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Greyhound wants to reduce service in the Thompson-Okanagan

September 15, 2017 - 9:45 AM

Greyhound wants to reduce service in the Thompson-Okanagan citing lower passanger numbers and financial losses.

According to a Passenger Transportation Board application filed last month, the bus company wants to reduce service on a number of routes including Kamloops through Vernon to Kelowna, Vancouver through the Similkameen to Osoyoos, Kelowna to the Alberta border and Kelowna to Vancouver. A number of Northern B.C. routes would also be eliminated if the application is approved.

Greyhound says in the application the company has been losing considerable amounts of money in some of its B.C. operations over the past eight years. The company asking to be allowed to operate at a new minimum route frequency of twice per week.

“The adjustments that Greyhound is applying for in this application are the only realistic option for the company to continue its intercity bus passenger operations in B.C. and to ensure its viability,” the application states. “Greyhound deeply regrets that the public may be negatively impacted by the proposed changes, but it is in the broader public interest to maintain services with fewer options than to have Greyhound abandon its B.C. operations altogether.”

Along with reducing the number of trips per week on the routes, Greyhound is applying to eliminate stops on those routes in a number of smaller communities.

In August, Greyhound defended its application to stop service along Highway 16, the so-called Highway of Tears, citing high costs and low ridership, but Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta says Greyhound, not small communities, is responsible for the service reductions.

"Slowly I am seeing a deterioration of service to rural communities through no fault of our own but through questionable management decisions on the part of Greyhound," Ranta says.

Greyhound has said it is continuing its discussions with provincial and federal officials regarding options for transportation in rural areas.

Wendy Cumming with Greyhound Canada says in an email no routes will be impacted until, and if, the application is approved, which likely wouldn't be until next year.

Officials with the Passenger Transportation Board could hold public consultations as part of the decision process on Greyhound's application and its website shows the board will accept written comments about the application until Oct. 13.

Read the full application here.

— With files from The Canadian Press

— This story was updated at 10:48 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 to include a comment from Greyhound Canada.

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