Greyhound looking to cut down on service in Kelowna
Citing ongoing and unsustainable passenger operating losses, Greyhound wants to reduce the minimum number of times it has to service some routes across the province, including ones through Kelowna.
In an application to the Passenger Transportation Board, the bus company is asking for routes between Kelowna and Penticton, Kelowna and Kamloops, and Kelowna and Vancouver to go from a minimum frequency of 28 trips weekly, each way, to just 2 each way.
A number of route stops between Kamloops and Kelowna would also be eliminated, including Monte Lake, Westwold, Falkland and Oyama.
It's also asking for the Kelowna - Alberta Border route to go from a weekly minimum of 7 to 2.
Greyhound says it's making the request to have the flexibility to respond to market, seasonable, and socio-economic changes and that it will maintain its current schedule on those routes “initially and adjust as required going forward.”
The application is also asking for the route between Vancouver and Osoyoos to be rerouted through Penticton and Kelowna, removing stops in Princeton, Hedley and Keremeos, among others. This route would also see a weekly minimum frequency of 2 each way.
The complete elimination of some routes affecting Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and Northern B.C. is also being requested.
Greyhound says its operating deficit in the year ending in March 2017 was almost $13 million.
“It is imperative to understand that the scale of these losses renders the preservation of the current level of service impossible,” says a part of Greyhound’s application “To survive as a private company and to remain financially viable and competitive in the market Greyhound has no choice but to operate only when there is a real and sufficient public need.”
According to the application, Greyhound ridership in B.C. has gone from 1,216,332 in 2013 to 900,633 in 2016.
The Passenger Transportation Board is accepting public comments on the application until October 13, 2017. Greyhound wants the changes to be implemented for January 8, 2018.
Full list of proposed changes (Greyhound)