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This article was published 14/8/2009 (2779 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The new Greyhound bus depot opening today at the Richardson International Airport is already causing headaches for medical guests of the hotel located next door to the old depot on Portage Avenue.
The Holiday Inn on Colony Street draws a lot of business from people who come by bus from rural locations for medical appointments, said Sharon Hauff, the hotel's director of sales and marketing.
"This has really caused a lot of havoc, them moving over to the airport," she said, adding a number of clients have called or emailed to express concerns.
Though Greyhound passengers can opt to be dropped off at a heated bus shelter on Fort Street instead of the airport, Hauff said that's too far for her medical guests -- many of them seniors -- to walk.
"We didn't realize they would just dump them on Fort Street. We thought that they would do a hotel drop-off," Hauff said.
Hauff added she would be more than willing to contribute financially to a hotel drop-off for the Holiday Inn and other nearby hotels.
One rural medical guest, who asked not to be identified, said she always stays at the Holiday Inn when she comes to town for appointments at the Health Sciences Centre. She makes the trip at least four times a year.
The older woman said taking a city bus from Fort Street to the Holiday Inn is not feasible in her condition, especially with luggage. A round-trip cab ride from the airport to the Holiday Inn would likely cost about $40, she said -- half the price of her Greyhound ticket. A taxi from Fort Street to the hotel wouldn't be as expensive, she said, costing less than $15 for the round trip.
"For any seniors who are on a fixed income ... you are on some type of budget and you have no way to make up for this," she said.
The hotel is trying to organize a way to transport the medical guests to the Holiday Inn, Hauff added. For the guests arriving next week, Hauff said she'd take actions into her own hands.
"I'm willing to pick them up with my vehicle," she said. "They're seniors. They're not well and I'm not willing to have them be stuck."
Abby Wambaugh, a spokeswoman for Greyhound, said that Greyhound carefully considered the needs of Winnipeg when deciding to relocate the depot.
"Whenever we relocate, regardless of whether it's something like this where we build a new facility or just relocating to a different facility, there's extensive research that goes on. We take into account every aspect of the business."
The company considers customer service, connectivity to other modes of transportation, and access to highways, Wambaugh said.