TORONTO — Greyhound has permanently closed its services in Canada immediately after approximately a century, the inter-city bus operator stated on Thursday, as the COVID-19 pandemic dented demand for community transport.

The go is a blow to Canada’s rural communities, which have relied on buses to hook up them to much larger cities. The corporation finished all services in western Canada in 2018 because of to slipping ridership in rural regions and improved levels of competition.

“A whole 12 months with out revenue has sad to say built it impossible to proceed functions,” Stuart Kendrick, senior vice president of the firm, which is owned by British transport operator FirstGroup, stated in a statement.

The go has no influence on Greyhound Strains Inc (United states of america), which is a individual entity from Greyhound Canada, and will proceed to work cross-border express services when the border reopens.

Greyhound, which commenced functions in Canada in 1929, stated the federal and provincial governments experienced not extended required investment in inter-city bus services. “Functions are not possible absent of economic assist,” the statement additional.

The federal government has been under stress in recent several years to better connection rural cities to much larger city hubs as Greyhound cut back again routes and airways these types of as Air Canada and Onex Corp-owned Westjet canceled or paused assistance to distant regions.

Omar Alghabra, the federal transport minister, stated he was upset by Greyhound Canada’s closure.

“We know that quite a few Canadians depend on this assistance,” Alghabra stated in a statement on Twitter, introducing that the government will perform with the provinces to handle the hole in transportation still left by the bus corporation.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru and Moira Warburton in Toronto Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Cynthia Osterman)

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