Jayda Noyes, Daily Herald
When one door closes, another one opens—that’s the mindset of Rider Express Transportation owner Firat Uray.
With Greyhound’s services ending in Western Canada on Nov. 1, the Regina-based company is picking up some of its major routes.
Uray mapped them out: “Winnipeg to Calgary, Calgary to Vancouver and then also back from Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg. And then also Edmonton to Saskatoon, Regina with connections to Winnipeg.”
“There’s four provinces in Western Canada and close to 10 million people living in this area and leaving these 10 million people without the option of travelling, it is hard, so we try to be an option for them,” he said.
Rider Express started operating roughly two years ago after the province announced in March 2017 they were cutting the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) as part of their budget. It officially halted operations that year at the end of May.
Now with the closure of Greyhound, Uray sees the opportunity to expand his business more than ever.
“You don’t feel that some old companies that’s been here for close to 100 years that they are closing. It’s not a good feeling, but it’s also—if somebody’s going, somebody will come back, right?” he said. “We want to grow in this business.”
He added the elderly and students use the service to visit friends and family in small towns or for medical reasons.
“We are planning to start our Edmonton to Prince Albert and Saskatoon routes,” Uray said, assuring his customers in the area. “We’ll be ready in one or two weeks.”
Prince Albert’s KCTI Travels is also planning on picking up one of Greyhound’s old routes, but were unable to provide an interview on Thursday.