Ridesharing is the main cause of Greyhound route reductions: spokesperson - InfoNews

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Ridesharing is the main cause of Greyhound route reductions: spokesperson

February 23, 2018 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS – As ride-sharing grows in popularity, other modes of transportation across the province are suffering, according to Greyhound.

The frequency of routes in the Thompson-Okanagan will be reduced, and routes in northern B.C. will be eliminated beginning in June, after a Passenger Transportation Board decision earlier this week.

Greyhound has been running an operating deficit in B.C. since 2004 and can no longer sustain the losses, says Peter Hamel, Greyhound regional vice-president, of western Canada.

Several factors have contributed to the deficit, most notably the increase of ridesharing across the province, Hamel says. New competitors and competition aren’t held to the same regulations and standards.

“Ridesharing is a major concern,” Hamel says. “You can go on any given day on Kijiji ride share, Poparide, or BCrideshare.com."

The rise in ridesharing companies and the decrease of people living in rural areas have resulted in a big decline in ridership for Greyhound, according to Hamel. He says the reasoning for the elimination and reduction of some routes was due to the fact that ridership in those areas has decreased by 51 per cent since 2010.

“The route from Kamloops to Kelowna via Falkland had a 50 per cent decrease in ridership and was only carrying single-digit passengers,” Hamel says. “Every one of these corridors that we are talking about had a decline to single-digit passengers.

Hamel says that there simply isn’t enough demand in some of the rural areas for Greyhound to be profitable and sustainable. He says that no private carrier can be sustainable on the fare box alone in rural communities.

Hamel said they have been making proposals to different legislators that there should be a 'connecting communities' funding model for a private carrier to survive. Not necessarily Greyhound, but a carrier would provide the service to connect these communities, with some sort of funding model from local, provincial and federal governments to cover part of the operating cost.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kelly Mckay or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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