Should government pay for rural buses to replace Greyhound?

Most Canadians are open to provincial or federal government putting up the cash, poll finds

A slim majority of Canadians say they support government funding to fill the holes soon to be left by Greyhound Canada, but most hope it doesn’t come to that.

That’s according to a new poll released Friday by Angus Reid Institute, which found 60 per cent of Canadians expressing support for the federal government to step in. A further four per cent said they support the provincial governments taking over.

That leaves 40 per cent of respondents saying the service should be filled by private companies, if there is a sufficient demand.

READ MORE: B.C. bus service applications to be fast-tracked after Greyhound pullout

READ MORE: Market can fill in Greyhound vacuum, B.C. minister says

The support for government intervention comes from both frequent users of the Greyhound bus service, as well as anyone who has ever been on one of the company’s buses, the poll said.

Fifty-four per cent of Canadian adults have ridden a Greyhound bus at one time in their lives. However, 75 per cent said they don’t know anyone greatly affected by the service cuts.

Greyhound announced this month it plans to eliminate all of its bus routes in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba by Oct. 31.

The move has since prompted a national conversation about the future of rural transportation.

Provincial premiers met earlier this month and agreed that Ottawa needs to act on Greyhound’s withdrawal. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to investigate.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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