FEDERAL NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on Wednesday, during his speech at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ annual meeting, called on the Liberals to develop an inter-city bus system to replace the one lost by Greyhound ceasing its operations. This transport is vital to connect Canadians to services, job opportunities and education and the failure to replace this service will harm people, he said.
“Greyhound ceasing operations has devastated people in many rural communities. Inter-city transport is vital to connect rural Canadians with services, job opportunities and education,” said Singh. “Not replacing this service and expanding it will make it harder for people to access the services and opportunities they need. The Liberal government has a responsibility to help people affected by this decision. New Democrats will push them to act.”
In May, Greyhound announced that it was ceasing operations in Canada and ending all service on its remaining routes within Canada. This move leaves Canadians living in rural regions without the ability to travel to larger centres. And without inter-city bus transportation, people may have no choice but to use methods with higher emissions that have a worse impact on climate change, Singh noted.
“The loss of affordable and safe passenger transportation will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable and marginalized people living in rural Canada, including Indigenous people and seniors,” added Singh. “We’re calling on the government to develop a public inter-city bus system to serve rural and remote communities. We’ll keep fighting for people and needed access to reliable transport.”
New Democrats are calling on the government to develop a public inter-city bus system to be provided through the creation of a new crown corporation or an expansion of the mandate of Via Rail to include public bus transportation, including mandating a move towards electric and low emission vehicles. The NDP is also calling on the government to immediately develop a national passenger transportation strategy aimed at expanding bus service across rural and remote regions as well as re-establishing rural bus routes abandoned by Greyhound.