Going without Greyhound: Travellers to end up stranded with loss of connections
The national carrier will cease operations west of Sudbury, Ont., as of Oct. 31
Travelling across Western Canada by bus will get a lot harder as of October 31.
Greyhound Canada will cease operations west of Sudbury, Ont., on Halloween. The company cites a declining number of passengers.
- 2 Canadian bus companies say they want to fill void left by Greyhound
- What bus service will look like in Western Canada without Greyhound
To see first-hand how difficult the trip could be in Northern Ontario, where in some communities, Greyhound Canada is the only public means of transportation, I set out to leave Sudbury, Ont., to make it back home to Thunder Bay, Ont.,
On Greyhound, the journey should take about 15 hours to complete, travelling just over 1,000 km. Without the national carrier, the trip takes over two days, on at least two different companies.
The train is heavily subsidized, with only five passengers, myself included, leaving Sudbury the morning I departed. A few others got on and off along the route at whistle stops or mileage markers, completing camping trips in the bush in Northern Ontario.
The arrival in White River was around 3:15 p.m, about the same time you would arrive by bus. The train, however, is half the price of using the provincial crown corporation Ontario Northland. The provincial bus service stops in White River, and does not serve the western half of Ontario.
Never heard of White River, Ont? You will have to stay there
For any traveller heading west, there is no option but to stay in White River. The community of about 800 people has only two motels, less than 100 rooms total. They fill up quickly, and if you don't have a reservation, there may be no place to stay.
If you plan on travelling on the weekend, there is no service on Sunday for the train or bus west of White River.
A traveller who has mobility issues, if changing modes of transportation, would have a difficult time making the seven block walk from the White River Train Station to the gas stations along the highway, where buses pick up passengers. There is no taxi service in the community or public transportation.
Heading west, a traveller has no option other than to spend 16 hours in the community. Those heading east must wait overnight as well, as the only eastbound Ontario Northland bus leaves early in the morning.
On Wednesday, CBC will have interviews with Angelo Bazzoni, the Mayor of White River, who also owns one of the two motels and service station, talking about the impact the loss of the service has on his community, not only for passengers, but those who send cargo on the bus. We will also speak with Jim and Rollie Walsh who own the A&W Restaurant, which services the bus passengers as they travel through White River.