Greyhound bus lines discontinued their prairie service Wednesday, and one veteran Winnipeg driver found a unique way to recognize his final ride.
Dale Patkau spent three decades behind the wheel, part of a lifelong love of buses and the open road that began at age five.
Patkau said he’s going to miss the job that took him all over the country, so he wrote a song about it.
“It’s very sad,” Patkau told 680 CJOB on Wednesday, “when you’ve got a company that has been around for 100 years. My dad also drove here for 33-and-a-half years.”
He said the family connection goes even deeper — an uncle, a cousin, and a brother all worked for the company at various points over the years.
“I’d been on the bus since pretty much five years old, when I used to go with my dad on trips.”
Patkau’s song, “My Last Ride” is a tribute to the people he met along the way, and the company he won’t forget, even though it’s pulling out of his home region.
“I just wanted to do something for the employees, something for the company that we could be proud of, and just to show my appreciation for the last 30-plus years that I’d been here.”
When Greyhound announced they’d be leaving Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, a number of other companies immediately announced their intentions to fill the void.
One of those is Maple Bus Lines, which connects Winnipeg to northern Manitoba, and where Patkau says he plans to go after his last Greyhound ride.
WATCH: Last stop – buses pull into Winnipeg on final Greyhound trip