Grande Prairie residents can still board a bus to Edmonton from the former Greyhound location. Greyhound officially pulled out of western Canada on Wednesday, but its local contractor is working for another business out of the same spot just north of the Prairie Mall.
Metobe Transport is operated by Bill Fehr, who has nearly 30 years of experience in the industry. He has teamed up with Coldshot Courier Services out of Edmonton to continue to offer freight and passenger service.
“I’ve worked with Coldshot and the owner Sunny [Bulwaria] because he used to be a contractor for Greyhound also,” Fehr says. “I knew what he wanted and it kind of corresponded to what I think a courier should be also so it just made sense to go ahead and do it.”
Service started up Thursday morning, and Fehr says the main difference passengers will notice is that the buses fit 21 people not 54, and don’t have washrooms on board. Red Arrow Bus Lines and Northern Express Bus Lines have both added service to Grande Prairie since Greyhound announced its departure, but Fehr believes Coldshot’s price point will set the company apart.
“We are probably around 25 to 30 per cent less than anybody who is running a bus service at this time, so I think that’s going to be big time for us on being able to get some of the customers back, for sure.”
The price of a one-way ticket from Grande Prairie to Edmonton will cost $74, while the others are priced between $96 and $100. The bus will make one trip a day for the next 10 to 12 days, before increasing to be twice-daily. A route is also available to Peace River.
Fehr says he had to lay off a couple of employees during the transition, but he hopes to hire them back and even more once the new service is established. Coldshot is operating out of the east side of the former Greyhound depot but could also move in the future.