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Greyhound files application to discontinue 5 routes in B.C.

Greyhound applies to cut Vancouver Island route and all northern routes
WATCH: Communities in northern B.C. and on Vancouver Island are reeling from the news that Greyhound wants to kill one Vancouver Island bus route, and every one of its routes in northern B.C. Neetu Garcha reports.

Greyhound Canada has filed an application to discontinue five routes in B.C., with four of them in northern B.C. and one on Vancouver Island. If approved, the northern half of B.C. will no longer have Greyhound service.

In a release, Greyhound Canada says it wants to discontinue these routes because ridership has declined by 51 per cent, its costs have increased and there has been more competition from subsidized services.

An application has been filed to discontinue service on these five routes:

  • Victoria to Nanaimo
  • Prince George to Prince Rupert
  • Prince George to Valemount
  • Prince George to Dawson Creek
  • Dawson Creek to Whitehorse

The Prince George to Prince Rupert route includes the Highway of Tears, known for the number of women and girls who have gone missing or were murdered along that stretch of road since 1970.

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Greyhound says the application has been filed with regulators

Greyhound is also filing an application to reduce the number of stops on other routes asking for the option to reduce the minimum number of runs on other routes.

READ MORE: Long-awaited bus service along B.C. ‘Highway of Tears’ prepares for launch

The company said these moves will allow it to have flexibility to make frequency changes in the future to match customer demand.

While this application is before the board, service will continue normally on all routes and Greyhound Canada says no service changes will occur in 2017.

“I know that the proposed route reductions will be a difficult change for affected passengers and communities, and we deeply regret having to issue this filing,” said Stuart Kendrick, senior vice president, Greyhound Canada.

“The situation has come to a head, however, and despite a long-standing series of corrective measures and discussions with regulatory officials, the reality is that we can no longer operate the unsustainable routes, and we are proposing changes that will make other B.C. routes more viable.”

“We are continuing our discussions regarding viable options for rural connectivity in British Columbia with the provincial and federal governments. Our focus moving forward is to offer a viable bus service that provides the level of safe, enjoyable and affordable travel that our customers have come to expect.”

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Greyhound Canada has been operating in B.C. since 1929 but says since 2010, ridership province-wide has dropped 46 per cent overall.