British Columbia

Greyhound service cuts anger northern B.C. mayor

Planned cuts to Greyhound bus service in B.C. have some in the province's smaller communities fuming.

Planned cuts to Greyhound bus service in B.C. have some in the province's smaller communities fuming.

Greyhound Canada has applied to the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board to reduce its service throughout the province because of a decline in demand.

On some routes, service will be cut by as much as 50 per cent.

For the small northern B.C. community of Mackenzie, that means just one bus a day arriving and departing. Many residents aren't pleased with the proposed changes, the community's mayor said.

"They're not happy. They feel it's unfair and… my issue is, if they cut the service back, will we be able to get it back once this town gets back on its feet and starts to grow?" Stephanie Killam said.

She said Mackenzie, a town devastated by the downturn in the forest industry, has already been hit hard enough.

"Maybe people don't realize that some of our people are working elsewhere and they can't afford to fly, so they may take the bus to where they work," Killam said.

However, a spokesperson for Greyhound Canada said service cuts are the only option right now.

"If we don't have the ridership to warrant us making a stop, it just doesn't make sense for our business or our customers," Abby Wambaugh said.

Greyhound Canada is also looking at cuts to its service from Prince George to Dawson Creek, and the chair of the Peace River Regional District said she understands Greyhound's decision.

"[We] just have accepted it as part of Greyhound's need to try and make the bottom line work for them as well. It's a tough economic time for us all," Karen Goodings said.

But Killam said she's not ready to accept that yet.

"The corporate giants need to kind of recognize that perhaps, maybe, the bottom line isn't always what they need to look at."

The public has until March 17 to submit comments to the Passenger Transportation Board.