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Greyhound bus cuts opposed by regional district

The Strathcona Regional District is opposing Greyhound Canada’s plans to reduce bus service between Campbell River and Nanaimo.

Craig Anderson, regional district chair, wrote a letter to Greyhound Oct. 22 to voice its concerns.

“This is to advise that the Strathcona Regional District does not support the proposed service level reductions and believes that such reductions would not serve the interests of residents and businesses within the region,” Anderson wrote in his letter.

Greyhound is proposing to reduce service on 15 different routes across the province and has already filed an application with the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board seeking approval of the cuts.

Greyhound currently runs at least two trips each way between Campbell River and Nanaimo per day. The bus company wants to reduce that down to a minimum of one trip each way daily.

And that’s not sitting well with local directors.

“The regional district believes that the current level of service should be maintained,” Anderson wrote.

City councillors voted at a council meeting Oct. 16 to "send a letter of concern" to the BC Transportation Board regarding the reduction of service.

But that likely isn’t sustainable as Greyhound reports it lost $1.4 million on scheduled passenger operations in B.C. last year.

Grant Odsen, regional manager of Greyhound, said the losses could be attributed to increased costs for fuel and maintenance, reduced ridership, and the emergence of alternate transportation methods.

The company hopes to save $6.75 million annually by eliminating 2.2 million operating miles across B.C. If it cannot reach that target, Greyhound says it is prepared to stop service altogether in B.C.

The two routes leaving Campbell River that are expected to be chopped bring in $6.70 per passenger mile and $3.38 respectively.

Greyhound is also planning to eliminate a seasonal ski run between Mount Washington and Victoria, which has seen dwindling ridership over the past few years.

Greyhound has been travelling the route since 2005 but it’s no longer sustainable. Last year Greyhound ran just one bus each way per day. The northbound bus out of Victoria averaged just 2.79 riders, while the bus leaving Mount Washington and headed for Victoria saw an average of 4.55 passengers.

 

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