British Columbia

Passenger Transportation Board holding public hearings before deciding if Greyhound can leave northern B.C.

Before deciding whether Greyhound can leave northern B.C., the Passenger Transportation Board is travelling the region to hear directly from those affected.

Hearings coming to Prince George, Terrace, Smithers and Fort St. John

Greyhound Canada has filed an application to cease all service in northern B.C. as well as its routes between Victoria and Nanaimo. (Andrew Kurjata/CBC)

Before deciding whether Greyhound Canada can leave northern B.C., the Passenger Transportation Board is travelling the region to hear directly from those affected.

In August the company filed an application to end all of its bus runs in northern British Columbia, including the stretch of road between Prince George and Prince Rupert known as the Highway of Tears because of the number of women along the route who've either gone missing or have been murdered.

Greyhound wants to scrap passengers routes from Prince Rupert to Prince George, Prince George to Valemount, Prince George to Dawson Creek and Dawson Creek to Whitehorse, citing new competition and fewer passengers. (OpenStreetMap Contributors, CartoDB)

Greyhound also applied to end its run from Victoria to Nanaimo, Victoria to Vancouver, and from the University Endowment Lands in Vancouver to Whistler.

The news prompted widespread backlash from both Greyhound users and political leaders in northern B.C., many of whom cited the lack of alternatives for getting from community to community in the region without a private vehicle.

According to the Passenger Transportation Board, which is in charge of licensing taxi services, shuttle vans and inter-city buses in B.C., more than 1,700 form emails about the proposed elimination of Greyhound bus service along Highway 16 have been received. Additionally, over 100 written comments about the proposed elimination of Greyhound from northern B.C. were received, as well.

A new bus service is connecting communities along B.C.'s Highway 16, a route commonly known as 'The Highway of Tears'. Greyhound argues the service amounts to subsidized competition, although community leaders have pointed out the service is not suitable for longer trips and doesn't reach many of the communities Greyhound wishes to stop serving. (Briar Stewart/CBC)

In order to gather more information from those affected, the board is holding public meetings in Prince George, Terrace, Smithers and Fort St. John from Dec. 11 to 14.

Board chair Catharine Read said that in addition to hearing from the public, Greyhound will present its business model with other factors that have led it to want to leave the region.

Greyhound has argued that the rise of ride-sharing and ride-hailing services, in addition to the creation of public transit runs between some northern B.C. communities, has made it impossible to continue operating in the region.

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