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Vancouver Island residents waiting longer for buses one year after Greyhound pullout

Last Updated Dec 21, 2019 at 9:07 am PDT

The Greyhound logo is seen on one of the company's buses, in Vancouver, on Monday July 9, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Summary

Over a year after Greyhound Canada pulled out of most of Western Canada, another bus company is feeling the effects

Five bus depots on Vancouver Island closed to reduce costs and avoid the alternative of cutting routes and schedules

VICTORIA – Greyhound service cuts in Canada have had a ripple effect for at least one company trying to fill the transportation gap on Vancouver Island.

John Wilson of Wilson Group, which operates much of Vancouver Island’s inter-city bus service, says Greyhound played a key role bringing passengers and freight across the country, but that stopped last year.

It means the company now depends primarily on passengers for revenue and has been forced to close five bus depots.

Wilson says most people book online, although that can create barriers for seniors and people without credit cards, and the company also accepts phone reservations.

Maryanne Titian, a member of the Ahousaht First Nation near Tofino, says the decline in service is wearing on her as she and her husband are both ill and take busses, sometimes for hours, to their appointments.

Since the closure of the depots on Vancouver Island, Titian says customers are often left waiting outside for a ride in wind, rain and snow.

Wilson says the alternative to closing depots is cutting routes and services, which could have worse effects on vulnerable people.