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File – Riders board Maritime bus.
The transportation void that will be left in Western Canada this fall has brought out many companies interested in expanding their carrier services.
One of those companies is Maritime Bus, which took over Acadian Lines six years ago when the company folded leaving many east coasters stranded.
“A line run business today is necessary. The business model of yesterday is old fashioned, it’s out of date,” said Mike Cassidy, the president of Maritime Bus, from his Charlottetown office.
Which may have led to Greyhound’s demise.
Greyhound announced its departure earlier this week, blaming a decline in ridership, low cost airlines and regional transportation services among other things.
Which means 46 stops are up for grabs along the 19-hour run from Winnipeg to Calgary and Maritime Bus is in line.
Cassidy says he’d like to see companies and stakeholders come together and design a business model that would see a daily line run across the country.
While the idea was easy to come up with, executing it may be tough as there’s licensing and permits to obtain before this plan can be put in drive.
“Can we come together and make sure that busing remains in our country?” said Cassidy.
In Thunder Bay Ontario, Kasper Transportation says it’s on board with the plan.
They have already added new routes between Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, newly added.
The company says it tried to partner with Greyhound six-months ago but no agreements were ever inked.
“This is a great opportunity for smaller companies to step up,” explained Kasper Wabinski, the owner of Kasper Transportation.
“I just wish Greyhound took an approach of working with smaller companies to facilitate some of the solutions to the problem,”
WATCH: Greyhound to end most services in western Canada
The bus operators are calling all three levels of government to create a working group that could address transportation needs from coast to coast but it will need to be done quickly as Greyhound is slated to pull out at the end of October.
Meantime, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is urging the Prime Minister to intervene with a federal funding plan to prevent the cancellations planned for the fall.
“Canadians who rely on bus services as their sole means of transportation will be cut off from employment, health care and other critical public services, as well as education, and family,” he said.
“For your government to leave this problem for the provinces to deal with is an abdication of your responsibility to Canadians, including the 400 who will lose their jobs, as well as an abandonment of Federal government’s jurisdiction on matters of inter-provincial transportation.”
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