Declining Greyhound bus service in South Okanagan, Similkameen a provincial matter, regional directors say | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Declining Greyhound bus service in South Okanagan, Similkameen a provincial matter, regional directors say

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January 04, 2018 - 5:30 PM

PENTICTON - Regional district directors in the South Okanagan and Similkameen see the need to speak out about planned service cuts to Greyhound bus service, but view the issue as provincial rather than regional.

Those conclusions came following a discussion by the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen directors today, Jan. 4, about a pair of letters from Greyhound in which the bus company discussed its reasons for terminating service on some routes through the region, and possible alternatives to the cuts.

Oliver director Ron Hovanes observed the issue was a not a local problem, a position supported by West Bench director Michael Brydon, who said Greyhound’s application was a sign of the “markets telling us something.” He said people were flying and driving more and those being left behind were residents that couldn’t afford to fly or drive.

Hovanes called the issue a social one was based on the “income gap.” 

Summerland director Peter Waterman said Greyhound had been dealing with declining ridership for several years.

“I think we’re about three or four years behind, pushing this thing uphill. It’s time to do something,” he said.

The board is sending a letter to provincial Transportation Minister Clair Trevena pointing out the urgent need in the rural areas for access to larger centres via public transportation. They are also going to draft a resolution for the Southern Interior Local Government Association.

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