The company announced Monday afternoon that it would be ending its passenger and freight service in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia except for one route: a US -run service between Vancouver and Seattle.
During the meeting on the annual report, Minister Hargrave said he wasn't surprised when Greyhound announced it would be ending its services in most of Western Canada.
The company says they have seen a 41 per cent decline in ridership since 2010, citing competition from national and inter-regional passenger transportation services, the growth of low cost airlines, regulatory constraints and the continued growth of auto ownership.
She said the province has already issued grants to help bus routes get going between some smaller communities, and her government will now look to expand those programs or find other ideas to help Albertans get around.
Transport Canada said Greyhound Canada operates on a commercial basis with no support from the federal government, and that there are no existing federal programs that would subsidize a private intercity bus carrier.
Pacific Western Transportation-based out of Calgary, Pacific Western Transportation runs services in British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon Territory, Saskatchewan, and Ontario and also owns Red Arrow Motorcoach, operating out of Alberta.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said its citizens rely on Greyhound "heavily" - especially for medical appointments.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said replacement options for the bus system are being explored. "We have had substantial losses over several years as a direct result of declining ridership". In Merritt, for example, the company provided the primary mode of transportation. "How will they get access to adequate health care now?" said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
According to its revamped online route map, Greyhound will continue to run service out of Sudbury east to Ottawa and south to Toronto. "When our average load on each schedule is in the single digits, it's just not sustainable and we don't see that trend reversing", said Kendrick, who's been with the company for 31 years. One of the affected routes included a notorious stretch of Highway 16 in B.C. known as the Highway of Tears, where many Indigenous women have gone missing over the years.
Band spokesman Rick Tailfeathers said service has been going downhill since Greyhound stopped service to Fort Macleod, just 30 kilometres away.