Bus ser­vice to take on western routes

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - BILL KAUF­MANN BKauf­[email protected]­media.com

A new bus line is gear­ing up to take over some ma­jor western Cana­dian routes given up by Grey­hound Trans­port Inc. Start­ing Mon­day, Rider Ex­press Tran­spor­ta­tion’s fleet of six buses will be­gin ply­ing the Van­cou­ver to Win­nipeg route along the Trans-Canada High­way.

In Cal­gary, the ini­tial ser­vice will see buses leave Cal­gary for Van­cou­ver and vice versa once in the morn­ing and again in the evening.

Last July, Grey­hound an­nounced it was can­celling ser­vice in nearly all of Western Canada ef­fec­tive Oct. 31, cit­ing rid­er­ship that had dwin­dled na­tion­wide by 41 per cent since 2010 and by eight per cent in the West in the past year.

On Nov. 1, Rider will com­mence ser­vice be­tween Ed­mon­ton and Saska­toon, said owner Fi­rat Uray.

“We’re hop­ing we have enough rid­er­ship and in the fu­ture we may add more buses,” he said.

A vi­able rid­er­ship would be 15 to 20 pas­sen­gers per bus, with more on long week­ends, said Uray.

The ser­vice’s base in Cal­gary will be the Husky ser­vice sta­tion at Bar­low Trail and 32nd Av­enue N.E.

Uray said his fam­ily busi­ness op­er­ated bus ser­vice in Turkey for 20 years and hopes to bring some of that style as well as a Eu­ro­pean flavour to Western Canada.

“Buses are more com­fort­able in Turkey, there are more op­tions,” he said. “We will have hot and cold drinks for pas­sen­gers.”

Last July, the Al­berta gov­ern­ment said it would launch a pilot project to pro­vide bus ser­vice to ru­ral ar­eas in south, south­east, cen­tral and north­west­ern parts of the prov­ince once cov­ered by Grey­hound. While Rider will stick to the ma­jor high­ways, it’ll make stops in smaller cities and towns along the way, said Uray.

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