Greyhound Canada is permanently cutting all bus routes across the country, shutting down the intercity bus carrier’s operations in Canada after nearly a century of service. (Bloomberg/Daniel Acker)

Greyhound Canada is permanently cutting all bus routes across the country, shutting down the intercity bus carrier’s operations in Canada after nearly a century of service. (Bloomberg/Daniel Acker)

Greyhound to cut all bus routes, shutdown operations in Canada

Once the border reopens, American affiliate Greyhound Lines Inc. will continue to operate cross-border routes to Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal

Greyhound Canada is permanently cutting all bus routes across the country, shutting down the intercity bus carrier’s operations in Canada after nearly a century of service.

Its American affiliate, Greyhound Lines, Inc., will continue to operate cross-border routes to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver once the border reopens.

The decision comes a year after Greyhound Canada temporarily suspended all service due to a sharp decline in passengers and mounting travel restrictions amid the first wave of COVID-19.

The bus carrier has struggled for years with declining ridership, increasing competition and deregulation.

But the complete loss of so-called farebox revenue during the pandemic has forced the company to permanently cease operations, said Greyhound Canada senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick.

“It’s been a very tough decision and one we’ve taken with a heavy heart,” he told The Canadian Press in an interview. “It’s been a lifeline for many Canadians for more than 90 years. This will have a massive impact.”

The decision is a blow to rural and remote areas that rely on a patchwork of private intercity bus companies for transportation.

The service has long been part of a network linking smaller communities and big cities, offering an affordable and convenient mode of travel for everyone from essential workers and students to the elderly and backpackers.

Yet the rise in car ownership, ride sharing, discount airlines and urban migration has slowly eroded bus ridership, leading Greyhound Canada to gradually reduce the frequency of some services and cut other routes altogether.

“Private carriers are relying on the farebox revenue to maintain these rural routes,” Kendrick said. “When ridership declines, we have a decision to make. We either cut the frequency, exit the rural markets or look for some help.”

Citing declining ridership, deregulation and subsidized competition, Greyhound Canada suspended all operations in Western Canada in 2018.

Yet despite the ongoing challenges with its remaining routes, nothing could have prepared the company for the dramatic 95 per cent drop in passengers at the outset of the pandemic, Kendrick said.

Multiple coach bus companies teamed up and approached the federal and provincial governments for financial aid amid mounting COVID-19 restrictions. But Kendrick said they were referred to existing pandemic supports — what he called “negligible” for the beleaguered passenger transportation industry — prompting Greyhound Canada to temporarily suspend all service last May.

“There’s really been a lack of support,” Kendrick said. “We don’t get subsidies.”

Intercity bus carriers are also competing with publicly funded train and transit systems, he said, putting private companies at a disadvantage.

The Ontario government has also promised to deregulate the intercommunity bus industry starting in July, a move that would end Greyhound Canada’s control of certain routes.

“We have had exclusive private bus service on certain corridors,” he said, noting that it provided passengers with safe, frequent and affordable service.

“Greyhound Canada’s tough decision today is going to have a massive impact on customers, especially those riding in the rural network.”

About 260 employees were laid off after Greyhound Canada temporarily ended its passenger service last May. An additional 45 employees will be laid off as a result of the permanent closure, Kendrick said.

The company plans to sell the bus stations it owns, he said. As for its leased properties, some of the agreements have expired or have an “out clause,” while it will honour the terms of leases it’s obliged to continue paying, Kendrick said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Just Posted

An RCMP cruiser. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Police kept busy following overnight vehicle thefts, B&Es near 100 Mile House

One man is facing charges and three others suspects in relation to the thefts

An RCMP cruiser. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Driver expected to recover after rolling vehicle in ditch near Gateway

55-year-old woman taken to hospital after 10:24 a.m. incident

Murray Casey, centre, was among the participants at the re-opening of the Clinton Museum last week. (Jennifer Bolster photo - submitted)
Clinton Museum open for business this summer

The occasion was marked by a little celebration at the museum at the beginning of June

(File Photo)
Police watchdog clears 100 Mile RCMP of wrongdoing after man dies in Williams Lake shelter

The man had been in custody at 100 Mile RCMP detachment prior to being taken to Williams Lake

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read