John Wilson, President, C.E.O of The Wilson’s Group of Companies, photographed outside the comapny’s Capital City Station on Douglas Street. (Black Press Media)

John Wilson, President, C.E.O of The Wilson’s Group of Companies, photographed outside the comapny’s Capital City Station on Douglas Street. (Black Press Media)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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)

Just Posted

Current unmarked residential streets are 50 km/h, but Greater Vancouver municipalities might consider dropping that to 30 km/h. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay, Esquimalt and Sidney join Saanich in application to reduce residential road speeds to 30 km/h

Victoria also taking part in pilot to change default speed to 30 km/h from 50 km/h

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply as overdose emergency turns 5

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Black Press Media file photo)
Privacy concerns keep COVID-19 cases at University of Victoria off the record

Island Health, UVic not sharing specifics after internal notice confirms coronavirus case

A man with a history of sexual offences was arrested after he followed and aggressively tried to talk to two young woman on the weekend. Black Press File Photo
Man convicted of sexual offences arrested after teens followed in Victoria

Women hid in a Quadra Village convenience store as man aggressively tried to get in

A few dozen students and parents gathered outside Lansdowne Middle School April 14 to protest proposed budget cuts to SD61 music programs. From left to right: Lyra Gaudin, Cleo Bateman, Abby Farish, Brigitte Peters, Enid Gaudin, Des Farish. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
SD61’s proposed $7 million cuts threaten equity and inclusion, say parents, teachers

Music classes, inclusion services, reading programs on the line

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

One of the grand prizes for this year's Hometown Heroes Lottery includes a seaside home at SookePoint, $1.5 million, and an Audi Quattro. (Photo courtesy of Hometown Heroes)
Hometown Heroes Lottery features seaside home in Sooke

A stunning seaside home in Sooke could be yours for the price… Continue reading

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

Most Read