Greyhound wants out? Time for mass-public transit!

Greyhound says it can’t afford Northern Manitoba or Ontario to continue doing business, so it’s pulling out, leaving many rural communities stranded.

Seeing as Greyhound is a Texas based company, perhaps the most economically stimulating solution (to our economy) would be (rather than bailing out foreign interests which would save 20-100 jobs of drivers and station managers)  to invest in a public transit option.

In fact, there’s a few options here.

The governments could opt to buy out Greyhound’s business in the provinces, thereby providing public busing between the towns and cities (the major city bus routes would also have to be bought up to afford the smaller routes). This would be the fastest and cheapest solution, but maintains a dirty diesel fleet of buses.  It’s worth noting that in this first option since Canada Post is already delivering mail daily to these communities, the parcels could be carried along with the buses, saving a trip to each location (and lessening the environmental impact since buses are likely marginally worse than the Canada Post trucks).

A better option might be to pay Greyhound to run the lines while the governments invest in a large-scale commuter rail project, thereby creating hundreds to thousands of jobs (something “Canada’s Economic Action Plan” seems to have been failing to do) across the country. The rail system could even be expanded to cover the entire country.

Of course, both of these options being far too interventionist by nature will likely give way to the Friedmanite Third Way of saying screw the small communities that aren’t profitable and let them pay for gas to get to town.

Although, perhaps with an NDP government, Manitoba may actually be able to make some real changes here (they supposedly already demand that Greyhound service all routes or none).