It won’t be long before Greyhound buses aren’t making treks across Western Canada. Greyhound Canada cited a 41 per cent decline in ridership since 2010 as one of the reasons it is shutting down operations from Manitoba to B.C. by the end of October.
Are other transit companies facing the same challenges? Another transportation hub in Lethbridge says no.
“It’s been strong and a steady sort of increase as more and more students are going to the University (of Lethbridge) and (Lethbridge) College, so that certainly helps for sure,” said John Stepovy, the director of sales and business development with Red Arrow.
Red Arrow isn’t releasing ridership numbers, but says it’s seen some growth since coming to Lethbridge.
The question will now be where do the riders who were using Greyhound go?
One solution could be a regional form of ride sharing. But if that’s going to happen, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman says it won’t come from the city.
“We’re already subsidizing Lethbridge transit by 75 cents on the dollar,” Spearman said. “Really what has to happen is the private market has to look at that opportunity and provide additional services. We just can’t continue to provide additional service at a loss.”
Global News asked Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder Tuesday about a potential federal transportation strategy. She believes the issue is more about the current government.
“The government can decrease regulations. They can cut red tape,” Harder said. “They can cut back on taxation for small businesses, they can stop the carbon tax. They can cut back on payroll taxes.”
Greyhound Canada did not respond to interview requests surrounding its Lethbridge hub, but senior vice-president Stuart Kendrick said 415 people across the country will be out of work as a result of the decision.