Greyhound Canada To End Bus Services in Western Provinces!

129 posts / 0 new
Last post
Misfit Misfit's picture

There still is a very major rural population.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Look at a map of rural Saskatchewan. You will see the number of communities.

6079_Smith_W

There are still small towns, but they are smaller, and the population is much older.

And yes, family farms are dying and being replaced by mega farms.

I just went to check the population demographics and was shocked because I assumed the rural/urban population split is 50/50. In fact only 30 percent live in rural areas.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Wow! I figured it was 50-50. Saskatoon is about 250,000, Regina about 210,000. PA and Moose Jaw are 35k each. Estevan, Weyburn, Yorkton, SC, Lloyd Sk are about 10,000 each. NB is 15k. Dinky cities are about 20k total.

aproc 600,000 urban. 400,000 left over.

6079_Smith_W

I was going by the 2011 census. 67 percent urban. I don't think that number has gotten better in the 2016.

Misfit Misfit's picture

I guess you would have to define what urban is then. Some would consider places like Melville, Melfort, Kindersley, etc. As being urban. I would call them rural.

Misfit Misfit's picture

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Sask

"Saskatchewan has 16 cities[1] including Lloydminster, which traverses the provincial border with Alberta, but not including Flin Flon, which traverses the provincial border with Manitoba. Not including Flin Flon, Saskatchewan's cities had a cumulative population of 595,707 and an average population of 37,232 in the 2011 Census.[3][4]Saskatchewan's largest and smallest cities are Saskatoon and Melville with populations of 222,189 and 4,546 respectively.[3]"

 

 

6079_Smith_W

It is Stats Can's definition. Not sure what their criteria are.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Smith and I aren't arguing btw. The point of the matter is that there is a huge percentage of our population that does not have bus access to where they live. Many seniors do not drive. They need to get to medical appointments and visit friends and family and now hey cannot.

i have seen many people in -32 weather hitchhiking on the highways and it is very dangerous.

6079_Smith_W

No, I don't take it as that either.

And there's this:

https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=pedestrian+kill...

6079_Smith_W
Pogo Pogo's picture

My family is from Spalding (between Melfort and Watson).  Growing up I spent my summers there.  Spalding had an ice rink/curling facility, school to grade 12, a hospital and about 4 elevators.  I think all of those are gone.  Between Spalding and Watson (7 miles as is the rule) there was Daphne whose elevator, post office and Bauman's service station (you may remember the 30' tire man) are all now gone. 

I used to to ride the Greyhound and it would stop at all the towns.  Many of those towns don't exist any more.

I totally agree that bus service is a necessity.  I just wonder if it is something we can leave to the private sector to solve.

Pogo Pogo's picture

See the source image

6079_Smith_W

No.

Even when STC existed there was still a corner of the province around the great sand hills that had no bus. And some communites south of Swift that were covered by a small private carrier. So it isn't just an ideological issue.

But some of it cannot be done at a profit. Nor should that be a condition.

(and again, not giving Greyhound a pass based on that, because they bailed on the main routes, after charging top dollar)

progressive17 progressive17's picture

The small towns are unable to sustain their own connections to the outside world. This means they are cannibalizing resources in a desperate attempt to survive. The towns are dying. What Greyhound did was only a pricing signal. Maybe some compassionate altruistic hearts could start focusing on why the towns are dying.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Simple.  My many uncles  farmed a section or so.  Now anything less than 10 sections isn't viable.  No grain elevators except in major hubs.

6079_Smith_W

And no services. Removing bus service isn't just a reaction. It is also removing business and the ability of people to do business. It gets harder in town that means that many more people who will drive to the city and load up at Wal-Mart.

6079_Smith_W

And now that the wheat board is gone you can't even get train cars to those elevators.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

How would this be, for an innovative solution?

1.  The federal and applicable provincial governments share the initial cost of providing to each community of a certain size (or coalition of smaller communities adding up to the same) something like four small buses and three vans suitable for passenger transport.

2.  The governments also provide a one time seed grant of (say) $25K to each community, to fund the startup of a local "transportation co-op".

3.  Provincial governments would also provide a one time seed grant to develop a centralize infrastructure which could include a scheduling app, website(s), etc.

4.  Each community would then decide for itself which routes to service and how often, how much to pay drivers, what fares (if any) to charge, whether the service would be subsidized partly (or fully) from municipal taxes, whether to operate for profit, not-for-profit or cost recovery, and so on.

5.  The governments would provide a subsidy each year based on a per-capita equivalent of their subsidies, if any, to urban public transport in each province.

And there you have it.  If a transportation co-op wants to offer cheaper rides for seniors, they can.  If they want to make medical trips free, they can do that.  If they want to charter parts of their fleet, or rent the vans on a per-day or per-mile basis, no problem.  If two neighbouring co-ops want to merge their fleet or their operations, they could do that.  But each co-op would be expected to cover their fuel, labour, maintenance and insurance costs in order to operate sustainably.

Just a thought.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

How do people get from Toronto to Vancouver to visit relatives?

Misfit Misfit's picture

Smith,

why did you want us to read those damn comments??? I've had my anger trauma for the day.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
How do people get from Toronto to Vancouver to visit relatives?

Planes, trains and automobiles?

6079_Smith_W

I remember trying to get from Manchester to Liverpool the day Margaret Thatcher decentralized all the bus services. We were not aware of the switchover.

Not sure why you see a benefit in balkanizing it like that, but one thing it does do is reduce the likelihood that there is going to be a strong union to ensure safety (and they have played a role in advocacy since the STC shutdown.

http://www.atu1374.com/

There is also the question of maintaining those busses, buying more. Buying parts. For that matter, having a reliable system that covers at least a whole province, not one that stops at the municipal line and leaves someone in the cold in the middle of nowhere (which was where I was left back in the winter of 1987).

(edit)

On the other hand, I think your reasoning might apply to Greyhound. Why should a huge business that has all of the U.S. care about western Canada? So there is something to be said for smaller carriers. Just not as small as you propose. Provincial should do fine.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
but one thing it does do is reduce the likelihood that there is going to be a strong union to ensure safety (and they have played a role in advocacy since the STC shutdown.

Why would it make unionization unlikely?  It's not like all the Teamsters are living in the same city or working for the same employer.

Quote:
There is also the question of maintaining those busses, buying more. Buying parts.

Wouldn't that be financed by either the fares or subsidies or both?  Why would a co-op be unable to maintain their fleet, but a company could or a Crown corporation could?

Quote:
not one that stops at the municipal line and leaves someone in the cold in the middle of nowhere

I certainly wasn't suggesting that such co-ops would only operate within the boundaries of their own municipality.  If the co-ops felt a direct "express" run to Vancouver would be viable, they could go for it.  Why not?

 

 

6079_Smith_W

It just isn't a business model that makes much sense to me, Magoo. Maybe it is because it sound so much like those libertarian proposals that would give families a pocket of cash for healthcare and education, and if they run out, too bad.

Plus there is way too much duplication of service, and it seems really inconvenient for anyone going, say, from Saskatoon to Regina to change busses 10 times.

 

And small locally-run operations without much oversight often do go sideways.

But who knows... some here might love your idea.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Maybe it is because it sound so much like those libertarian proposals that would give families a pocket of cash for healthcare and education, and if they run out, too bad.

Healthcare is, by it's nature, very unpredictable.  You might go 45 years never needing to be in hospital, then suddenly very much need to be in hospital (that's me).

But if it's horrible for the government to (say) give families money for childcare to spend as they need, why would it also be horrible (in a different way) for the government to give "Bureaucrat Approved (tm)" food vouchers, or house social assistance recipients in Government Hotels?

I'm just suggesting that communities and regions might know better than Ottawa what they need, transportation-wise.

Quote:
Plus there is way too much duplication of service, and it seems really inconvenient for anyone going, say, from Saskatoon to Regina to change busses 10 times.

I'm not sure why these proposed co-ops would need to duplicate service.  They would not be prohibited from talking to each other, and strategizing together.  In fact, that's kind of what I was getting at with my suggestion #3.  Of course they would want to co-ordinate their efforts.

As to change-overs, again I'm kind of assuming that these carriers would not solely be doing short "milk runs".

And for the record, I'm not suggesting that this "napkin" idea be the sole solution to all the problems.  I was thinking primarily of the remote or rural communities.  Perhaps the governments could find a similar solution for larger cities.

Quote:
And small locally-run operations without much oversight often do go sideways.

Well, OK.  Sounds like only Ottawa can get things done.

Quote:
But who knows... some here might love your idea.

No worries if not.  It was just a thought.  And IMHO a better business plan than "Ottawa commits to pouring as much money down a hole as needed to keep everyone happy".  But I live in Toronto, so I don't really have a dog in the race.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

If the government is going to intervene, it has to be on the side of producers. If the government can help the producers to get their product to market, the economies of the local towns should build from those revenues. If farmers can't operate profitably on one section, they have to form corporations or co-operatives to consolidate into large enough units in which they can be competitive.

quizzical

so you want to rebuild the wheatboard progressive after Harper gave it to the Saudis?

6079_Smith_W

Mr. Magoo wrote:

"Ottawa commits to pouring as much money down a hole as needed to keep everyone happy". 

Did anyone here propose that?

In the first place I don't think anyone is talking about one federal system (after all, you have viable transit in Central Canada). And if it is a subsidy that produces a viable system, it isn't pouring anything down a hole.

Throwing that money at Greyhound just because they say they need it on the other hand...

 

6079_Smith_W

Plus they did that progressive, 100 years ago:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat_pools_in_Canada

And we already have a thread where we are discussing this, so let's not drift it in here.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Did anyone here propose that?

No.  I just think that's what the government would do, if it fell to them to "do something".

Quote:
And if it is a subsidy that produces a viable system, it isn't pouring anything down a hole.

So we just give money to a privately owned company?

Quote:
Throwing that money at Greyhound just because they say they need it on the other hand...

Oh, of course.  They're leprous pariahs to us now.

We should subsidize/"throw money at" some other company because they say they need it.

 

6079_Smith_W

You know Magoo, despite being in Toronto I think you have the same dog in this race as you do in every other thread - that of fielding repetitive arguments about absolutely everything, even stuff we have already talked about.

We had a viable provincial carrier here in Saskatchewan which provided good service on a modest subsidy. And it was taking steps to deal with declining numbers by buying smaller buses. That isn't throwing money down a hole.

VIAL Rail isn't throwing money down a hole either. Nor are smaller local bus companies which are managing to survive. And B.C. is starting up its own service in the north of the province.

Greyhound actually has a rocky history and poor relations with governments out here. I hope this last stunt is the last we have to deal with them.

Was that not clear? Because repeating this stuff is kind of tiring.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
We had a viable provincial carrier here in Saskatchewan which provided good service on a modest subsidy. And it was taking steps to deal with declining numbers by buying smaller buses.

And it's a shame that you chose a government that would end that.  I didn't have a dog in that race either.

Quote:
VIAL Rail isn't throwing money down a hole either. Nor are smaller local bus companies which are managing to survive. And B.C. is starting up its own service in the north of the province.

That's all good.  Special shout out to those smaller bus companies, who I assume are prospering on their own merits.

Quote:
Was that not clear? Because repeating this stuff is kind of tiring.

I hope you don't feel like you're the ONLY babbler who ever has to repeat something because everyone else didn't agree.  You complain about this a lot, as though all you should have to do is say something and then it's over and done with.  Sometimes I repeat myself to you, too.  But when I do, it's because I'm stubborn, but when I evidently "force" you to, it's also because I'm stubborn.

Misfit Misfit's picture

I think this is really cute...

During the Ontario election campaign, the Liberals promis

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4595490

The Liberal government wanted to subsidize Go Transit rides to $3.00 for people under a plan.

and...

"The province recently announced its committing some $4 billion to transit projects in the city, matching federal infrastructure funding."

 Oh I see,  if it is Toronto receiving federal and provincial subsidies  for public transit that is a good thing, and all the people in rural Canada who pay their income taxes are to subsidize the urban  centres and do without themselves. And when it comes to government subsidies for Toronto it's not an issue but it is for people living in rural Canada who desperately need help.

6079_Smith_W

If there was a clear point of disagreement, or if it seemed like you were even following the conversation that might be the case. Really, it's just flak.

But sure, you're Mr. Stubborn who holds all of us to task.

And cross posted with you Misfit. Of course the problem with STC wasn't that it wasn't viable. It was an ideological shutdown, rolled in with everything else they did in that killer budget. Claim they couldn't afford it to cover up their gross mismanagement.

And GTH.

That is also the reason why they are not releasing the numbers on what they sold everything for.

 

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

But 4 billion dollars matching the Federal Governmentd 4 billion dollars. That's 8 billion dollars. Rural Canada = fuck all!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The Liberal government wanted to subsidize Go Transit rides to $3.00 for people under a plan.

The reason they could do this is because those people could fill a train.  A whole train.

As soon as the travellers in some rural area can fill a whole bus, someone will provide that bus.

If lots and lots and lots of people all want to travel from Nanaimo to Vancouver at 3pm on Wednesday, I would hope that either the federal or provincial government would make that happen too.  They'd be fools not to.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

quizzical wrote:

so you want to rebuild the wheatboard progressive after Harper gave it to the Saudis?

Well if pulling it out must have been a major cause of these rural economic catastrophes, you may very well be right. If we are going to pay to get oil to market, there is no reason why we can't do that for food.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Magoo,

i have been on Go Trains that were not full. 

People in rural Canada need to travel. It is not a luxury for those who live in densely populated areas. Rural people pay taxes. Rural people are helping to subsidize Toronto's 8 billion in government subsidies for your public transit infrastructure.

6079_Smith_W

Also in this province STC was used for the interlibrary loan service, shipping medical tests, and as I mentioned before, retail goods like car parts. By bus it could be there the same day. I could put something on the bus in the morning and have it there at noon. Canada Post takes two days.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Progressive 17 wrote,

"If we are going to pay to get oil to market, there is no reason why we can't do that for food."

that sounds logical but western Canadian grain farmers are the only farmers on the planet who paid for the cost of their own shipping of grsin to international markets.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

We are quite willing to subsidize other areas of the economy as the discussion above notes. Helping farmers with transportation would be similar to behaviour in other countries. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

But it won't happen, Progressive. The media and Toronto whines and snivels about money going western Canada.  

Misfit Misfit's picture

I could send percels to Calgary by bus and it was ready for pick up the very next day and the rate was much cheaper by bus

Misfit Misfit's picture

I'm parroting you, Smith. Sorry about that. 

6079_Smith_W

No worries. I don't see it as a federal problem though, unless they want to improve the train. All of these things - highways, health, municipal affairs - are provincial. Not that some infrastructure funding wouldn't be appreciated, but seems to me like a problem Ottawa would mess up. It really is something better done provincially, as Saskatchewan did, and as B.C. is doing again.

Besides, there is just one road connecting us to the rest of the country, and even that is cut sometimes.

 

Pogo Pogo's picture

The bus system cannot support competition.  So given it has to be a single route it is going to need to be a monopoly. Either the government does it or it needs to control it somewhat like a utility.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Putting Public Ownership Back on the Table

quote:

The crux of the matter, however, goes beyond the Greyhound news. Indeed, this episode shows that, when it comes to essential services, Canadians cannot depend on the private sector to provide them. This issue along with many others has re-ignited the debate around the role of public ownership in a democratic society. A society in which private capital is predominate cannot be just and democratic. The only solution is to assert democratic priorities over the organization of the economy.

Of course, the process of transitioning to a democratic social order is a long-term one, but it must be started now. Indeed, Andrea Horwath and the Ontario NDP made the reversal of privatization and contracting out a key part of their 2018 platform, and various unions, including the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), have launched extensive campaigns noting the value of public services. But more must be done, and from my perspective, the Federal NDP has a real opportunity to emphasize public ownership in the run up to the 2019 federal election.

While this could be tackled from a variety of directions, here are just three which could help working Canadians in their daily lives, and which are in federally-regulated industries.

1. A national public transit strategy

Clearly, Greyhound’s withdrawal from western Canada has sparked a discussion of how a lack of public transit is not merely an inconvenience to those in smaller and isolated communities, but a matter of basic public health and safety, especially as it pertains to marginalized populations, particularly indigenous women, who are at greatest risk of violence when they lack access to safe transit options.

2. Postal banking

There are many shortcomings within Canada’s financial system as it applies to consumer banking. Not only do the big banks rake in exorbitant profits off Canadians in an oligopolistic framework, but many marginalized and isolated communities lack reliable banking services, either because there are no banking outlets in their communities, because internet infrastructure is spotty, or because they face other systemic barriers. Finally, payday loan companies are a scourge, preying on the most vulnerable who, having no other access to reasonably-priced credit, are forced to take loans at rates which are in essence legalized loan-sharking.

3. A pubic telecommunications corporation

Finally, and perhaps most ambitiously, Canada needs a federal crown corporation to offer a wide range of telecommunication services, especially pertaining to broadband internet and cellular phones. While there is ostensibly competition in the Canadian telecommunications scene, the reality is that Canadian consumers pay high rates for these services, often for lower quality, especially when compared to other wealthy nations, but sometimes even developing countries. And while there are some publically-owned telecom companies like SaskTel, most communities are at the whim of private corporations.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The bus system cannot support competition.

Or, evidently, no real competition.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Just imagine the infrastructure needed for competition. Buildings, fleets of buses, staff, partnership arrangements.  Now try and figure out how two competing lines would function.

Pages