Gatineau, Que. mayor calls for direct bus link to Montreal in wake of Greyhound departure

Greyhound Canada's decision to leave the country in May has left Gatineau, Que., without adequate service to Montreal, according to the city's mayor. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Mark Spowart

The mayor of Gatineau says the growing western Quebec city needs a direct bus connection to Montreal after the end of Greyhound service across the country a few months ago left the cities with only a patchwork of transit connections.

Greyhound Canada announced in May it would permanently end service in its remaining routes across Ontario and Quebec, dealing a further blow to intercity travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Greyhound Canada closure will be a ‘disaster’ for rural communities, experts say

Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said in a statement Wednesday that he has written to transportation companies that have indicated interest in establishing replacement routes across Quebec to stress the importance of a direct line from Gatineau to Montreal.

While some available routes from the National Capital Region to Montreal start in Ottawa, Pedneaud-Jobin wrote that the detour through Ontario can add hours to the trip duration for a Gatineau resident.

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Writing in French, he called the lack of adequate transportation options between the two cities “unjustifiable.”

Pedneaud-Jobin said the population of Gatineau is forecast to grow from 350,000 to 399,000 over the next 20 years, giving it one of the province’s highest expected growth rates.

Read more: NCC prefers Ottawa-Gatineau tram to run along Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill

He said that as the western Quebec city continues to grow and attract immigrants and students, access to public transportation will become increasingly important.

Pedneaud-Jobin concluded by saying that direct links between Gatineau and Montreal, as well as Laval, could ultimately be profitable, and would reduce unnecessary travel and reduce dependence on cars while giving his residents the “public transport service they deserve.”

He sent letters to Keolis Canada, which serves the Ottawa-Montreal corridor with stops in Gatineau through its Orléans Express, as well as Autobus Maheux, which also provides intercity service in Quebec.

Click to play video: 'Greyhound leaves Canadian market after almost a century'
Greyhound leaves Canadian market after almost a century

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