC

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