A bus and cargo service in northwestern Ontario plans to offer service to Manitoba communities that will be cut off when Greyhound pulls out.
On Monday Greyhound announced that they will be discontinuing service across the prairies and B.C. this fall.
Kasper Wabinski told Global News Tuesday his company will be ready to pick up where Greyhound leaves off with an immediate goal of filling the route between Winnipeg and Thompson.
The cost of a Greyhound ticket to Thompson is $108. Kasper said they will likely charge $125 per ticket each way.
“We already had the plans in place in case Greyhound decided to pull out,” Wabinski said.
The company currently runs a commuter service between Winnipeg and Selkirk, as well as a number of routes in Ontario.
Wabinsky said they didn’t know just when a Greyhound announcement would be made, least of all this summer, but they were not surprised.
“It wasn’t really news to us,” Wabinski said. “We knew that they were thinking about different things and some of those potential outcomes would have been the reduction of service”.
Kasper Transportation is headquartered in Thunder Bay, with depots in Dryden, Winnipeg and Selkirk.
The owner said they have been waiting on the sidelines, getting their paperwork in place and have a plan to fill the void between Winnipeg and Thompson, including Gimli, the Pas and Dauphin.
Kasper already offers service from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, and intends to expand into Saskatchewan, with service to Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert, anticipating that they will add four to five new routes.
“I’ve got the vehicles, I’ve got the licences,” Wabinski said.
While their buses and depots are smaller than Greyhounds, Wabinski suggests that is one of the things that makes his company sustainable.
He said he expects to have the additional routes in place before Greyhound services end in October.