Greyhound Canada to cut bus routes to stem losses

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Greyhound Canada will cease operations in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario and warned on Thursday it may end bus service across Western Canada unless it receives government assistance.

Canada's largest intercity bus line, which is a unit of Britain's FirstGroup FGP.L, blamed federal and provincial government regulations for the cuts, saying it is forced to operate routes in rural areas at a loss.

“Our financial situation is dire and we are no longer in a position to absorb losses that are almost solely attributable to government policies,” said Stuart Kendrick, senior vice president, said in a statement.

“Despite numerous attempts over the years to adjust this business model in order to gain a profitable footing, Greyhound Canada has now run out of options,” Kendrick said.

The company said it wants governments to subsidize its rural operations, while a long-term plan is worked out to maintain bus service to those communities.

Greyhound did not say exactly when it will stop service in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. It said it is reviewing continuation of service in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. (Reporting by Allan Dowd, Editing by Peter Galloway)