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Thompson left without local transit after Greyhound pulls out

Click to play video: 'Marc Garneau unveils plans for intercity bus transit following Greyhound cancellation' Marc Garneau unveils plans for intercity bus transit following Greyhound cancellation
WATCH: Transport Minister Marc Garneau unveils plans for intercity bus transit following Greyhound cancellation – Oct 31, 2018

Step on, pay, and ride — a simple task bus riders do every day. But for people in Thompson who take public transit, the service won’t be available after today.

The Greyhound Bus company formally cancelled its transit contract with the City of Thompson on July 31.

The plan to offer an alternative company has been put on hold and left bus riders without transportation.

READ MORE: End of the line: Options for Manitoba passengers once Greyhound is gone

Administration put together a transit committee to decide on other options for the city after Greyhound’s contract termination announcement, said city spokesperson Kacper Antoszewski.

The group interviewed potential providers and looked for advice from industry experts.

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“The committee presented their findings to council, and council recommended that a request for proposals be opened,” said Antoszewski.

READ MORE: ‘Shock but not surprised’: Manitobans react to Greyhound Bus shutdown

Once proposals were received, it was determined clarification was needed for each idea, prolonging the review processes further, he said.

But due to the timing with the municipal election, Antoszewski said time ran out for council members.

“With the time remaining, it was determined it would not be responsible to compress the review of the proposals prior to the election.”

With Greyhound ending services on Thursday, and no new transit service in sight for Thompson, Amalgamated Transit Union President, John Di Nino is asking for help.

“We’re calling on the provincial government to restore the 50/50 funding agreement and to work with the City of Thompson to establish a municipal public transit system for workers, families and seniors”, said Di Nino.

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But Antoszewski said that won`t happen for a while, as the new council won’t be sworn in until Nov. 7, forcing the first meeting to take place on Nov. 13.

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

Councillors won’t be able to discuss options or approve an agreement until that date, said Antoszewski.

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