A northern Manitoba-based company has initiated plans to start passenger and freight bus service to replace Greyhound.
Thompson-based Thompson Bus aims to begin bus services before the end of September, starting with routes close to Thompson and branching out to include other northern communities later.
However, the company’s current plans do not include adding service to Flin Flon until spring 2019, which will leave a service gap in the Flin Flon area after Greyhound services end on Oct. 31.
“Our goal is to have a route, a weekly route of some kind, that will connect The Pas and Flin Flon to Thompson in the first quarter of 2019,” said Jimmy Pelk, manager of Thompson Bus.
“That’s it right now. We’ve talked to some shareholders in The Pas and in the next few weeks, we will start conversations with some shareholders in Flin Flon, then put something together, hopefully in early 2019.”
The bus company would operate routes between Flin Flon and The Pas and Thompson and would include bus transport between Flin Flon and The Pas. Pelk said the company does not currently plan on adding service from The Pas on to Winnipeg, but added that Flin Flon passengers could ride to Thompson before heading to Winnipeg from there and that another company may come forward to take on a route from The Pas to Winnipeg.
“This is a northern company established for northern people,” said Pelk, who added the company will operate smaller 15-passenger vehicles instead of larger buses like those currently used by Greyhound.
“Right now, there’s not a need for the big, full-blown buses. We could justify a big bus if there was a freight need or a combination of freight and passengers, but just for passengers, there’s not a need that we’ve found so far.”