Some people including the visually impaired and those who don't drive, are scrambling to figure out what to do after reports Monday that Greyhound Bus is cancelling routes across western Canada.
The company said Monday that it is cancelling routes on passenger and freight routes in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba, and all but one route in British Columbia. While regrettable, the company says the routes are no longer sustainable, mainly due to low ridership.
Around Prince Albert, the news was still trickling in Monday afternoon. Many in communities around Prince Albert said Greyhound bus service simply wasn’t used much anymore, although the loss of the service as a travel option is still unfortunate.
Wendell Gress is the owner/operator of the Wakaw Inn and used to run the delivery depot for STC as well before that service was cut by the provincial government.
Gress said the bus service used to be popular options for farmers, auto dealers and mechanics to ship parts and supplies, especially when same-day service was available. But, since the service has been on a weekly schedule, people have found other options to transport products to and from Wakaw, he said.
“It worked well for a number of years, but I guess it musn’t be paying off,” Gress told paNOW. “There’s definitely an impact on the smaller communities when there’s no way, especially for the elderly that can’t drive, to get to the city.”
The cancellation of Greyhound’s routes across western Canada will also affect those who are visually-impaired and rely on public transit options to get around. Christall Beaudry, executive director with the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, says the organization works with about 6,500 clients in urban and rural communities across Saskatchewan.
While there are only a handful of Greyhound bus routes operating in the province currently, Beaudry said clients who live in rural areas will be impacted by the changes.
“A lot of people already rely on their support systems to get from point A to point B, so it might be a family member or a friend,” Beaudry told paNOW. “There are some carriers that are providing rural service, but again, there’s not a lot of them out there at this point in time.”
Greyhound's last day for bus service in Saskatchewan is October 31.
On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt
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