Premiers agree Greyhound western pullout needs national response: Notley

Visiting premiers pose for an official photo on the lawn of the Algonquin Resort as the Canadian premiers meet in St. Andrews, N.B., on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Andrew Vaughan/ The Canadian Press

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the premiers have agreed that a decision by Greyhound Canada to discontinue some bus service requires a national response.

She said the bus is a lifeline for Canadians living in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities.

Notley said the premiers agreed this week that it’s a “national issue that requires a national response.”

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

The premiers are calling on the federal government to work with Greyhound to temporarily maintain services in Western Canada so affected communities have time to come up with alternatives.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions following Greyhound’s withdrawal of bus service from western Canada.

The prime minister said he had directed Garneau to work with provinces, communities, and Greyhound to see “what paths forward there are.”

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READ MORE: Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

In a tweet, Notley said “Alberta has a head start with our Rural Transportation Pilot Project.”

The Alberta premier added she’ll ask Alberta’s Transportation Minister Brian Mason to “continue working his provincial and federal counterparts to assess best practices and develop a range of options for Alberta’s communities.”

READ MORE: Greyhound Canada to end routes in Prairies, B.C.

Earlier this month, Greyhound Canada announced it was ending its passenger bus and freight services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and cancelling all but one route in B.C. – a U.S.-run service between Vancouver and Seattle.

The company is blaming a 41 per cent decline in ridership since 2010, persistent competition from subsidized national and inter-regional passenger transportation services, the growth of new low-cost airlines, regulatory constraints, and the continued growth of car ownership.

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