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Spring Gillard
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Disgrace Hound

I took the Greyhound bus up to the Okanagan for the Easter weekend. Both the Coquihalla (Highway 5) and Hope-Princeton (Highway 3) routes have been reduced to two trips a day: one around 6am and one around midnight. As if that weren’t bad enough, when you arrive, you are treated as if you don’t exist. I stood in a long line of people on the cement in the chilly dark early morning for about an hour. Bus drivers walked by us, not even glancing at us. No one bothered to tell us why we were leaving late, or how much longer we would have to wait.

When we finally left the station, the seven hour milk run began, all while crammed into a small tight space with your seatmate. The trip was made somewhat less tedious because the bus driver didn’t appear to know how to take the curves, and because there are a lot of them on the Hope-Princeton, including a number of switchbacks – it was a nail biter to boot. When we finally did arrive, my whole family was there patiently waiting. My Dad told me he had been chatting with one of the bus drivers while they waited. The driver told him that they work 15 hour days, sometimes longer because they have to wait in between legs of the trip. They only get paid for the mileage though, not the waiting. Perhaps that’s part of the reason the staff are grumpy.

Greyhound is in trouble, which is why they’re cutting service, if you can call it that. More like disgraceful performance in a race to the bottom. I hope that some entrepreneurial type will start up a competitive bus company and give them a run for their money.

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