Brandon bus route stops after two months

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A bus company that tried to fill the void left by Greyhound is already parking its service.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/01/2019 (1424 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A bus company that tried to fill the void left by Greyhound is already parking its service.

Brandon Bus Lines will cease its runs between Winnipeg and Brandon after Jan. 18. It only started the service on Nov. 19.

“We had feedback from the community that the service was needed,” office manager Jeanelle Hrechka said.

The company also felt it might get passengers who use the Brandon Air Shuttle that provides ground transportation to Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport.

However, the ridership never materialized.

“We had a handful of regulars already, but most days we were going with fairly low numbers,” Hrechka said.

“A couple days around Christmas, we had 10 people going to Winnipeg and 10 going back, which pretty much filled the van comfortably. The other days, we had two people going in and coming back.”

Brandon Bus has eight coaches, 14 passenger vans and other transport vehicles. It was just using passenger vans to fill the Winnipeg-to-Brandon route.

Service was Monday, Wednesday and Friday and cost $56.50 one way, tax included. The buses departed Brandon at 7:30 a.m. and arrived in Winnipeg at 10:15 a.m. They departed Winnipeg at 6 p.m. with arrival in Brandon at 8:45 p.m.

Greyhound ran the route daily, but it was mostly full of long-haul passengers who were going to farther destinations like Calgary, Hrechka said. The Brandon bus service only went between Winnipeg and Brandon with stops in Carberry and Portage la Prairie.

Greyhound stopped its Western Canada service on Oct. 31, 2018, saying it wasn’t viable.

“We had to give it a try to see what the ridership was going to be,” Hrechka said.

The closure is unfortunate for those people who need the service, but there weren’t enough using it, she said. “They need a service, but at the end of the day, we are a business and we can’t just do it for a handful of people.”

Brandon Bus, owned by Gordon and Natalie Hrechka, runs numerous charters to casinos, for schools, sports teams, senior groups, etc. It will operate a shuttle service during the Tim Hortons Brier between March 2-10.

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

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