Possible end of Greyhound bus service to Yukon a 'shock'
Greyhound says it's not making enough money in northern B.C. and Yukon to justify continued operations
Some Yukoners are wondering, and worrying, what the consequences of shutting down Greyhound bus services will be.
The company has applied to the British Columbia Transport Board to end all service north of Prince George, B.C., which would include shutting down the Dawson Creek, B.C., to Whitehorse route.
The service would end sometime next year.
The company says it's losing money because few people ride the bus on those routes.
The bus makes three arrivals and three departures from Whitehorse each week. It's often used by Yukoners travelling between communities on the south Alaska Highway.
"I was in shock," said Cam Lockwood, the chief administrative officer for the town of Watson Lake, in response to Greyhound's decision.
"One of my staff members had to go to Whitehorse for a medical appointment. They went up on the bus last night and were supposed to come back on the bus Friday night, coming home," he said.
"A lot of people who are living on social assistance and stuff don't have a vehicle and don't have access to a vehicle," said Lockwood.
"It would definitely put its toll on them as well," he said.
Lockwood said if Greyhound service ends in the territory, a new transport option should be put in place.
Teslin resident Joe Smith said a cousin frequently travels between Upper Liard and Teslin on the bus.
He likes to hitchhike in the summer, but takes the bus for highway trips in the winter when temperatures get dangerously low.
Rick Karp, the president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, is also surprised.
"I always thought it was an essential service," said Karp.
Karp wants the Yukon and B.C. governments to lobby the company to continue its service, offering a subsidy if necessary.
Much of the territory, however, has not had regular commercial bus service in years.
It's limited to summertime service only on the north Alaska Highway and the north Klondike Highway between Whitehorse and Dawson City.
The Department of Highways and Public Works said in an email that Minister Richard Mostyn will be talking to Greyhound officials next week to discuss their rationale for ending service.
With files from Meagan Dueling