Monday, July 9, 2018

Mercury in Leo Square Jupiter in Scorpio: the Bombshell Announcement of the Elimination of Greyhound Bus and Freight Service Across All of Western Canada

Well, this is some huge (Jupiter) bad (Scorpio) news (Mercury). 

As transportation and communication planet Mercury in Leo formed an exact square to stationing Jupiter (big) in Scorpio (eliminations) on July 9, it was announced that Greyhound will be eliminating all bus routes and freight service across Western Canada. 

That's the vast provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Other than one route, which will remain in British Columbia, the entirety of Western Canada, where more than 11 million people live, will have no bus service other than local service in the cities.

I don't know whether to cry, puke, or laugh at this point.

Western Canada has one of the most regressive public transportation situations in the world right now. 

And who does it hurt most? The people who are already struggling hardest in this society: the poor, the elderly, the disabled, students, rural people, people who don't or can't drive.

People living in the insulated Middle-Class Bubble want to be snide and facetious about so-called "First World Problems?" 

I bet most third world countries have public transportation.

There are plenty of real and hardcore problems in Canada, many involving class stratification and the invisibility/constant screwing over of the "underclasses." 

But this doesn't affect one-vehicle-per-person car drivers, so who cares, right? 

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

And I don't know about one of Greyhound's stated reasons - that ridership is down so extensively. The last time I took the Greyhound from Saskatchewan to B.C., it was absolutely packed with people. This is going to negatively affect so many people, I couldn't even begin to put a number on it. I'm definitely one of them.

In a way, though, the shock of this announcement has been dulled.

The announcement of the elimination of Greyhound bus - a private corporation - in Western Canada comes soon after the elimination, amidst huge protest, of the entire government-run provincial bus system in Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC).

The announcement of the elimination of STC also occurred with transportation/communication planet Mercury in a square aspect with another body - in that case Pluto.

Mercury = transportation
Pluto/Scorpio = elimination

From a previous post:

"[I]n late March 2017, just as Mercury in Aries formed a square to Pluto in Capricorn, it was announced that the neo-conservative Brad Wall government in Saskatchewan was eliminating the public bus system for the entire province in order to save one tenth of one percent of the overall budget. This was a shocking and horrifying announcement for many, including me. I literally couldn't believe that a decision this ass-headed would be allowed to go forward and wrote an article about it at the time, "We Get Knocked Down, But We Get Up Again: Regressive Transportation Policy Under the Mercury-Pluto Square.""

The decision by the Wall government to unceremoniously eliminate STC is particularly sickening, considering it destroyed the 70-year-old provincial bus system, which cost a measly $17 million per year to operate, while pumping $1.9 billion into a single bypass over a single Saskatchewan city - the government city of Regina where, coincidentally, the provincial legislature is located. 

The bypass was poorly designed - it was not made wide enough to transport farm machinery across it in a largely agricultural province - and the bypass has also now been found to be crumbling underneath as vehicles drive across.

Already four times the original estimate, this faulty bypass is certain to cost Saskatchewan taxpayers much more.

The elimination of Greyhound in Western Canada leaves 415 people unemployed, just as the elimination of STC left 224 people unemployed. 

I don't know how much worse it can get for non-drivers in Western Canada, but I won't tempt fate by saying it can't get any worse...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I don't know whether to cry, puke, or laugh at this point."

I'm a Sagittarius. I usually laugh, but there's a tinge of venomous dislike for the government, mixed in with a sarcastic line of 'Oh crap, it's just life' type of helpless puking.

ty said...

Wow. You are doing such a great job and service for everyone Willow! What a great opportunity for people to come together and make their own transportation system. For example, https://kootenay.ride-share.org/ typically costs me no more than $50 cad to travel 9 hours from the Kootenays to Vancouver. Now that I have a vehicle I can make $400 per trip to Vancouver and back, while helping travelers save money.

Willow said...

Yeahhhh, I heard that with STC a lot, also. I have to respectfully point out a few flaws with that idea, though. Private citizens picking up a few routes here and there is not the same as a guaranteed bus system across Western Canada, unfortunately.

Rideshares are often unreliable. You can't guarantee that you will be able to get a ride to the location you need to go on the date or time you need to go.

There will always be rides to Vancouver, certainly, but often not to the less populated areas.

Private citizens have picked up a few of the more profitable routes in Saskatchewan, but many rural areas are not serviced. My home area is one of them.

The drivers are generally not professionals, either, so there is some concern as far as putting your life in the hands of a stranger who is not a professional driver and who has no accountability to a larger company.

Rideshares work in some cases and for some people. They are definitely not the solution for everyone, though.