Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Greyhound apologizes for leaving teen stranded

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Kristen Genaille, 18, is safely home now, having landed in Brandon Friday night after boarding a Greyhound bus she thought was taking her  from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg.

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Kristen Genaille, 18, is safely home now, having landed in Brandon Friday night after boarding a Greyhound bus she thought was taking her from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg.

GREYHOUND is apologizing after a bus driver left a Winnipeg teenager to fend for herself when she got stranded in Brandon on Friday night.

Kristen Genaille, 18, left Portage la Prairie, where she was visiting her cousin Friday, and boarded a bus thinking she was going to Winnipeg.

She said the bus driver checked her ticket and gave her back the stub, so when they arrived in Brandon at 10 p.m., she didn't know what to do.

"I've never been to Brandon and I don't know anyone there," Genaille said. "I was scared."

She said she told the bus driver what happened, but he wasn't sympathetic.

"He told me it was my own problem," she said.

Genaille called her cousin, Emerald Contois, for help. Contois said she spoke to the bus driver over the phone, but he refused to give her his name or help her.

"Some of the other people I overheard in the background were very concerned about what was happening, but there wasn't a lot they could do about it because the next bus wasn't until 5 a.m. and the bus station was closing at midnight," Contois said.

One of the women offered to have Genaille stay at her house overnight, but she didn't feel comfortable with that, so she waited at the Canad Inn until she was picked up.

Lanesha Gipson, a Greyhound spokeswoman, said the company will probably compensate the family for what happened.

"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused," Gipson said. "Ordinarily, if the buses were still running, we would have done everything we could to help her, and we still should have done more."

Greyhound has identified the bus driver who drove Genaille's bus Friday night, but Gipson wouldn't release his name.

"He has been with us for quite some time and we haven't had these kinds of problems before," she said.

Contois had to call her dad, who lives in Winnipeg, to pick up her cousin. He was recently diagnosed with colon cancer.

"He needs all of the rest he can get right now, not this kind of stress, but we didn't have a lot of other options," Contois said.

Contois' father left Winnipeg about 11 p.m. Friday and didn't get back home until 6 a.m. Saturday.

Contois said she wants to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen to someone else.

veronika.gorlova@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 15, 2013 A4

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