Both Eastern Quebec and Gaspé became increasingly isolated with new service cuts for Aurelian coaches.
There will be no Aurelian coaches at Gaspisi and Bass Saint Laurent, with the exception of Rimouski, starting February 7th, until further notice.
Keolis Canada announced on Wednesday that the pandemic is forcing it to scale back its services until conditions improve. Air Canada had already suspended its regional line to Gaspé and the train was not running as well.
The hostage population
Virus or not, the mayor of Gaspe considers this situation unacceptable.
“There are 80,000 of us in Gaspé, and at the moment, in air and road transportation, we believe our regions should not be held hostage by multinational corporations valued at several billion dollars. Air Canada has sales of between $ 12 billion and $ 14 billion. $ 1 billion a year and Keolis, $ 9.1 billion a year.For Keolis, 30% of the company is owned by us through Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, ”says Daniel Cote.
The Mayor would like regional transportation to be seen as an essential service with the necessary support. According to his example, many people who are unable to drive have to travel to large centers to receive more specialized healthcare.
“What are we telling them? Is the private company not earning enough money? I ask the government to act. Whether it is supporting Keolis or some other transportation service, but we cannot cut off transportation services because the company decided not to attend,” adds Côté.
At the end of March 2020, the carrier, Orléans, suspended all its routes before gradually resuming services between cities in July, in particular to Gaspé.
Keolis said about six months ago that the frequency and sustainability of the services will depend on the traffic.
An essential service
This time, the service will be limited to two routes, namely the Montreal-Quebec service, and the Quebec-Rimousky service. There will be no stops between cities.
The Quebec and Mauritius center will also be without an intercity bus service in two weeks.
The company reports another drop in passengers due to the pandemic. Keolis assures us that these are temporary measures.
The government is supporting all sectors of activity related to the epidemic, but we are in the presence of a basic service that also needs support. I think Keolis has an obligation to serve us and I would be curious to contact the Quebec Transport Committee, ”concludes the Mayor of Gaspé.
Keolis Canada CEO Pierre Paul Farand says the company is committed to restoring services as quickly as possible.