The Manitoba government says it is hopeful other companies will pick up bus routes being abandoned by Greyhound, but it says there will be no subsidies.
Greyhound announced today it is abandoning its routes throughout western Canada at the end of October, due to declining ridership and increased competition from airlines.
Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler says the announcement caught him by surprise, but he is hoping other companies can come forward with business plans.
“We are not looking at putting any more money into this,” Schulder said.
“We do not believe in giving subsidies and we’re not going to get into the business of business.”
He says the freight end of the bus business is profitable, and passenger service could be profitable with some changes.
“We would like to see individuals come forward and put a good business plan together,” Schuler said.
The previous NDP government subsidized Greyhound for a few years, then stopped the subsidies and promised a study of the industry just before the 2016 election.
Schuler says that study was never done.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says Greyhound’s departure is a blow to people in remote communities.
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas says some people ride the bus for hours to get to medical appointments, and will need transportation after October to get health care.