Revelstoke Women’s Shelter concerned of Greyhound cancellation’s impact on vulnerable women

The Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society is concerned about the methods of travel women will resort to

The discontinuation of Greyhound Canada bus services in Western Canada will be a huge issue for vulnerable women wanting to access the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter.

Services to Revelstoke and the B.C. province as a whole will be discontinued by October 31 — right before the busy winter travel period. Greyhound is also ending services in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The sole surviving route is Vancouver to Seattle. Greyhound has blamed escalating costs and declining numbers for the decision.

RELATED: Greyhound to end bus service in B.C., Alberta

The loss of this bus service in regional areas will impact society’s most vulnerable. Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society’s executive director Lynn Loeppky notes that the only options left for women fleeing abuse and coming to the shelter will be hitchhiking or ride sharing.

“I think in terms of numbers, women will still find a way here, but I can’t imagine it will be safe,” Loeppky said. “I’m concerned for people on low income without any form of transportation other than the Greyhound.”

Greyhound is considered a safe service as customers are recorded by name and the service has a relationship with police. It is also a cheaper option than flying. Following the news of this cancellation concerns for the increased risk for Indigenous women has been raised. For instance the notorious stretch of B.C. highway between Prince George and Prince Rupert is known as the Highway of Tears where many Indigenous women have gone missing after hitchhiking due to a lack of public transportation.

Loeppky said bus transport is an essential service for the majority of women at the shelter. After staying at the shelter, some women decide to move back to their hometowns. Women also come to the Revelstoke shelter when the big city shelters are full. There is also the need to attend out-of-town appointments that don’t align with the local medical bus schedule.

“I think the loss of this service is going to have a huge impact,” Loeppky said.

Greyhound Canada operates on a commercial basis with no support from the federal government and the cancellation is expected to impact roughly two million consumers. Loeppky has called on the federal and provincial governments to urgently work on a solution.

In a joint release, the BC Society of Transition Houses, Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan and Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters have also weighed in on the issue, stating the cancellation will put women and their children who are fleeing violence at a greater risk.

“As provincial associations for domestic violence services, we regard affordable travel options as essential services that should be supported with public revenue in order to protect the safety of those living in rural and remote areas,” the release states.

Just Posted

Large crowd attends new Revelstoke skateboard park

There is over 15,000 feet of skateable terrain

Columbia Basin Trust offering building energy sustainability grants

From town halls to seniors’ centres, community purpose buildings are well-used gathering… Continue reading

Jocelyn’s Jottings: The election is over, now what?

Now that the municipal election is finally over we can breath a… Continue reading

StartUp Revelstoke implementing phase two of entrepreneurship supports

StartUp Revelstoke is beginning phase two of their initiative: events and workshops.… Continue reading

Former Kamloops sheriff caught in sex-related sting pleads guilty to lesser charge

Kevin Johnston will be sentenced on Nov. 6 for his role in communicating online with a person posing as a 14-year-old girl.

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Shuswap offers one-stop wellness for seniors

Salmon Arm centre for seniors with chronic conditions offers collaborate approach to health

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

5 tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

BC Children’s Hospital has a few suggestions to keep Oct. 31 fun

B.C. man gets seven years in prison for baseball-bat attack on Kamloops teen

Kamloops man who beat Jessie Simpson into a coma has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He was originally charged with attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

Most Read