Greyhound scales back bus service in Ontario

Wed Dec 2, 2009 5:50pm EST
 
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Greyhound Canada will scale back intercity bus service on several routes in Ontario as it awaits a government report on the future of the industry, the company said on Wednesday.

The schedule changes due to start on January 17 will maintain service on the TransCanada Highway at a reduced level while officials prepare the report on intercity bus service that is set to be released in September, Greyhound said.

The long-term future of its cross-country operations will depend on the outcome of the study, announced by provincial and federal transport ministers in October, the company said.

Greyhound, a unit of British bus and rail operator FirstGroup Plc, says it loses money on many rural routes and needs government aid to keep them open.

"The route frequency reductions we are announcing today are designed to relieve some of that financial pressure," Senior Vice-President Stuart Kendrick said in a news release.

Greyhound had said in September it would discontinue all service in Manitoba and northern Ontario, and warned it might pull out of Western Canada, but it delayed those cuts when the government said it would look at the issue.

Greyhound is the only ground transportation alternative to cars for many small and remote communities in Central and Western Canada, where passenger rail service is extremely limited and aimed largely at tourists.

(Reporting by Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson)