Nostalgia was fleeting on Facebook after Citizen readers learned Greyhound Canada is ending its passenger bus and freight services in western Canada.
“Travelled Greyhound for years…haven’t used a bus now in over 20 years…sad to see it go…lots of good memories travelling here and there…good old Greyhound…,” wrote Donna Mae Hudson.
“It is a sad day for a once proud company,” added Jacquie DeSchutter. Her husband drove a Greyhound bus for more than 20 years, leaving when the company was sold.
Reader responses quickly turned to Greyhound shooting itself in the foot, so to speak.
“Greyhound went down years ago when a new company bought it,” wrote Carol Young Bagshaw. “They sent all the garbage buses out here to the west coast. Horrible service on the northern routes. Once the American Corp. took over, the company started failing,” she added.
While Sarah McCool noted, “Their ridership wouldn’t have plummeted if they’d stop gouging and lower their rates to something more reasonable.”
Andrew S Baslor defended the company saying, “It’s not gouging. They have to raise the rates. Do you know what the operating cost is an hour on a commercial vehicle, fuel prices and insurance and running rights to up the fare has to go up. Just like in the Trucking industry, freight rates have to go up to compensate. Everyone wants a higher wage. Along with that comes hirer (sic) expenses.”
Nevertheless, “When it costs more to ride the bus than fly, you know there are serious issues within the company,” wrote Catherine Petronella Wood.
Many readers, however, wondered what happens next.
“Awesome,” wrote Constance Em. “Let’s handicap the non driving population further. No train, no bus, let’s hope nothing bad happens when hitchhiking.”
Lorelei A James hopes local transit buses will travel farther.
“More bus times for Chemainus/Ladysmith area. And hopefully get bus to Nanaimo now,” she wrote.
“Oh my goodness, that will be hard for lots of people, we pay plenty of taxes, that should not happen, here should those politicians step in people voted for and stop that,” Jenny Burghardt noted.
B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said she hopes other private coach services will pick up the routes.
Justin J. McNutt believes it’s a “good example of why Vancouver Island needs a railroad!”
Not really, argued Lori Acheson Hamilton.
“If Greyhound can’t make a go of it, how on earth do you imagine a railroad would do it?” she asked.