Greyhound cuts approved in the Kootenays

Greyhound Canada changes won’t affect Trail freight schedule.

Proposed cuts to Greyhound Canada’s B.C. routes were approved last week.

For Kootenay residents, that means there will be three less opportunities a week to catch a ride.

“The schedule being removed on Highway #3, is the one that runs three days a week in each direction,” said Grant Odsen, regional manager for Greyhound Canada.

There will continue to be one trip each way (between Kelowna and Calgary) each day, seven days a week.

Last Wednesday, the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) approved reductions in services after Greyhound made its case last fall.

Odsen said that the company is currently reviewing implementation dates, but it will be at least 14 days from the date of notification on its website.

The Greyhound depot in Trail hasn’t received official word about when the schedule will change, but it has received many calls from concerned customers.

“People have called with concerns around the freight schedule changing,” said Carol Schwab, an employee at the depot.

“There is a lot of confusion around what the cuts mean,” she said. “There will be no changes to our freight schedule, this decision only affects bus passengers.”

Although, Greyhound buses do not pass through Trail, its passengers are shuttled to Castlegar by the Silver City Stage Lines to make connections on routes from Kelowna to Calgary.

Due to lack of ridership, Greyhound cut the number of trip it makes through the Kootenay corridor, one of 16 route reductions approved by the PTB.

“We aren’t in the habit of eliminating trips that have lots of people on it,” said Odsen to the Trail Times last October.

“But the ridership in that whole (Kootenay) corridor hasn’t been good for quite some time.”

He attributed that a number of factors including cheaper airfares, more people driving and changes in traveling habits.

The bottom line is the simple fact that fewer people are taking the bus on those specific routes, he said.

The PTB is an independent tribunal in British Columbia.

The board’s primary responsibility is to make decisions on applications relating to the licensing of passenger directed vehicles and inter-city buses in British Columbia.

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