Manitoba

Deal struck to maintain Greyhound service in Man.

Manitoba has reached a short-term deal with Greyhound Canada to maintain service in the province.

Manitoba has reached a short-term deal with Greyhound Canada to maintain service in the province.

Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton announced Friday that the province would invest $3.12 million for a one-year service maintenance agreement with the company.

In the meantime, the two sides will continue to strive to reach a long-term solution, he said.

"We are pleased that we have been able to enter into this agreement that will ensure there isn't a shutdown of Greyhound inter-city bus service in Manitoba as we move forward," said Ashton.

"Like Manitobans in rural and northern communities, the Government of Manitoba depends on bus service for a number of reasons, particularly for northern patient transportation, and we are committed to making sure access to this important, affordable means of transportation and essential government services continue without disruption."

Last fall, Greyhound announced it would shut down routes in Northern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan if it did not receive $15 million annually in financial assistance.

The decision was postponed when a federal-provincial working group was formed to examine the future of the bus industry in Canada.

Ashton said public consultations would be held as the province works to develop options for the bus network.

Starting this spring, meetings will be held with key stakeholders in at least five rural and northern Manitoba communities.

"We understand there are challenges related to the sustainability of the current bus system. We encourage Manitobans to become a part of the solution, we want to hear from them," said Ashton.

"We also know this is a national issue facing many jurisdictions across the country and we all need to work together."