By Dale Bass – Kamloops This Week
In the fall of 2016, Greyhound announced plans to leave its depot location in Kamloops at the corner of Notre Dame Drive and Laval Crescent in Southgate.
Since then, it has extended its lease, most recently to the end of October.
Lanesha Gipson, senior communications specialist with the company’s Texas head office, said Greyhound is in talks with the city about its long-term plan, but noted nothing specific has been decided.
City CAO David Trawin confirmed there has been “some back and forth, but nothing official.”
Gipson said the property owner wants to redevelop the land at Laval and Notre Dame and needs city approval.
She said Greyhound has spoken with city planners about “potentially dropping off and picking up customers curbside moving forward as part of the development.”
Meanwhile, the province’s transportation board is reviewing a request by Greyhound to eliminate nine of its routes in B.C. and reduce another 10, including the trip between Kamloops and Kelowna.
READ MORE: Greyhound cuts service to Clearwater (Mar. 12, 2013)
In its presentation to the board last month, Greyhound said it has lost $70 million in the past six years — $36,000 per day — and seen ridership decrease by 46 per cent.
It has asked to eliminate its routes between that would affect Dawson Creek, Prince George, Fort Nelson and Fort St. James, as well as one at Whistler and routes connecting Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver.
It wants to reduce the now-minimum twice-daily trips between Kamloops and Kelowna to a minimum of twice a week and make similar reductions to the following routes: Vancouver/Pemberton, Vancouver/Osoyoos, Kelowna/Penticton, Vancouver/Prince George, Vancouver/Kelowna, Dawson Creek/Vancouver and trips to the B.C./Alberta border.
Greyhound told the board at its hearing the routes are expensive to run and there is competition for passengers from rideshare programs, airlines, personal vehicles and government-funded bus and rail lines.
Between 2012 and 2016, Greyhound said in its presentation, it has applied to the transportation board to make minor route changes to ease the financial burden, has refurbished rather than buy new buses and has discussed with the federal and provincial government the regulatory reforms it feels must be made.
Greyhound told the board the provincial government should create a fund that would provide money to municipalities and First Nations to put private-sector intercity transit out to tender.
READ MORE: Greyhound calls for public transportation fund (Dec. 11, 2017)