Citing dwindling ridership, Greyhound Canada has announced its plans to cancel all of its freight and passenger service in western Canada effective October 31, 2018.

“Today we announced that we were going to exit our operation in western Canada, from Sudbury, Ontario west which includes all of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, except for the Vancouver to Seattle piece of business which the U.S. area operates,” said Stuart Kendrick, senior vice-president with Greyhound Canada, in an interview with CTV Calgary on Monday. “When the ridership declines, we need to make decisions to take routes out, reduce schedules and it’s just to the point now where it’s not sustainable any longer.”

According to Kendrick, the company has experienced a 40 per cent decline in ridership since 2010, a reduction Greyhound Canada attributes to increased competition by subsidized carriers and the continued migration of Canadians from small towns to larger urban centres.

The halting of passenger, courier and freight service, scheduled to occur on October 31, 2018, will result in the termination of hundreds of positions.

“It’s going to impact about 415 people and that’s a combination of drivers and ticket employees and maintenance staff and management staff as well across the country,” said Kendrick. “We’re dealing with severance packages and we’ll be setting up joint planning committee meetings with both the union and non-union staff to work through any questions to make sure that they’re looked after properly.”

Kendrick calls the cancellation of Greyhound Canada’s bus service in western Canada is an unfortunate decision for the company, its staff and its loyal customer base.

“On average, there’s a couple million people in Canada, in western Canada, that use this service that will be impacted,” said Kendrick. “It’s just the routes are not viable and ridership’s at a point where it’s not sustainable long term.”  

On average, Greyhound Canada transports approximately 380,000 passengers in Alberta each year.

With files from CTV’s Jaclyn Brown