As the intercity bus industry continues to deal with the effects of the global pandemic, Canada’s Pacific Western Transportation is reaffirming its commitment to provide essential service through its Red Arrow and Ebus brands.
“When the Ontario government announced its plan to deregulate the intercity bus market, we were quick to respond by evaluating the opportunities to expand our services,” said Dan Finley, PWT’s VP, motorcoach. “Greyhound’s recent announcement of their cessation of service in Canada has only fueled our interest in potentially bringing our iconic Red Arrow and Ebus brands to Ontario.”
Greyhound Canada announvced the suspension of its operations in early May 2020 due to the pandemic, required travel restrictions to help keep Canadians safe, and years of declining ridership, which brought a dramatic drop of approximately 95% of normal volumes.
According to PWT, Greyhound’s decision to fully exit the Canadian market has allowed the company to strengthen its commitment to investigating opportunities to fill the gaps in service to Ontarians. PWT also announced its support for Ontario’s potential deregulation of the bus industry on July 1, 2021.
“Although the pandemic has changed people’s travel patterns right now, we continue to seek ways to support access to services like medical appointments, education, employment, as well as tourism and family connections once things start to open up again,” said John Stepovy, PWT’s director of business development.
In the immediate response to COVID, Red Arrow and Ebus implemented a Safely Clean program, which includes enhanced cleaning protocols, controls around people movement, mandatory masks, and electrostatic sprayers.
“We’re recognized as industry leaders in the people transportation industry, and our unwavering dedication to safety has always been a big reason for that,” Finley added. “Developing our newest Safely Clean program is just one example; our corporate brand Safely Home has been guiding us for many years prior to the pandemic.”