Greyhound Bus Pulls out of Sault Ste. Marie

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Sault Ste. Marie is among 56 other communities that will lose its Greyhound bus service starting this fall.  The company made the announcement today saying that service west of Sudbury Ontario will no longer be serviced.

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.

“This decision is regretful and we sympathize with the fact that many small towns are going to lose service,” Greyhound Canada senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

“But simply put, the issue that we have seen is the routes in rural parts of Canada — specifically Western Canada — are just not sustainable anymore.”

Kendrick said 415 people will be out of work as a result of the decision, which he estimates will impact roughly two million consumers.

The company is blaming a 41 per cent decline in ridership since 2010, persistent competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services, the growth of new low-cost airlines, regulatory constraints and the continued growth of car ownership.

Declining ridership is the primary culprit, said Kendrick, who called the combination of declining ridership and increasing costs an “ongoing spiral” that’s making it impossible for the company to continue operations.

He said the company has raised its concerns with provincial and federal officials over the years and wanted to ensure both levels of government were “fully aware” of the situation. Greyhound Canada has long advocated for a community funding model to allow any private carrier to bid on essential rural services, he added.

Kendrick said Greyhound Canada will continue to push Ottawa to look at improving transport in northern communities.

“There was a commitment to look at our issue, they’re well aware of it. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’ve had problems but there was no funding commitment at that time,” he said.

“The company has experienced significant losses despite continued efforts to return to viability. In the affected regions, the company has run an operating deficit since 2004. We have had substantial losses over several years as a direct result of declining ridership.”

All Greyhound routes in Ontario and Quebec will continue to operate except for one: the Trans-Canada, which links a number of smaller communities between Winnipeg and Sudbury, Ont. including Sault Ste Marie.

Kendrick said the decision will leave most of the affected communities with no other transportation options.

Greyhound Canada applied to provincial regulators last year to discontinue routes in northern B.C., including between Prince George to Prince Rupert, citing the problem of declining ridership. Those cancellations took effect June 1.

The issue of transportation along that route, which includes the notorious stretch of B.C.’s Highway 16 known as the Highway of Tears, was a major point of contention last fall during hearings at the national inquiry for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, where a number of women have gone missing.

The latest cancellations are scheduled to take effect Oct. 31.

Janice Dickson, The Canadian Press

24 COMMENTS

  1. Greyhound cancels all but one bus route in B.C. amid massive service cutbacks … the only route that will be kept here is from … are your ready for this… Vancouver to Seattle… this is certainly going to be a hardship for many communities in the interior and north BC communities.

  2. NORTHERN ONTARIO TRAIN GONE
    NORTHERN ONTARIO GREYHOUND GONE

    WHATS NEXT??

    I SAY RENAME THE SAULT STE MARIE GREYHOUNDS
    THATS RIGHT, I SAY RENAME THE SAULT STE MARIE GREYHOUNDS

  3. The damned thing was barely coming here at all, anyway. It was late more often than not. And you couldn’t call customer service without spending 45 minutes pressing number keys to scroll through an alphabetical list of eveynwhistle stops in three countries.

    • Exactly and you had to book ahead and they were always sold out friends of mine couldn’t get rides for weeks and they say it’s because of the cleaning ridership no more likely due to shitty management

  4. We are not S.O.L. Ontairo has lots of stops and even goes on to Manitoulin Island.

    However, saw it coming heard that the bus that poor soul was killed on. The greyhound bus company changed the bus number and put it back on the road. That’s bad on the empath people. They will know… They sense stuff.

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