With Rail out, bus firms coping with influx of passengers

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The complete shutdown of VIA Rail service in eastern Canada is having an impact locally, particularly on students.

It is reading week for many universities and college students, as many travel to and from London.

London’s VIA Rail Station is quiet as trains are idled. But at the Greyhound Bus station just down the road on York Street the seating area is a beehive of activity. 

Greyhound staff, off camera, stated more busses were being added to accommodate the sudden burst of stranded rail passengers.

In a statement to CTV Toronto the company further confirmed it is seeing a “significant increase” in demand following the ongoing blockades and demonstrations that have halted rail service. 

For Paulo Guerrero, a University of Toronto student returning home to London, the cancelation of his VIA ticket was sudden point of stress.

“If something like that would happen, I thought I would get more notice or some kind of compensation or alternate transportation.”

But in the end Guerrero was able to get a ticket on a Greyhound bound for London without too much hassle.

Still students leaving London for other places, say it hasn’t been so easy.

“There are a lot of students that are going to be stranded in London because of this,” a Western student departing for Toronto told CTV London. Further adding she knows of friends who are struggling to find a way out. 

But another passenger impacted by the VIA shutdown says he accepts the inconvenience given the plight of protesters still occupying the rail lines.

 

“I do support the pipeline protest and all that. Yes, I’d hope my train would go, but I do understand their reasoning,” Londoner Kelvin Neufeld stated as he left for a Valentine’s Day weekend in Toronto.