Greyhound Canada to shut down temporarily all bus routes as ridership plunges

TORONTO - Greyhound Canada is temporarily slamming the brakes on all of its bus routes and services as ridership plummets amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting May 13, the transportation company will halt all routes until passenger demand recovers.

The bus operator says ridership has dropped by 95 per cent, which led Greyhound to decrease services twice since March before it pulled the schedule completely.

Nine bus routes, some of which are also serviced by other transit companies, had already been temporarily suspended.

Greyhound says 400 employees will be affected by the latest decision.

"Although the company has made every effort to reduce costs, and has made significant outreach efforts to the provincial and federal governments, it cannot continue operations absent financial support," the company said in a statement.

"We will be monitoring federal and provincial restrictions along with infection statistics to identify when to restore operations."

A statement from the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents about 300 of the company's bus operators, mechanics and service staff, said the federal government "has given the industry the cold shoulder during the pandemic."

Union president John Di Nino said Greyhound Canada's shutdown demonstrates the Liberal government has failed when it comes to mass transit.

"Transit is a human right and vital for some of the most vulnerable people who rely on this service, many who have no alternative means of transportation."

Greyhound Canada had already pulled back on its Canadian services in recent years. In 2018, the company announced it was cancelling buses in most of Western Canada, blaming plunging demand.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2020.