July 13, 2018 7:32 am
Updated: July 13, 2018 10:38 am

Ride-hailing company looking to roll in as Greyhound moves out of Manitoba

File / Global News
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The ride-hailing company TappCar is looking into the option of taking over some passenger routes left by Greyhound.

Greyhound plans to leave the province on Oct. 31. Many northern residents relied on the bus routes to get to and from medical appointments.

Tappcar spokesman John Morris said the company is looking at health subsidies to help provide those services.

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“[Indigenous and Northern Affairs] subsidies or Manitoba Health subsidies, with respect to travel for health medical purposes —  that will really give us a sense of where there are capabilities and opportunities to provide that kind of service to those communities,” he said.

READ MORE: Greyhound route cancellations worry Manitoba business owner

“We’re going to be reaching out to municipal officials, Indigenous leaders and other communities to really get a sense of what does this mean.”

Morris said the company will be looking closely at smaller markets.

“We just launched in Steinbach so that will be a good test case to see what’s the local market like in a place the size of Steinbach and how does that work in terms of the inter-town, inter-city travel side of the rideshare concept.”

READ MORE: Ontario bus service to pick up in Manitoba where Greyhound leaves off

Tappcar isn’t the first company to come forward looking to fill the gap left by Greyhound. Kasper Transportation, which currently runs a commuter service between Winnipeg and Selkirk, is looking to replace Greyhound in the market.

Owner Kasper Wabinski 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.

The provincial government is also looking for solutions.

READ MORE: What are the alternatives to Greyhound in Western Canada?

Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler is hoping the company will consider staying longer than Oct. 31.

“Our government is taking a collaborative approach, working with other provinces to see what can be done to find solutions to the Greyhound withdrawal. One of the key points we would raise is that 90 days is not a sufficient time to allow new business to take over this opportunity,” he said.

“We will continue to encourage the private sector to realize the opportunity it presents while recognizing the challenge the timeline is to establish new business.”

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