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ns8401

Life After Greyhound

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Exactly Roeco, up until the last day or two you were saying that Rider Express was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, you were even blaming Greyhound for a delay in start dates.

 

Edited by canuck600
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13 hours ago, Bus_Medic said:

Uber for charter operators. I wish them all the best.

You understand that crushing Greyhound is pretty darn simple in practice right?

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4 hours ago, ns8401 said:

You understand that crushing Greyhound is pretty darn simple in practice right?

I was thinking specifically to territory they’ve already abandoned, but honestly, I really don’t care one way or the other what becomes of them. It’s theirs to ruin.

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On ‎11‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 6:29 PM, canuck600 said:

Exactly Roeco, up until the last day or two you saying that Rider Express was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, you were even blaming Greyhound for a delay in start dates.

 

I've been kinda skeptical of them since day one!! Especially since they were trying to start such a big operation in such a short period of time and overestimated the demand they thought was their.

 

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Clearly in the post-Greyhound realm, other carriers operating 'regional" services have found their niche while trying to keep financially viable. That's clearly the pattern in all four Western Provinces (links from big cities to smaller cities and intermediate points intra-provincially). I know in Manitoba, the northern focus is simply because the cost of northern flights are very expensive, there are no advance booking discounts. The bus is simply the cheaper alternative, especially for non-urgent medical trips ($135 o/w versus $1,100 o/w!). 

I didn't think the concept of a non-subsidized inter-provincial across the west "Trans-Canada" service was going to fly (pardon the pun) given the competition from ultra-low fare airlines like Flair and Swoop over the last year. Greyhound was quite clear on the non-sustainability of their routes due to the large drop in ridership (i.e. ultra discount airlines, increased automobile usage and rural depopulation) which quickly led them to make a prudent business decision. It takes a lot of people and supportive infrastructure to operate multiple coaches (more than six in this case) from the West Coast to the eastern Prairies. With long distances between cities, too many trees and a population spread thinner than butter on bread, the cost to operate and maintain a decent ground transportation service obviously exceeded revenues needed to sustain.

I am not sure what model Rider Express is trying to set up? If they are looking at simply replacing what Greyhound had provided, then I hope they have deep pockets and some patience while ridership builds. If they are trying to set up a "no frills" discount bus service (a-la "Bolt" or "Mega") then they might have a fighting chance at staring something but better get going soon. They appear to have a brand, but need up their advertising game, improve their website booking system and actually offer some service for customers.

I wonder if the the routes from Vancouver-Calgary-Regina-Winnipeg and from Winnipeg-Saskatoon-Edmoton-Vancouver will qualify for subsidy under the Federal Government's recently announced program to fund those Greyhound services that have yet to be or cannot be replaced? Maybe Rider Express is eligible?

I wait to see what happens ...

 

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On 11/4/2018 at 5:09 PM, northwesterner said:

This post is insane. 

Just a week or two ago, you were asking why some routes didn't have any applicants to operate, as there was potential on all of them. "Awesome ridership" ???? People said the same thing about STC, and then the real numbers came out and they were abysmal. 

Wrong. Airfare between the major cities is low and the bus rides are long and uncomfortable. Greyhound certainly didn't help themselves, but its hard to say, hey, for the same price you can ride the bus and it will only take 10 hours, versus 2 in a plane. What kind of value proposition is that for the customer?

Meanwhile, Calgary to Vancouver is 971km (or around 600 miles). Let's say do a one way trip with one driver. At current diesel prices, this is going to cost about $600CAD in fuel. Add in another $330 for driver wages (assuming $20CAD per hour, 15 hour shift). $50CAD to clean the bus at the start of the trip. And a per mile overhead, depreciation, insurance, and maintenance cost (let's go with $0.50/mile CAD - this is hard to estimate and I've been out of the business long enough that I don't remember what we used to use), so that's another $300 CAD. Total cost to run a one way trip is around $1280/CAD. 

I'm probably underestimating all these costs.

They're charging $150CAD for the one-way trip next Friday. You say you can't expect 10-15 people to ride right off everyday. At 10 people, they're barely covering my estimate of costs.

For an extra $115CAD, I can buy a ticket right now for the same day on Air Canada. The flight time is 1hr and 35 minutes. If I plan my life a little better and buy now for Friday the 16th, Air Canada is $216CAD non-stop. If I really get organized and decide to go on Friday Dec 1, the flight on Air Canada is $95CAD ... substantially less than the bus ticket. 

So ... who are the customers for this service, given the competition?

$20 that they cancel service before January 1st.

You're not completely out of line on your cost estimates. The rule of thumb in BC, using recent equipment, is $1500.00 a day to make any profit. Obviously this is for full size coaches, and fairly new. Yes you can make money at a lower rate using older equipment, but it's not sustainable over the long haul. you can of course lower this daily requirement with smaller and less expensive equipment, but then there's longevity to consider. Cutaways don't last long term, and Sprinters are expensive. yes these are generalizations, but they are mostly correct.

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Wilson's "The BC Connector" began their service to Kamloops, Kelowna & Whistler today.

1 x Daily to Kamloops & Kelowna

3x Daily to Whistler, with extra departure on Friday

https://bcconnector.ca/schedules/

For some reason the Kamloops & Kelowna services have not been timed for connections with their Victoria service, as they arrive back to Vancouver late in the evening.

Prices are a few dollars less than EBus.

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4 hours ago, vortoozo said:

Wilson's "The BC Connector" began their service to Kamloops, Kelowna & Whistler today.

1 x Daily to Kamloops & Kelowna

3x Daily to Whistler, with extra departure on Friday

https://bcconnector.ca/schedules/

For some reason the Kamloops & Kelowna services have not been timed for connections with their Victoria service, as they arrive back to Vancouver late in the evening.

Prices are a few dollars less than EBus.

I'm thinkin in order to time the schedules for connections for Kamloops and Kelowna they would probably need to base drivers  in Kamloops and Kelowna, not sure how else they could do it. As for Whistler should be pretty easy to time connections! ebus schedules are set up to connect so u can get to the Island same day.

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15 hours ago, roeco said:

I'm thinkin in order to time the schedules for connections for Kamloops and Kelowna they would probably need to base drivers  in Kamloops and Kelowna, not sure how else they could do it. As for Whistler should be pretty easy to time connections! ebus schedules are set up to connect so u can get to the Island same day.

I would certainly hope that the drivers aren't being scheduled for an out-and-back trip as part of one duty day.

The Kelowna bus leaves Vancouver at 10:30am and doesn't get back until over 12 hours later. Consider time to pick up/drop off the bus from the depot & load passengers and that's an almost a 13-14 hour day!!! Now add in some time for snow storms, traffic, etc. I wouldn't want to be on that bus on the return leg, the driver would be beyond fatigued. Never mind if they had already done the same thing the day before. I doubt a driver base would be required in Kelowna, but certainly switching with another driver in order to have a rest period before returning is hopefully already part of their plan.

Now, instead of that driver being there a full 24 hours, why not have them rest and then come back with the bus the next morning? The scheduling can certainly be tweaked in order to provide for connections. Same thing with Whistler - currently you can travel from Whistler to Kamloops but not Whistler to Kelowna. And forget about Kamloops or Kelowna to Whistler. What's the point of building up a full network like that if the connectivity isn't there?

If you have both Vancouver - Kelowna/Kamloops leaving at 12:30pm or later then you have full network connectivity. A possible departure time could be 2pm, as this provides a 20 minute connection from Victoria & a 2 hour connection from Whistler. Looks like the Whistler timing could possibly tweaked for a later departure/arrival without impacting the next run in order to make a better connection.

And then schedule the returns the next day arriving back in Vancouver by 1pm. This provides a reasonable connection to Whistler (1 hour) and Victoria (30 minutes), and the same bus could turn around and head back to the interior.

Same number of busses, well-rested drivers, network connectivity. That's how it should be done.

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On 11/3/2018 at 9:03 AM, ShermanOaks said:

Based on information gathered off of the individual bus company websites, here’s an overview of the “post-Greyhound” scheduled service in Manitoba as of November 3, 2018:

The following companies have also been observed in active service:

MAPLE BUS LINES - www.maplebuslines.com
Operates out of 939 Sherbrook Street in Winnipeg
 
Lv. Winnipeg @ 9:00 PM - Ar. Thompson @ 5:45 PM - Sunday to Thursday
Lv. Thompson @ 10:00 PM - Ar. Winnipeg @ 5:45 PM - Sunday to Thursday
 
Lv. Thompson @ 2:15 PM - Ar. Cross Lake @ 5:30 PM - Monday to Thursday
Lv. Cross lake @ 5:10 PM - Ar. Thompson @ 8:25 PM - Monday to Thursday
 
Lv. Winnipeg @ 7:15 AM - Ar. The Pas @ 4:10 PM - Ar. Thomspon @ 8:25 PM - Monday to Friday
Lv. Thompson @ 8:15 AM - Ar. The Pas @ 12:25 PM - Ar. Winnipeg @ 9:50 PM - Monday to Friday
 
THOMPSON BUS - www.thompsonbus.com
Operates from the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport:
 
Lv. Thompson @ 10:00 PM - Ar. Winnipeg @ 7:10 PM - Sunday to Thursday
Lv. Winnipeg @ 10:00 PM - Ar. Thompson @ 7:10 PM - Monday to Friday
 
Lv. Gillam @ 7:45 AM - Ar. Thompson @ 11:45 AM - Monday-Thursday
Lv. Thompson @ 4:30 PM - Ar. Gillam @ 5:40 PM - Sunday to Wednesday
 
Lv. Thompson @ 1:15 PM - Ar. Cross Lake @ 4:10 PM - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Lv. Cross lake @ 4:30 PM - Ar. Thompson @ 7:25 PM - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
 
BRANDON AIR SHUTTLE - www.brandonairshuttle.com
Operates from the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport:
 
Lv. Brandon @ 7:00 AM/ 10:00 AM / 2:00 PM
Ar. Winnipeg Airport @ 9:30 AM / 12:30 PM / 5:00 PM - Daily
Lv. Winnipeg Airport @ 11:00 AM / 3:30 PM / 8:00 PM
Ar. Brandon @ 1:30 PM / 6:00 PM / 10:30 PM - Daily
 
Lv. Dauphin @ 9:30 AM  / 1:30 PM - Ar. Brandon @ 11:30 AM / 3:30 PM - Daily
Lv. Brandon @ 1:30 PM / 6:00 PM - Ar. Dauphin @ 3:30 PM / 8:00 PM - Daily
 
KAPSER TRANSPORTATION - www.gokasper.com
Operates from Balmoral Street stop in downtown Winnipeg: 
 
Lv Selkirk @ 6:30 AM / 8:30 AM / 10:30 AM / 3:30 PM / 5:30 PM
Lv. Winnipeg @ 7:30 AM / 9:30 AM / 11:30 AM / 4:30 PM / 6:30 PM - Monday to Friday
 
Lv. Winnipeg @ 8:20 AM - Ar. Sioux Lookout @ 3:00 PM - Mondsy, Wednesday, Friday
Lv. Sioux Lookout @ 3:00 PM - Ar. Thunder Bay @ 7:00 PM - Daily
 
Lv. Thunder Bay @ 9:30 AM - Ar. Sioux Lookout @ 3:00 PM - Daily
Lv. Sioux Lookout @ 3:00 PM - Ar. Winnipeg @ 7:05 PM - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
 
 
The following companies have received operating authority and have announced their intentions to start service but have not yet been observed in service.
 
KELSEY BUS LINES - www.kelseybuslines2014.com
Website has schedules posted, media report indicated will start in mid-November:
 
Lv Flin Flon @ 7:30 PM - Ar. Winnipeg @ 6:50 AM - Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday
Lv. Winnipeg @ 8:30 PM - Ar. Flin Flon @ 8:30 AM - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
 
Lv. Thompson @ 10:00 PM - Ar. Winnipeg @ 7:10 PM - Sunday Tuesday, Thursday
Lv. Winnipeg @ 10:45 PM - Ar. Thompson @ 7:55 PM - Monday, Wednesday, Friday
 
RIDER EXPRESS - www.riderexpress.ca
Website indicate that Calgary-Winnipeg trips on hold, however they planning to start Edmonton-Saskatoon service on November 12th with their timetable showing a Saskatoon-Regina-Winnipeg portion:
 
Lv. Regina @ 11:30 AM - Ar. Headingley Flying J @ 6:30 PM - Daily
Lv. Headingley Flying J @ 11:30 PM - Ar. Regina @ 6:30 AM - Daily
 
Despite some media reports raising concern, northern Manitoba appears to be very well (and perhaps over-) serviced. The key thing to watch here is if this level of service continues (based on demand) and if these companies continue to roll.
 
Service to and from the west goes as far as Brandon, but has yet to begin beyond that. This will be interesting to watch as new companies take to the Trans-Canada route.
 
The eastern service into Ontario has been up and running for well over a year or so, and it will likely continue. (Note that Kasper makes a connection with Ontario Northland in White River.) 
 
Staying tuned as this continues to unfold ...

And yet a third bus operator running along PTH #6 between Winnipeg and Thompson.

 
HIGHWAY 6 EXPRESS
Operates from the A&W across from Polo Park:
 
Lv. Thompson @ 8:00 AM - Ar. Winnipeg @ 4:30 PM - Monday & Friday
Lv. Winnipeg @ 8:00 AM - Ar. Thompson @ 4:30 PM - Sunday & Wednesday

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Some pictures of the former Edmonton downtown Greyhound station / VIA Rail station today:

IMG_20181202_154754.jpgIMG_20181202_154734.jpgIMG_20181202_154724.jpg

The black rectangles used to have the Greyhound logo on them.

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8 hours ago, ns8401 said:

Brandon Bus is giving up on its run to Winnipeg due to low ridership:

https://globalnews.ca/news/4848426/brandon-bus-lines-cancels-service-to-winnipeg/

Brandon Bus Lines, operating three round trips a week and charging a lower fare couldn't make it, but Brandon Dauphin Air Shuttle, with 28 round trips per week during the same period, and charging a higher fare, is reportedly overloaded (and on at least one occasion sent prospective passengers it couldn't accommodate to Brandon Bus Lines).

 

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Busy night at a Winnipeg bus depot located at 936 Sherbrook Street. 

Mahihkan Kelsey Bus Lines #64 preparing to depart at 8:30 PM for Portage La Prairie, Dauphin, Swan River, The Pas and Flin Flon.

Maple Bus Lines #8-56 preparing to depart at 9:00 PM for Ashern, St. Martin Jct., Grand Rapids, Ponton, Wabowden and Thompson. 

Mahihkan Kelsey Bus Lines 64-a.jpg

Maple Bus Lines 8-56-a.jpg

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15 hours ago, ShermanOaks said:

Busy night at a Winnipeg bus depot located at 936 Sherbrook Street. 

Mahihkan Kelsey Bus Lines #64 preparing to depart at 8:30 PM for Portage La Prairie, Dauphin, Swan River, The Pas and Flin Flon.

Maple Bus Lines #8-56 preparing to depart at 9:00 PM for Ashern, St. Martin Jct., Grand Rapids, Ponton, Wabowden and Thompson. 

Mahihkan Kelsey Bus Lines 64-a.jpg

Maple Bus Lines 8-56-a.jpg

10 bucks says those are both ex-First Canada out of the oil patch.

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On ‎1‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 4:09 PM, DavidW said:

Brandon Bus Lines, operating three round trips a week and charging a lower fare couldn't make it, but Brandon Dauphin Air Shuttle, with 28 round trips per week during the same period, and charging a higher fare, is reportedly overloaded (and on at least one occasion sent prospective passengers it couldn't accommodate to Brandon Bus Lines).

 

 

On ‎1‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 4:09 PM, DavidW said:

Brandon Bus Lines, operating three round trips a week and charging a lower fare couldn't make it, but Brandon Dauphin Air Shuttle, with 28 round trips per week during the same period, and charging a higher fare, is reportedly overloaded (and on at least one occasion sent prospective passengers it couldn't accommodate to Brandon Bus Lines).

 

I wonder if it would not now  make sense for Maple to operate Winnipeg-Portage-Brandon-Minnedosa--Hwy 10 to Dauphin-Swan River and The Pas? For passengers and freight too.

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