After almost 100 years of operation in the country, Greyhound Canada announced on Thursday that it was ceasing all passenger routes immediately. The news comes after a nightmare year for the travel sector, and a few years after Greyhound pulled out of Western Canada entirely. Here’s a little more info.
It’s been a tough ride for Greyhound, which was seeing declining ridership even before the pandemic hit. In fact, they cited emerging subsidized competition as one of the main reasons they pulled out of western Canada- think names like VIA Rail and TransLink.
Please read my statement on Greyhound: pic.twitter.com/pF6KuW8QAa
— Omar Alghabra (@OmarAlghabra) May 13, 2021
So for the past however many months, Greyhound has only maintained routes in Ontario and Quebec. But, customers for those routes dropped by 95% over the past year. With little financial help, Greyhound outright said that they cannot continue to operate in Canada, end of discussion.
But the decision highlights some interesting issues, in our opinion. On the one hand, Greyhound offered an affordable method of intercity transport, and supported jobs for hundreds of Canadians. On the other hand, they’re a subsidiary of a for-profit company in America, so that kind of muddies the waters when it comes to special treatment for bailouts.
In fact, Canada’s Minister of Transport has already said he’s looking into new routes for provincial partners. The gears of government turn slowly though, so we’re not expecting any major news for the next little while.