Exclusive Bus Lines will be providing commuter transportation between Selkirk and Winnipeg starting in July. (Brook Jones, Interlake Publishing, Postmedia Network)
Exclusive Bus Lines is dropping its commuter service between Selkirk and Winnipeg effective Sept. 2.
The company said, due to unpredictable and declining numbers in ridership, the commuter line between these two municipalities needs to come to an end.
Based in Headingley, Exclusive Bus Lines appeared on the scene, July 4, 2016, with plenty of fan fare shortly after Beaver Bus Lines pulled their commuter line after decades of providing their service.
Selkirk mayor Larry Johannson told the Selkirk Journal May 30 that it is a disappointment the commuter service provided by Exclusive Bus Lines - Walt Morris Group of Companies is coming to an end for residents of Selkirk, St. Andrews and West St. Paul.
“I commend Mr. Morris for when he stepped forward one year ago,” said Johannson. “We thank him for that.”
The mayor said he realizes it was a business decision for Exclusive Bus Lines to pull the plug on the commuter service.
“I commend him (Walt Morris) on trying anyway,” Johannson said. “They did the best they could and they offered the best buses. I am crossing my fingers that someone else comes along and picks this up....We’re not looking at a temporary service, we’re looking at something for the long haul.”
Johannson hinted at the fact the province needs to look at a regional transportation plan, especially for the capital region.
“Obviously this business case of just driving the bus back and forth to Winnipeg to Selkirk isn’t enough. It doesn’t work,” he noted. “I believe that other communities have to be involved with some sort of a transit system. We have to look beyond the Selkirk to Winnipeg route.”
He would also like to see a new commuter service that not only includes transportation from Selkirk to Winnipeg, but also to communities such as Petersfield, Clandeboye, Winnipeg Beach, Gimli, Stonewall, Teulon, Lac du Bonnet and Powerview-Pine Falls.
“There are no services out there that can get people into other areas,” he added. “One bus carrying 50 people compared to 50 vehicles on the road. We have to look at the green (environmental) aspect.”