The leaders of the six main transport services by inter-regional bus are urging the government Legault so that it gives them permission to resume their routes, and they ask for a financial assistance to ensure their survival.
It must be said that the financial health of the carriers, inter-regional, has been greatly affected by the pandemic. In the month of may, Keolis Canada recorded losses of approximately$ 5.5 Million. Since then, the company continues to wipe expenditure, although it does not generate any income. The transport company has sent out a recovery plan to the ministry of Transportation of Quebec last may and is still awaiting a response.
“We ask the government, as the pandemic lasts, it offsets between the actual income and the income that is necessary to ensure the profitability of carriers”, claimed Pierre-Paul Pharand, president and general manager of Keolis Canada.
The government of Quebec has allocated a financial aid of$ 400 Million for public transit, while carriers long distance are still waiting for help in order to take the shot. Links to the transport remote were already on an artificial respirator, before the start of the pandemic, which has not helped the cause.
“It may be the time to invest in not only the regional roads in the short term because of the pandemic, but may be to review the funding in its entirety to ensure that there is a reliable service that is given to citizens of the regions”, said Mr. Pharand.
The revival promises to be complex
The detachment physics is an important issue in view of the resumption of the activities of transport by buses. The companies are concerned about their profitability, since the number of users eligible by bus will be reduced to half.
“The distancing means 14 passengers on board while most of our links are to cover the costs from 25 passengers”, explained the assistant to the executive director of the group Intercar, Vicky Roy.
Intercar has also suffered large financial losses since the beginning of the crisis of the COVID-19. From march to June, the company reported losses of more than$ 1.4 Million generated by the shutdown of its operations since 26 march. According to the information of the assistant to the executive director, other losses in the six digits are forecast for the months of July and August if the company can not resume its activities.
For his part, Gilles Pay, spokesman for the ministry of Transportation of Quebec, confirmed that the recovery plan submitted by Keolis and the Federation of carriers by bus is currently under analysis.
Carriers long distance, they expect a return for more than six weeks. Remains to be seen if they will get the support expected in order to ensure the sustainability of their services, links between the regions across the province.