The signs are already down at the soon-to-be-former Kelowna Greyhound bus depot.
But while the terminal was empty Tuesday—one day before it was due to close and the last Greyhound bus was scheduled to leave the city—three people were milling round outside in the paring lot, trying to figure how out how to get home.
“I guess I’ll have to use social media more,” said Ricky Foster, referring to rideshare ads on sites like Facebook.
He said while he understands Greyhound’s decision to end its Western Canadian operations from a business point of view, but said it will be difficult for some people.
But, he added, the sharing economy is having an impact he is seeing more ads for ridesharing on social media these days.
Meanwhile another would-be passenger, Mary Elder of North Battleford, Saskatchewan was also looking for a way to get home. The last bus east was only heading as far as Calgary and it was sold out.
Optimistic she would find a way, she said the loss of Greyhound will hurt in her home province, where residents, especially seniors, often depend on the bus service to get to appointments in other, larger centres. In her case, Saskatoon is a 90 minute drive away from where she lives and sh said she and other older people often have to go there.
“I’ve been using Greyhound for 20 years,” she said, adding the service will be missed.
An Alberta-based bus company, Ebus, has announced it will start service between Kelowna and the Lower Mainland, as well as between Kelowna and Kamloops Wednesday. That is expected to pick up some of the lost Greyhound service. But so far, there has been no announcement about long-distance bus service to points east of the Okanagan.
The new bus service will use the Kelowna Airport at its stop in the city.
But the new service won’t help Walter Nevacshonoff, who was also at the Greyhound terminal Wednesday trying to get back to his home in Grand Folks on Tuesday.
With no more buses scheduled to run to the Kootenay’s from Kelowna, Nevacshonoff said he was forced to call a friend for a lift.
As he waited, he said he was concerned there were no more buses runing to where he needed to go.
The last bus for Vancouver is scheduled to leave Kelonwa at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and is sold out.
The terminal and the land it sits on, has already been listed for sale with an asking price of $6 million.
Earlier this year Greyhound Canada announced it would stop service in Western Canada on all but one route at the end of October. The one remaining route will be between Vancouver and Seattle. That route is operated by Greyhound in Washington State.
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