The Greyhound terminal in Saskatoon is a small desk in a corner of the Husky station near the airport. It is surrounded by bright displays of trucking paraphernalia, shelves of jerry cans, and rows of replacement windshield wipers. I arrive at seven in the morning on October 30 and find my eastbound bus already there, idling in the dark. A few other passengers shuffle around, yawning and furtively checking their phones. When we finally embark, a little after eight, we are seen out by a chorus of melancholy farewells from the terminal staff. Several of them will be out of work as of the next day.
Last July, Greyhound announced that it would end all bus service in Canada west of Ontario as of October 31, 2018, the only exception being one route between Seattle and Vancouver. The decision was blamed mostly on low ridership and high overhead costs. For nearly a century, buses have been an important transportation lifeline for people in many small western towns, and when the decision was announced, some were worried that it would effectively isolate these communities from the rest of the country.