2008 beheading on Greyhound bus cited for drop in Saskatchewan bus ridership

Greyhound Canada to end service in Sask. and other Prairie provinces

The national motor coach carrier is discontinuing service west of Sudbury, effective October 31, as part of massive nation-wide cuts in Ontario and Western Canada.

In a July 9 news release, Greyhound said all routes in Ontario and Quebec "remain unchanged", with the exception of a huge swath of territory on the Trans-Canada Highway, west of Sudbury to Sault Ste.

Meantime, a First Nations leader is calling on the government to do something to ensure people can get around.

"Intercity bus services within Canada, such as Greyhound, operate on a commercial basis with no support from the federal government".

Hargrave said especially when it comes to employees, the government didn't argue with the arbitrator decision a few months ago which said some of the employees were owed more money.

Package delivery firms say they are prepared to fill the gap when Greyhound Canada closes most of its Western Canada operations this fall.

British Columbia's Passenger Transportation Board has also announced it will "fast-track" applications for long distance bus services.

In a statement, the company called the decision "regrettable", blaming it on declining ridership in rural communities, increased competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services, the entry of low-priced carriers, regulatory constraints, and increased auto travel.

"As the economic regulation of interprovincial bus carriers in federal jurisdiction has been delegated to the provinces and territories, under the federal Motor Vehicle Transport Act, the federal government has not taken an active role in supporting service provision".

"This is going to negatively impact countless seniors in our region", she said.

Kendrick, who has been with the company for 31 years, said 415 people will be out of work as a result of the decision, which he estimates will impact roughly two million consumers.

"(Greyhound) is the only way I can actually get out here with my family all split out up now", he said of his regular trips on Highway 16.

A 2009 first-quarter report for STC said the Crown company lost 8.5 per cent of its ridership after the Greyhound beheading.

Grand Chief Sheila North said in the wake of Greyhound's July 9 announcement that it would no longer be doing business in Western Canada after October 31 that the organization, which represents a couple dozen First Nations in Manitoba's north, was extremely concerned by the news, given that vast distances between communities in the region and the high cost of airfare to the province's south make affordable bus service a crucial and possibly life-saving need.

The announcement by Greyhound came as a shock to many.

Alberta's Transportation Minister Brian Mason said Monday that Greyhound's decision is an issue of "national importance". Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs stated in an interview with Global News.

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