Greyhound gets approval for cutting number of stops between Vancouver and Whistler 

Horseshoe Bay stop remains; resort now has two stops, Squamish one stop

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Greyhound Canada has been allowed to make cuts to its number of stops in the Sea to Sky corridor by the provincial Passenger Transportation Board.

The company had applied in June to eliminate 30 route "stopping points" on 11 routes in B.C.

Of those 30 cuts, 11 are on the Sea to Sky corridor's S1 route. Greyhound will eliminate route points at Sunset Beach in West Vancouver, Lions Bay and Furry Creek. In Squamish, the stops in Dentville and Brackendale are cut, while in Whistler stops in Function Junction, Twin Lakes, Alpine Meadows and Emerald Estates are at an end.

Other communities, including Pemberton and Britannia Beach, are not impacted. The stop at Horseshoe Bay, contrary to earlier reports, will also remain.

Grant Odsen, regional manager of passenger services for Greyhound, said buses would definitely stop at Garibaldi North in Squamish and at Whistler Creekside and the Whistler bus loop.

"This is a cleanup of our licence. The way our licence reads, we provide a stop in Whistler and in other communities and in Whistler we have two," Odsen said.

Odsen said Greyhound will still stop in Horseshoe Bay and that this stop, which allows people to alight at the BC Ferries terminal there, didn't appear on the licence because it was covered under a different jurisdiction than municipal stops.

"Horseshoe Bay is defined as a 'port stop' service and our Sea to Sky service operates as a 'commuter' service but we will continue to cover it," he said.

This is the second change in 2013 to Greyhound services. In January, the Passenger Board allowed the company to lower the minimum number of buses it could run from Vancouver to Pemberton.

Service from Vancouver to Whistler Village was cut in half, from a minimum of eight round trips per day to four, and from 56 round trips per week to 28. Service to Squamish was cut by the same amount, while service to Pemberton fell from four round trips per day to three.

Odsen noted investments in new buses on the route and a newly launched express service that started in April.

"To my knowledge, that's all (the changes) we've got on for now," he said.

Private bus companies cannot pick up any slack that Greyhound may have left behind.

Darian Tooley of Pacific Coach Lines said that Greyhound holds the rights for stops like Lions Bay and another company cannot replace them, even if Greyhound chooses not to exercise that part of the licence. She said it can be confusing.

"That's the function of the PTB, to ensure that you don't have a lot of people running around with the same licencing and the same functions. With the PTB it's all about public need," she said, adding that they serve more Lower Mainland and visitors rather than locals who wish to travel.

"We prefer offering a more express-type service as it is. Our people are from the airport or downtown and they just want to get to the mountain.

"There could be a hundred people standing at Park Royal (Shopping Mall in West Vancouver) and we would love to pick up, but we can't. That's an en route stop and Greyhound has that."

Amanda Wood, the office manager of West Coast Sightseeing, which runs the Snowbus Service from downtown Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport to the resort during the winter season, said they had seen a spike in calls for their buses after the Labour Day long weekend. Unfortunately for the callers, their services begin on November 28.

"I had to tell them, 'sorry I can't help you!' I haven't had anyone calling and saying it's because Greyhound isn't running, but since the long weekend calls have gone up by a large amount," Wood said. "It was really strange how abrupt it was. Over the summer there would be one call a month, but then all of a sudden in the first two weeks of September we're getting multiple calls a day."



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