B.C. mayor says Greyhound Canada’s problems were of its own making

Click to play video: 'Greyhound to end most services in western Canada' Greyhound to end most services in western Canada
WATCH: Greyhound to end most services in western Canada – Jul 9, 2018

John Ranta knows a thing or two about Greyhound.

The Cache Creek, B.C. mayor drove buses for the company for more than 30 years.

LISTEN: Cache Creek mayor talks about the future without Greyhound

And he says he wasn’t surprised when the company announced it was packing up and wheeling out of Western Canada, citing a lack of profitability.

Ranta said the company’s executives failed to innovate, calling them “dinosaurs.”

Story continues below advertisement

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

“Management of the company didn’t stay current, wasn’t up to date with modern trends. They used to pay for the whole operation with revenue from the freight they hauled,” he told CKNW’s The Jill Bennett Show.

“While other companies were able to implement electronic tracking of packaging, Greyhound was still sending a little piece of paper called a tracking slip up and down the road in the hands of the driver.”

READ MORE: Package delivery firms get ready to fill gap as Greyhound leaves Western Canada

Greyhound had previously announced it was slashing a number of major routes in B.C. before pulling the plug on the wider region. The shutdown will take effect at the end of October, with a single Vancouver-Seattle route to remain in effect.

It cites a 41 per cent decline in ridership since 2010, regulatory constraints and competition from low-cost airlines as well as publicly-subsidized regional passenger transportation services.

WATCH: Fallout from Greyhound withdrawing service from Western Canada

Click to play video: 'Fallout from Greyhound withdrawing service from Western Canada' Fallout from Greyhound withdrawing service from Western Canada
Fallout from Greyhound withdrawing service from Western Canada – Jul 10, 2018

Ranta acknowledged those public shuttle buses were drawing customers away from Greyhound, but said the company had no one to blame for that but itself.

Story continues below advertisement
“The timing of [Greyhound] trips through communities was based on when the buses left Vancouver or Calgary or Edmonton,” Ranta said.

“And so the little communities in between, you know, Revelstoke, Golden, Salmon Arm, the buses weren’t necessarily travelling through those communities at a time convenient for the people.”

He said the shuttles sprung up in response.

In the short term, Ranta said the absence of Greyhound is clearly a problem for residents in smaller communities who don’t own cars.

But he said having the provincial or federal government step in with a taxpayer-funded alternative would be “folly.”

READ MORE: B.C. announces new northern bus service to replace Greyhound

“I don’t think throwing more money at a losing propositon is the way to go,” Ranta said.

Instead, he believes a combination of smaller private operators and ride-sharing will likely fill the gap.

Ranta said there are several steps the province could take towards speeding that process up, including axing fuel tax on passenger transportation and opening the door to ride-hailing services.

Sponsored content