The Cariboo Regional District will add its voice to growing opposition to Greyhound’s proposal to reduce service levels in the Cariboo Chilcotin region.
Area B director Heloise Dixon-Warren said she ships regularly with Greyhound. When she’s arranging shipping she talks to Greyhound Canada, but when it’s time to pay the bills she has to talk to somebody in Texas.
“My experience with Greyhound is that I don’t think they understand what rural transportation networks actually are,” Dixon Warren said, adding it’s important to oppose reduction in service.
Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom said her main concern is available transportation for university students travelling back and forth because as a region, the bus is the only mode of public transportation.
“Let’s try not to lose it. We should support it and speak up so we won’t lose it,” she said.
The proposed cutback from three to two buses is perhaps because Greyhound doesn’t have the ridership, suggested Area F director Joan Sorley.
“I don’t want to say we need the service if we really don’t need it, and maybe two times a day is plenty,” Sorley said.
100 Mile House mayor Mitch Campsall said if Greyhound was getting the ridership it wouldn’t be cutting the service.
“Obviously they’re not making money on this run. In our area if having two buses a day going both ways isn’t enough, then knowing Greyhound, they will put another one on or transport people by taxi to the next destination,” Campsall said.
“They do a good job, I’ve had lots of service, and if they aren’t making money how can you force a corporation to do something to lose money?”
Sjostrom agreed the CRD can’t tell Greyhound to lose money, but said the board can object to the depletion of service.
“That’s what we’re doing. If we don’t say anything then I don’t think we’re doing the job of local government leaders if we don’t try and protect the services of people that will be affected,” she said.
Area H director Margo Wagner added there is no other regional public transport.
“There are no trains in a lot of the areas. Even for backpackers, this is one of the only ways of getting up here,” Wagner said, adding that First Nations use the Greyhound frequently and for many it’s the only means of transportation.