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October 27, 2017 3:28 pm

Mayor Looks for Support for Late Resolution to Be Put Before Council

Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C> – With the Union of BC Municipalities annual convention just  a week away,  Prince  George Mayor Lyn Hall  is  calling on his Council colleagues to  support a late resolution to be presented at the convention.

The issue is  Greyhound’s recent  move to  cancel   service on some of its routes  throughout the north.  The company had stated it needs to reduce service in the wake of subsidized transportation  that is now being provided   through the special BC Transit  service  introduced along the Highway 16 corridor  and the service provided by Northern Health.

The  routes in question are:

  • Prince George to  Prince Rupert,
  • Prince George to Valemount,
  • Prince George to Dawson Creek.
  • Dawson Creek to Whitehorse  and
  • Victoria to Nanaimo.

The resolution  says the  BC Transit  route  along  Highway 16  between Prince George and Prince Rupert  is ” designed to dovetail rather than compete with existing commercial inter-city bus transportation services”.

The resolution calls for the Passenger Transportation Board to decline Greyhound’s  application  and ensure that  ” BC’s transportation network remains fully connected, to achieve our province’s collective public safety, economic, social, and environmental goals”.

It also calls for the Province to “review and strengthen transportation infrastructure and networks across the province, enabling British Columbians to support community resilience, diversity and competitiveness; spark and sustain economic growth; and seize opportunities.”




My guess is that if you look at the numbers of people who use the Greyhound along Highway 16 you would see that the numbers are down. This is attributable to a number of factors such as the health service bus, BC Transits added service, a decrease in the population of most of the towns and cities along Highway 16. Last but not least more people are driving.

So I suspect that if Greyhound were to receive a substantial subsidy they would continue this service, otherwise they want out.

This problem is more than just Greyhounds bus service. It is indicative of what is happening in the Northern Interior, where we have more centrally located services (Prince George) and a huge decline in business, jobs, and services in the other areas.

There does not seem to be a solution to this problem and in fact it will get worse.

Perhaps at the same time we could get Pine Valley Golf to dovetail rather than compete with commercial inter-city golf services.

    You lost me on that one Joe Blow. Pine Valley is a stand alone business that leases property from the City. The lease payments are based on revenue generated much the same as the Cougers hockey franchise.

    The reason we have a contractor lease arrangement with Pine Valley is because the City received this property from the Federal Government many years ago with the proviso that it be used for recreational purposes in perpetuity. The golf course itself was built by private business over the years. Firstly a nine hole course and then an eighteen hole course.

All businesses loosing money you are now on notice from the mayor, losing money is not an excuse to shut down especially if politics is your competitor.

Greyhounds original license to operate a bus service in BC probably required them to service all of the Province. This is generally how bus, and intl package services licenses are issued. If that’s the case, then what we have here is Greyhound looking to get out of those parts of its licensed area that loses money.

This would explain why they need to go before the Passenger Transportation Board to get the ok to shut down part of their service.

This is rich, politicians trying to save face over ill concieved plans that forced a private business to curtail service as a direct result of their actions. Instead of competing with Greyhound, they should have worked with them to provide subsidized bus fairs for those who couldn’t afford the tickets. Anyone with an ounce of forethought should have seen this coming.

Now I understand how the city is run, just amazing. Oh well accountability at the next election, not saying there would be an improvment.

Greyhound is also wanting to shut down routes in the Okanagon, I wounder if they want to shut down routes in other regions. Every time I took the bus it was full, then they started putting old buses on some of the routes. So the price was going up but the buses were getting worse for maintance. The local Greyhound manager said that he could not get the newer buses as they just used them on the Vancouver runs.

Wow, amazing that Greyhound lasted this long. Sorry, but business can not compete against unaccountable cost accounting subsidized by public sector.

How do you really tell Greyhound that they must continue to loose money competing against the public funded transportation. “Dovetail” is a very convenient word play by pencil pusher. reality is unless your going to give Greyhound money to keep the routes open, they will shut it down.

Not so funny now is it. It would have been cheaper to provide the people in need a subsidy for the greyhound bus ride.

Why is that people no longer accept the responsibility for their own safety when they travel.

Big government stepped in to make travel safer and now you see the result

    Holy Crap Retired 02!

    I think that you just stated something that I agree with, haha!


    Look at that yet another traffic accident in abbotsford. They should learn how to drive down there.

I’d be interested to know what the ridership numbers are for Greyhound, for the Northern Health bus and for the new Highway of Tears buses.

Are the three combined enough for Greyhound to be profitable on the northern routes, or is ridership in total no longer sufficient to sustain one provider, let alone three with two of them being taxpayer subsidized.

Basically we now have three bus lines, all operating their own buses with their own drivers, and all are likely operating at far, far, far below capacity!

It would have been far better to provide subsidized Greyhound tickets to those that couldn’t afford them than it is to buy and pay to operate the Northern Health and the Highway of Tears buses.

    I know an individual that has grandchildren, owns a large house as well as a relatively new European built SUV, yet will hitchhike 800 km instead of drive, fly, or take a bus. The individual also does not have a cell phone or access to the internet at home, but uses computers at the library.

    Nothing marginalized about or “messed up” about this person. Just a different outlook on life from those who consider themselves to be normal rather than eccentric.

I had a quick look on BC Transit site to see if there were any numbers to indicate what the ridership was – could not find much as it is probably too early for them to get a read on what the numbers will be going forward.

Found an article with some interesting details. A few highlights for those that do not click on links;

-Greyhound “Ridership on that is sometimes less than 10, and now to compete with a five dollar fare, that’s just not a market we can manage,” he said.”

-“Since 2010, ridership on these five routes has dropped by 51 per cent. Greyhound’s ridership province-wide has dropped by 46 per cent in the same period.”

-“Subsidized transit was a joint initiative between all three levels of government, First Nations and BC Transit to increase safety by helping people avoid hitchhiking, and connect people to services along the Highway 16 corridor — however Prince Rupert opted out of the transit plan in December. The first route started in January, connecting Moricetown and Smithers.”

I believe Prince George contributes $50,000 a year.

-“Prince Rupert chose to support the North Coast Transition Society’s existing service that provides rides for women and children in need. But Greyhound provides an affordable option for men and those needing access to Terrace or Prince George.”

I did not realize that PR had pulled out of the BC transit plan so now it will just be a Smithers- PG route with feeders from Terrance and Kitimat.


    The service is also not a daily service.

    Quite frankly, I do not know how this is going to have a major impact on the frequency of hitchhiking.

    Notice that the want to stop the Victoria to Nanaimo run as well.

    They are not planning to stop the PG to Vancouver run …… yet.

    So what is happening to the railway? That used to be the transportation from Penny and others on the way into PG.

    Things change …. we live in the boonies.

    Vancouver has rent-a-bike and rent-a-car.

    With today’s electronic communications, where are the “need a ride to Kitimat” requests? Where are the small business entrepreneurs.

    “Uber Rides Inc.”

      ht tp://www.proximityissues.ca/reference/maps

      Your question about rail transportation is a good one! The above is a pdf file showing a map of rail lines in Canada, also of B.C. where CN has lines from Prince George in all four directions. It has access to virtually to train stations of all communities.

      Diesel electric rail buses can transport passengers safely at all times of the year! They are economical to run and used in many countries since they are much smaller than a regular passenger train.

      All it takes is a ride by taxi to and from a railway station.

      Kitimat, Terrace and Rupert can be accessed, as can all the communities from here to Vancouver and in between, Jasper and all the communities in between to the North.

      Via rail rates

      Prince George-Burns Lake $31.50

      Prince George -Smithers $48.30

      PG – PR $79.80

      Once again what effect,if any, will the 5 and 10 dollar BC Transit fares have on Via ridership numbers. If Greyhound and Via lose out to the heavily subsidized BC Transit service it will only be a matter of time before we hear the cries for transit to offer daily service.

      BC rail used to offer service between here and Vancouver on small Budd cars – a 12 hour journey that we took once(and only once) just to say we did it. I imagine they could put a modern equivalent on the PG-PR run but it still comes down to if the ridership will pay the bills. I have my doubts it would succeed.

      BTW Does Northern Health charge anything for their service?

Had a boo at the council’s agenda and find it a bit ironic that at the same meeting they ask for a draft resolution to deny Greyhound from stopping the money bleeding routes and minutes later sign an agreement giving a $250,000 subsidy over 5 years,from the public purse, to a direct competitor of Greyhound.

    Interestingly, both come from the “left” hand.

    So it is not that the left hand does not know what the right is doing. ;-)

    Remember, planning is not the forté of the City.

Standard fare for a Greyhound trip from Prince George to Burns Lake is $52.50 and the BC Transit rate for the same route is $5.00 which would imply a subsidy of $47.50 per passenger.

For Prince George to Smithers the Greyhound rate is $77.90 and transit would charge $10.00 for a subsidy of $72.90.

Little wonder that Greyhound wants to bail.

The real loser in all of this appears to the Smithers to Prince Rupert leg as there is potential that they lose Greyhound and will not have BC Transit service either.


    When will you have an accident or get caught in a cross fire, birdie.

      I’ll be fine as long as I take the Lougheed highway when going to Vancouver to avoid abbotsford with all it’s gangs,guns, dope and traffic accidents.


If Greyhound wants the cream routes ( full buses ) they need to take the crap routes . That was the deal they made . It’s like any business , good times and bad .

Get over it and figure out how to get more people on your buses . Maybe drop the rates and chase quantity instead of trying to make a million on each customer .

just my opinion.

    “It’s like any business, good times and bad”

    A contract is only a contract when there is “agreement”.

    The “agreement” only works as long as the conditions do not change substantially, otherwise there was never a real agreement in the first place.

    A contract may be breached. A court may have to decide in cases such as this. Typically they will decide on the basis of “equity”.

    Once the financials are shown and Greyhound can show a court that it cannot continue to operate as per agreement, the court will likely side with them.

    Why? Because of the following common principles:

    1. The conditions of the contract are so fundamentally wrong when seen against changes over time, that there was no “meeting of the minds” about potential future conditions;

    2. An unconscionable advantage has been gained by one party;

    3. There was no gross negligence; and

    4. The parties can be placed back in their previous positions

      The other way to look at this is that in order to continue to operate at a loss in some routes, fares will have to increase in the more “lucrative” routes.

      That will have the effect of those travelling on busy routes will be subsidizing those in sparsely supported routes.

      Such a subsidy could mean loss of business on those routes if fares are not competitive with alternate transportation providers.

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