Given that Greyhound had already suspended operations for about a year because of the pandemic, its announcement on Thursday that it was permanently ending all of its remaining bus service in Canada was almost symbolic.
money being spent in Toronto on the subway. And yet when it comes to rural people, well, they’re just chopped liver. There is no subsidy for transportation.”
In parts of the country where Greyhound operated, its service was usually the most affordable form of travel. And for many rural communities it was frequently the only alternative to owning a car or finding a ride in one.
A 2012 inquiry into dozens of women who went missing on the Highway of Tears in British Columbia found that a lack of reliable public transportation led many of them into danger through hitchhiking. (A subsidized service was restored several years later.)
Professor Prentice added that buses didn’t just provide low-cost travel for people, their quick and economical parcel delivery service offered same-day shipping between many places and gave rural communities not served by courier companies a quick and reliable method to receive time-sensitive shipments such as parts for farm equipment.
The medical system was also a major user of bus parcel express. When shipping packages to family members at Christmas, I often managed to always show up at Ottawa’s bus terminal just after someone had dropped off a cooler covered in stickers indicating that it contained human eyeballs destined for corneal transplants.
government-owned Saskatchewan Transportation Corporation, saying that it could no longer afford its subsidies.
The provinces are now the only authority over bus lines, and some of them have completely deregulated their industries.
The result is an increasingly fragmented system in which Greyhound and others have been replaced by newcomers using smaller buses and nonunion drivers to find profits, although not always successfully. In some cases the newcomers have improved service, but many routes have gone unfilled.
Above all, it’s no longer possible to book a single ticket and enjoy, or perhaps endure, a bus ride across most of the country.