Four bus companies approved to serve Okanagan as Greyhound leaves
It’s the end of an era for Greyhound in western Canada, as the bus company shuts down its routes across B.C. and the Prairies on Wednesday night.
Only one route into western Canada will continue going forward, running between Vancouver and Seattle.
Outside the Vernon station, many are unhappy with the service’s end.
“I think they should have re-evaluated the whole situation because there are people like me who need Greyhound, people who don’t own vehicles to get from A to B,” said Cathy Williams.
“Even flying doesn’t get you everywhere in B.C.,” added Arne Ebbeson.
“It only goes to certain areas and you still need Greyhound. A lot of people are going to be put out by it, that’s for sure.”
Watch Below: In smaller BC communities there is concern that no one will step in to take Greyhound’s place. Megan Turcato has more on that story from the north Okanagan.
The company, however, said its ridership has dropped more than 40 per cent in Canada since 2010 and it can’t keep operating unsustainable routes.
Meanwhile, applications from new companies to move in and fill the void have been fast-tracked.
So far, four businesses have been approved to provide service to the Okanagan.
In Vernon, the only service will be on the Ebus route between Kelowna and Kamloops. Starting Wednesday, the bus will stop at the clock tower on 32 Ave. and 31 St. in downtown Vernon, but only if tickets have been booked in advance.
“Vernon will be by reservation, so we certainly encourage people to book in advance. If no one is booked to get on or get off, we won’t be stopping there,” said John Stepovy, EBus’s director of business development.
In Kelowna, the Ebus stop is at the Kelowna International Airport.
WATCH: Global Okanagan coverage of Greyhound
It’s also the end of the line for the Greyhound station in Vernon, which is up for sale.
The popular restaurant already inside the station is looking to expand and has put in an offer to buy the building.
“I’m a little bit nervous. I’m just being positive and optimistic that it will all work out. We have our offer in and [we are] just going back and forth with Greyhound and trying to pick a good number,” said Eatology owner Kristina Klein.
The restaurant will continue to operate in its current location until at least the end of December, as it has an ongoing lease in the Greyhound building.
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