John Wilson, president and CEO, The Wilson’s Group of Companies (Black Press Media file photo)

John Wilson, president and CEO, The Wilson’s Group of Companies (Black Press Media file photo)

COLUMN: Bus companies at risk as revenue drops 95 per cent, no help in sight

John Wilson is president and CEO, The Wilson’s Group of Companies

Motor coach companies in B.C., and across Canada, have been left struggling as they near 10 months of operating at a 95 per cent reduction in revenues. While other modes of transportation have received subsidies and financial relief from the federal and provincial governments, privately owned motor coach and intercity bus operators have received $0 to date in direct relief efforts. Unfortunately for many of these companies, time is running out as they risk permanent closures in the next two to three months without further financial aid. What effect will the loss of one of Canada’s most popular and reliable modes of transportation have on British Columbia?

Economic impact

Motor Coach Canada reports that each group travelling via motor coach generates $10,000 to $15,000 per day in economic activity and spending in our local economy.

Connecting communities

When Greyhound exited the Western Canadian Marketplace in 2018, many of B.C.’s urban and rural communities felt as though they had lost a sense of connectivity. Privately owned motor coach companies across B.C. stepped up to the plate to take over some of these routes, however, many are once again at risk of being without service. According to Greyhound Canada, they serviced 360 stops in the western provinces, intercity busing being the only service available to 300 of those stops.

In your community

When natural disasters strike, such as the devastating wildfires in B.C.’s Interior, motor coach carriers are there to provide transportation to the masses when evacuations and firefighters are required. They have also been used to safely transport volunteer relief workers, armed forces, RCMP, fire rescue workers, safety and medical equipment and supplies.

Labour movement

Industrial projects require thousands of skilled trades to be shuttled in and out of camps on a regular basis using motor coach services. Many of these workers also permanently reside outside of the community in which they work, some of which have no other accessibility other than intercity bus and motor coach service.

Carbon effect

Every person who chooses motor coach travel instead of driving alone reduces their carbondioxide emissions by an average of 85 per cent. Moreover, each motor coach has the potential to remove as many as 55 autos from the highway, reducing congestion. In fact, even when not filled, motor coaches have the smallest carbon emission factor of any major motorized vehicle.

The BC Motor Coach Coalition strongly believes that an economically sensitive group of British Columbians are at risk of suffering undue hardship from massive reductions in service without further government support for the motor coach industry. The time has come for direct funds to British Columbians hardest hit industries before it is too late.

John Wilson is president and CEO of The Wilson’s Group of Companies.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Transportationvancouverisland

 

Motor coach companies in B.C., and across Canada, have been left struggling as they near 10 months of operating at a 95 per cent reduction in revenues. (Courtesy Wilson’s Group)

Motor coach companies in B.C., and across Canada, have been left struggling as they near 10 months of operating at a 95 per cent reduction in revenues. (Courtesy Wilson’s Group)

Just Posted

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo’s Mt. Benson with flares during icy rope rescue

Search and rescue team gets injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Tom Lennox finds peace when he runs in the Cumberland Forest. He hasn’t missed a day in nearly a year. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island runner nears 366 consecutive days on the trails

Tom Lennox approaching a year’s worth of a minimum five kilometres a day

Jessica Lowry created a series of videos to engage Ladysmith Intermediate School students in mindfulness. (Submitted photo)
Vancouver Island school and artist introducing students to mindfulness

Ladysmith artist Jessica Lowry created a series of 36 videos to help students learn the practice

Members of Directiva. From left: Petrona, Sandra, Sarah and Brenda. They met to plan the sustainable food project in San Antonio Palopo. ({Photo submitted)
Island Rotary Club still connecting with Guatemala despite pandemic

Chemainus club supplies chickens, cages and feed for a nutrition program

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

(File photo)
Case of COVID-19 confirmed in School District 69 (Qualicum)

Individual was at PASS/Woodwinds, with a last date of attendance of Jan. 22

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Sidney's Beacon Wharf
Pontoon company piqued at prospect of public-private partnership around Sidney wharf

Seagate approached to submit proposeal for public-private partnership

Most Read