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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 3:48 AM
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Greyhound... Are they worth Giving Money to again?

Greyhound thinks they can control the east-west and well they have a part. Its time to take control of the situation!

Although it has been sometime since it was announced that Greyhound had said they would stop service in Northwestern Ontario and as well in Manitoba, does anyone feel like Greyhound was just up for a quick cash grab? Currently there are on a One(1) Year deal. What will happen once that one(1) year is up I ask you all. Will they be asking for money with reasons that no one travels anymore on coach or that fuel prices are making higher costs. With reduced stops is it worth the payout for those small and/or smaller communities to be linked? I say yes but I do not think Greyhound should be in charge. Provinces should put aside some infrastructure for such transportation. Relying on a single source that could cut off at any point doesn't leave much options. As this is more of a Manitoba discussion I feel as if that the whole country should be involved. It relates to the rest of the nation where they only have one source of transportation such as Greyhound.

A few questions I ask to those of interest. Or even the not so interested.

Does anyone travel on Greyhound between Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario? If so is it worth the cost and why do you require it. What would happen if there simply was no service? Is the cost of flying cheaper then the cost of Busing it? Would anyone notice or be affected if there was no coach bus service between Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario? Is there any other options if no coach bus service was in place?
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 7:52 AM
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I considered greyhound to travel to Kelowna once from Edmonton. Found it was cheaper to fly. Once I considered the amount of time saved in travel, there was no reason to consider greyhound anymore.

Enough said.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 8:11 AM
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For many people living in small communities here, Greyhound is their only connection to other communities. Dropping the service would isolate them. It wouldn't be too much of a problem though, since there are local bus lines that would replace it. Caribou Coach has taken over the Thunder Bay to Fort Frances route, and the Thunder Bay to Greenstone route, and they're doing quite well. Manitouwadge has a health care shuttle funded by the province, and Schreiber-Terrace Bay operates the provinces smallest mass transit system, a cutaway that goes between the two towns and occasionally into Thunder Bay. Someone in Greenstone operates a school bus to shuttle people to our mall and other attractions occasionally, and Grand Portage in Minnesota also has a shuttle bus to bring their residents up here to shop and our residents down there to gamble.

Demand exists for long distance bus service, but when you're a profit hungry mega corporation like Greyhound, this region isn't viable. Local entrepreneurs want to take over. Let them.

In addition to all this, Ontario operates a coach line in Northeastern Ontario called Ontario Northlands, which connects the cities in towns in that region to Toronto. Many people want to see that expanded across the whole north. Saskatchewan operates a similar system in its rural areas.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 8:17 AM
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Originally Posted by feepa View Post
I considered greyhound to travel to Kelowna once from Edmonton. Found it was cheaper to fly. Once I considered the amount of time saved in travel, there was no reason to consider greyhound anymore.

Enough said.
I couldn't agree more. I have noticed that recently a flight that I use to take is no longer direct on WestJet. Winnipeg to Regina/Saskatoon. In order to fly that route with WestJet there's a stop via Calgary. I know alot of people have been forced to take Air Canada for the convenience of direct flight. As a younger person I traveled quite frequently on Greyhound and well I agree the prices are comparable to Flying now. I am looking to see who actually and currently takes these trips. Focusing on more of the smaller communities that don't have the luxury of an airport.

Does this mean that because of same rates 'flying vs busing' only critical and remote places rely on transportation of goods and people via coach bus. I guess the real question is does there need to be Greyhound. More of a touring aspect to travel on a bus these days as the need to travel on a bus is to lengthy when compared to a flight.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 8:23 AM
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Originally Posted by vid View Post
For many people living in small communities here, Greyhound is their only connection to other communities. Dropping the service would isolate them. It wouldn't be too much of a problem though, since there are local bus lines that would replace it. Caribou Coach has taken over the Thunder Bay to Fort Frances route, and the Thunder Bay to Greenstone route, and they're doing quite well. Manitouwadge has a health care shuttle funded by the province, and Schreiber-Terrace Bay operates the provinces smallest mass transit system, a cutaway that goes between the two towns and occasionally into Thunder Bay. Someone in Greenstone operates a school bus to shuttle people to our mall and other attractions occasionally, and Grand Portage in Minnesota also has a shuttle bus to bring their residents up here to shop and our residents down there to gamble.

Demand exists for long distance bus service, but when you're a profit hungry mega corporation like Greyhound, this region isn't viable. Local entrepreneurs want to take over. Let them.

In addition to all this, Ontario operates a coach line in Northeastern Ontario called Ontario Northlands, which connects the cities in towns in that region to Toronto. Many people want to see that expanded across the whole north. Saskatchewan operates a similar system in its rural areas.
I am very familiar with Saskatchewan. STC Bus system. As I said in my previous statement you just rectified with the long distance and remote communities. At one time Greyhound was a good service at a decent price. Northern Manitoba relies to much on Greyhound! Someone else needs to step in a offer a service that can be justified. Greyhound as I have learned on my most recent travels has been contracting out services to those smaller towns and villages. It seems more apparent that goods is more transported then people as I was the only person on this short 1hr+ $15 trip lol.

There will be a small boom as HudBay Minerals has been approved with purchase of some land near Snow Lake, MB. A small or medium portion of people will need to get there and chances are they will travel on the bus in order to get there. I think you need to call a taxi from Snow Lake in order to pick you up from the highway as the bus doesn't turn into the town. I can tell you now you will need a heavy pocket to fly into those regions. Not as cheap.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 8:24 AM
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To get to Vancouver from here you have to go to Toronto first. Is there no Winnipeg to Vancouver flight that we can use?

I think getting to Calgary requires a stop in Toronto too.

Manitoba could probably use a system like Saskatchewan's. Ontario Northland also runs a rail line, including one up to James Bay. If the line to Churchill hadn't been sold Manitoba could have an identical service.

I think 30 years from now, Ontario will regret not setting up a port on its north coast. When you say "Ontario's North Coast" a lot of people get confused even, as if they don't know that we reach that far up.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 8:32 AM
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Originally Posted by vid View Post
To get to Vancouver from here you have to go to Toronto first. Is there no Winnipeg to Vancouver flight that we can use?

I think getting to Calgary requires a stop in Toronto too.

Manitoba could probably use a system like Saskatchewan's. Ontario Northland also runs a rail line, including one up to James Bay. If the line to Churchill hadn't been sold Manitoba could have an identical service.

I think 30 years from now, Ontario will regret not setting up a port on its north coast. When you say "Ontario's North Coast" a lot of people get confused even, as if they don't know that we reach that far up.
HBR, Hudson Bay Railway owned by OmniTrax in Colorado I believe. Its actually weird but in order to travel on the rail you will travel outside of Manitoba into Saskatchewan then back into Manitoba. I guess at the time of surveying that was the best scenario as the lakes are not a good way to setup a track so close by.

Well I guess when Air Canada Moves EVERYTHING to Toronto they reduce costs thus allowing for more direct flights. Whereas WestJet just likes to give you the opportunity to never experience a direct flight after enjoying it. Limited time offer.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 8:41 AM
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Thanks to MLA Steve Ashton the roads over the recent years going up North in Manitoba have gotten wayyyy better. The before travel on bus was like hitting speed bumps at times going 100km/h. So the bus ride isn't as terrible as it once was. I am sure the Americans who travel up there frequently can agree.

I have a great idea buses that have solar panels on the top that charge fuel cells. Hybrid Buses!
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 3:51 PM
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Just another sign of us becoming even more car-dependent. When hearing of a Winnipeg-Regina flight, all I can think of is "who the hell would bother flying that??". You probably spend more time in the airport than the actual drive takes.

NW Ontario used to be heavily dependent on Greyhound for all sorts of things. Not just people movement but freight. Greyhound used to be the best (and in some cases only) quick shipper. Not sure how much things have changed over the past decade - again, when society as a whole makes this default assumption that everyone has a car...

Last time I took a Greyhound (or any bus, really) was when I was a carless student in Calgary. It was the only way to cheaply get out to Banff/Lake Louise for the weekend. Handy and cheap although it did eat up an insane amount of time compared to driving. Comfortable as all hell though, from what I remember.

Even as kids in NW Ontario we wouldn't take the bus anywhere. We'd either drive or take one of the bush planes. Nothing quite like flying Dryden-Fort Frances while skimming what felt like 100' above the trees.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 4:00 PM
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You probably spend more time in the airport than the actual drive takes.
You honestly wouldn't need to spend more than a few minutes in each airport, especially if you had carry on. It would still be shorter, as it is a 6 hour drive.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 5:38 PM
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The federal government needs to de-regulate inter-city transportation to make it cheaper. In my travels I've found Canadian inter-city travel abnormally expensive. Other countries also have greater choice over bus/rail.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 6:33 PM
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Originally Posted by feepa View Post
I considered greyhound to travel to Kelowna once from Edmonton. Found it was cheaper to fly. Once I considered the amount of time saved in travel, there was no reason to consider greyhound anymore.

Enough said.
You need to let me know where these cheap flights are, it seems.

I went to Kelowna in February, ended up taking the Greyhound for about $225, flying would have cost about $485. This was through WestJet.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 8:25 PM
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Originally Posted by freeweed View Post
Just another sign of us becoming even more car-dependent. When hearing of a Winnipeg-Regina flight, all I can think of is "who the hell would bother flying that??". You probably spend more time in the airport than the actual drive takes.
I think those two cities may be farther apart than you realize. It's just under 600km from DT to DT. Plus, and no offense to SK and MB folks, but the drive is boring as all hell. I've done it a few times. I'd much rather take a 45 minute flight then spend 6-7 hours in a car.

Can't speak for north Ontario, but yeah, I agree with feepa. If there is Westjet service between your two destinations the cost is the same or less to fly assuming you purchase your ticket far enough in advance. And the difference in time makes Greyhound an irrelevant option for me.
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 8:30 PM
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Originally Posted by oiler-dude View Post
You need to let me know where these cheap flights are, it seems.

I went to Kelowna in February, ended up taking the Greyhound for about $225, flying would have cost about $485. This was through WestJet.
Like I said, purchase in advance as far as possible. Also, if you are flexible with your days you can find $100-$200 difference in prices just by choosing the next or previous day.

When I fly between Edmonton and Kelowna I pay an average of $150-200 or so.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 9:48 PM
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If there is Westjet service between your two destinations the cost is the same or less to fly assuming you purchase your ticket far enough in advance.
Well, to be fair, Air Canada prices are pretty much always the same.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 11:13 PM
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^ Yeah, just checked AC website, and the prices are pretty comparable with WJ. I had looked at AC before and their prices always seemed at least twice as much. I'd still take WJ though...the flight is direct non-stop, takes 55 minutes. AC's have a stop and take 2+ hours.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 11:34 PM
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Just another sign of us becoming even more car-dependent. When hearing of a Winnipeg-Regina flight, all I can think of is "who the hell would bother flying that??". You probably spend more time in the airport than the actual drive takes.
It is an eight hour drive, many people would bother flying that.
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by oiler-dude View Post
You need to let me know where these cheap flights are, it seems.

I went to Kelowna in February, ended up taking the Greyhound for about $225, flying would have cost about $485. This was through WestJet.
Just picked some dates randomly in february.

1 Adult: 218.00 + Taxes and fees: 98.10 = 316.10 CAD


4 hours total round trip, direct flights... versus 24 hours on a bus round trip? I think I'll shell out the extra 80-100 bucks. When I booked my deal, flights were 99 dollars. These ones are 109.

( and in case Policy Wonk is watching, these flights were out of the Edmonton International Airport, and not available at City center )
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Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jmt18325 View Post
You honestly wouldn't need to spend more than a few minutes in each airport, especially if you had carry on. It would still be shorter, as it is a 6 hour drive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Policy Wonk View Post
It is an eight hour drive, many people would bother flying that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bulliver View Post
I think those two cities may be farther apart than you realize. It's just under 600km from DT to DT. Plus, and no offense to SK and MB folks, but the drive is boring as all hell. I've done it a few times. I'd much rather take a 45 minute flight then spend 6-7 hours in a car.
You guys should try actually living out around that part of the country before commenting. I have, and I've done this particular drive many times. 8 hours? Maybe if you drive like grandpa. Google has DT to DT pegged at 571km. At 110 (and you can go a fair bit faster once you're on the actual highway), that's 5 hours. Most people clock it in 5.5-6 including the in-city portions), but it's a real sport out there to see if you can cut that down some. I've done it in under 5, door to door, without speeding tooooo badly.

Every domestic carrier requires you to be checked in something like 30 minutes before a flight (they start boarding at t-30 after all). So assuming you can teleport to the airport from your house, and teleport to your final destination in Regina, that's still more than a "few minutes" in the airport. Unless your starting point and end point are both pretty close to the airport itself, that's easily 30-60 minutes of "getting to/from the airport" time. Add in 45 mins or so for the flight, and you're looking at a MINIMUM of 2 hours. More likely longer - you have to find a place to park at the airport and/or deal with taxis and/or friends dropping off/picking up. I have a hard time imagining this flight taking less than 3 hours all told, door to door. Most travel time on short haul flights isn't actually in the air, it's all the other bullshit we're subjected to. Early check in times, security lines, waiting for assholes to deal with their maximum allowed carry-on so that we have to load the plane for 30 minutes solid...

Anyway, it's a lot shorter drive than y'all seem to realize. And flying takes a lot longer than it used to. The drive IS boring as shit though, I'll give it that.
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2010, 12:06 AM
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Why would I have to live there to know I'd prefer to fly?

I've driven it 3 times, that's enough to know it's long and boring...
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