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Locked: Greyhound surrenders in Canada

Status: 14.05.2021 1:20 pm

The Greyhound traditional bus company has ceased operating in Canada with immediate effect. Individual long-range communications have yet to be provided to the United States – once the border is passable again.

After more than 90 years, the Greyhound Conventional Bus Company is abandoning its route network in Canada. The company announced that its operations had ceased at midnight local time, with immediate effect. According to Greyhound, tickets that have already been released must be compensated. According to the union, 400 drivers lost their jobs.

Passenger numbers collapsed

The company, which belongs to the British transport group FirstGroup, cited economic development as the reason for the decision. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, passenger numbers fell 95 per cent before communications were completely shut down in May 2020. “Unfortunately, an entire year without income made it impossible to continue doing business,” said Stuart Kendrick, president of Greyhound Canada.

The company has also struggled with competition from low-cost airlines, public transport companies, and deregulation – Greyhound no longer offers more and more routes exclusively.

Must remain long distance routes to the USA

Greyhound Canada had already abandoned the road network in the Western Canada region (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) in 2018 and has only maintained connections in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec since then. Now these methods will also be phased out forever.

Greyhound just wants to continue offering cross-border routes between the major cities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver and destinations in the USA. These have to be paid again once the borders are opened.

The government now wants to study alternatives

Canadian Transport Minister Omar Al-Ghubra expressed his “disappointment” after the decision was announced. Many people in the country depend on greyhounds – the government will now “study options to bridge this gap”.

Union leader John Costa described the withdrawal as “devastating news.” He said the Greyhound Bus has been the only way to connect people in small towns across Canada with major cities for generations. “The elderly will no longer be able to visit their families, students will not come to school, and many more will be left without transportation.”

According to the company, Greyhound Canada’s decision does not affect Greyhound’s USA offering.