Greyhound Canada threatens to axe routes in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario

Greyhound, long the mass transit lifeline for rural Canada, says it will start winding up operations beginning with Manitoba and parts of Ontario if it doesn’t get a regulatory break.

BURLINGTON, Ont. — Greyhound, long the mass transit lifeline for rural Canada, says it will start winding up operations beginning with Manitoba and parts of Ontario if it doesn’t get a regulatory break.

“We have repeatedly asked the federal and provincial governments to change the existing legislative and regulatory regimes that govern inter-city bus operations,” Stu Kendrick, senior vice-president of Greyhound Canada, said in a news release Thursday.

“Our financial situation is dire and we are no longer in a position to absorb losses that are almost solely attributable to government policies.”

Greyhound said it will stop service in 30 days in Manitoba in order to honour tickets already sold. It plans to shut down operations in northwestern Ontario by Dec. 2 and re-examine routes in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Kendrick said the bus line will work with federal and provincial authorities in the next few weeks to keep some routes going, but added the status quo won’t stand.

“Despite numerous attempts over the years to adjust this business model in order to gain a profitable footing, Greyhound Canada has now run out of options.”

Responsibility for inter-city bus transportation is shared between the federal and provincial governments. Ottawa has overall authority but delegates regulatory power to the provinces.

Kendrick said current rules are forcing Greyhound to run trips to unprofitable sites in small-town Canada, which can no longer be supported through money-making routes, bus parcel operations and through other money sources.

The company, whose U.S. parent is based in Texas, is the largest provider of inter-city bus transportation in Canada, serving 700 communities with 1,000 daily departures.

It also operates in Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.