Kootenay politicians slam Greyhound route cuts

MP Wayne Stetski, MLA Tom Shypitka say service cuts will hurt rural connectivity

The bus service cuts by Greyhound is troubling news for rural communities that rely on it as a transportation option, according to local politicians at the provincial and federal level.

MP Wayne Stetski said he was shocked by the announcement that Greyhound will no longer be running passenger routes across Western Canada.

“We have over 50 communities in our riding of Kootenay-Columbia, and it’s common for people to need to travel between communities for school, for work, or for family and other needs,” wrote Stetski, on his MP Facebook page. “Not everyone can afford a car, nor should they. Canadians are dependent on affordable transit alternatives like commercial bus lines.

“It is unacceptable that the bus will no longer be an option for our citizens. I am writing the Minister of Transportation to determine what we can do to ensure that affordable transportation continues to exist, here and across Canada.”

Greyhound announced the cancellation of routes across Western Canada on Monday, citing a 41 percent decrease in ridership since 2010, increased competition from subsidized transportation services, new low cost carriers and increased car travel.

While routes are discontinued in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Greyhound operations were tweaked and will continue in Ontario and Quebec.

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka said the cuts will hit seniors, students and families the hardest, while accusing the provincial NDP government of inaction after service cuts to northern B.C. were announced earlier in February.

“When Greyhound planned to reduce northern service, the BC NDP took no concrete action for months. Now, we see the entire province will lose bus service,” said Shypitka, in a statement. “We have seen business’s operational costs rise and are projected to rise further since the NDP have come in to power. The Employer Health Tax, the rise in minimum wages (which bumps up the scale of all other wages), and the dramatic jump in gas prices are some of the additional burdens to a declining market. Government should be there to assist and not hamper business.

“The BC NDP can’t simply throw up their hands and blame others – especially as added costs, particularly to a transportation company, are a result of decisions they make.”

Shypitka added that it’s the responsibility of the NDP to provide a safe and reliable transportation system for people across the province.

Claire Trevena, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said Greyhound’s service cuts is ‘hugely problematic’ and said the company never gave notice to the provincial government.

This move will leave people with limited options to get around, and this will likely impact the most vulnerable,” said Trevena.

“It’s unfortunate that Greyhound did not communicate their plans sooner. At no point did Greyhound reach out to me, or my staff, to have a conversation on solutions to keep people connected — something I would have expected, given their long history in this province.”

Trevena said she will be consulting with other service providers and local governments in the future to look at transportation options and rural connectivity.

“In the meantime, I hope that other local, private operators will see an opportunity to bring a badly needed service to the parts of the province most affected by Greyhound’s decision,” she said.

Just Posted

Rockets unable to cinch win

The Golden Rockets took on the Kimberley Dynamiters on December 14. In… Continue reading

Your weekly news recap

The Golden Star’s weekly 60-second news recap… Continue reading

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

Rolling with the Rockets: Steven Bigam

Steven Bigam is a rookie player for the Golden Rockets who is… Continue reading

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

UBC study could spare cancer patients from side effects of radiation

Her research has drawn a connection of Chromosome 6 genes to pulmonary fibrosis susceptibility.

‘Laverne & Shirley’ star, ‘Big’ director Penny Marshall dies

Marshall died of complications from diabetes on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, at her Hollywood Hills home. She was 75.

B.C. Court of Appeal to rule in terror case that centres on RCMP conduct

B.C.’s appeal court is scheduled to release a decision today on a couple whose guilty verdict over plotting to blow up the provincial legislature was thrown out by a lower court judge.

Trump backs off on demand for $5 billion to build a border wall

Congress and President Donald Trump continue to bicker over his demand that lawmakers fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Canadian detained in China, not clear if related to two other detentions

Reports suggest the person is not a diplomat or entrepreneur doing business in China.

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

Trudeau is drawing much the same battle lines that propelled the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in 2015

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla, Highway 3

Make sure to equip winter tires if travelling

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

Most Read