NEWS

Orléans Express bus company gets $450K in emergency funding

09/22/2014 03:39 EDT | Updated 11/22/2014 05:59 EST
A $450,000 emergency subsidy from the Quebec government may not be enough to help Quebec intercity bus company Orléans Express balance its books.

According to Marc-André Varin of the coach service’s parent company, Keolis Canada, Orléans Express lost nearly $3.5 million last year.

"This year, the situation is continuing to deteriorate," Varin said.

He said he was grateful for the government grant, but Orléans Express will still have to put an end to some of its regional bus routes to improve its long-term financial situation. 

"We're basically losing $10,000 a day by operations, so we've asked to reduce the operations in order to go back to profitability next year," Varin said.

Varin said he was confident the company could exit its financial dire straits in 2015 and turn a profit with the service cuts, provided the province’s transport commission approves the changes. It can't make cuts without the commission's permission.

If they are approved, eastern Quebec would be first would be the first region to see cuts to Orléans's service routes. 

Meanwhile, the bus service between Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Quebec City has remained profitable in the face of declining numbers across the board, and will remain intact even while the company make cuts.

Transport Minister Robert Poëti said he is concerned about the prospect of some Quebec communities losing their intercity bus service entirely.

The $450,000 subsidy, Varin said, would allow the company to maintain its regional service until 2015, when the transport commission is expected to render its decision.

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