Greyhound’s departure from B.C. is bad news

From Global News:

Greyhound Canada says it is ending its passenger bus and freight services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and cancelling all but one route in B.C. – a U.S.-run service between Vancouver and Seattle.

Without reliable and inexpensive transportation in British Columbia’s rural areas, it’s inevitable that many people’s lives will be less safe, their health will suffer, their economic opportunities will shrink, and their families will fragment. Providing its residents access to transportation services is a vital duty of our government.

Women will be most at risk, particularly indigenous women. Writes Emily Riddle:

We have long known that lack of access to transportation in rural and remote areas in this country is a factor in the murder and disappearance of thousands of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people in Canada. …

I have travelled the Highway of Tears in my work with First Nations communities in British Columbia, past the billboards that read “Girls, Don’t hitchhike on the Highway of Tears: Killer on the Loose!” Of course, those who hitchhike on the Highway of Tears or anywhere else are not to blame for the violence enacted on them, but accessible transportation is an important means of harm reduction. …

Of course, Greyhound’s decision to end operations in Western Canada is a business decision. … A business isn’t responsible for the safety of Indigenous people or for the safety of those who must now hitchhike to their jobs; neither is it responsible for assuring access to medical appointments for people in Northern communities. …

The discontinuation of Greyhound services has made it abundantly clear that we should not rely on private companies to deliver vital, sometimes life-saving services. … As an Albertan living in British Columbia, I’m left wondering: Why can’t Canada nationalize intercity bus service when they have agreed to nationalize a failing pipeline project?

h/t JS

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