Bus carriers in difficulty

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Whether in Mauricie or Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean, COVID-19 is having a profound impact on the bus transport industry, which has seen their income reduced to virtually nothing.

• Read also: Coach carriers send out a “cry from the heart”

Whether we think of school, sports or tourist trips, everything has been on hold since the start of the pandemic. More than 160 businesses have been affected in Quebec. Overall, they have seen their income decline between 80 and 100% compared to last year, which represents losses of over $ 200 million.

“With us, it looks like 99% losses since the start of the pandemic. There is hardly anything moving. It’s not really funny, ”Jean Pellerin, director of operations for Autocar Hélie, a Mauricie company, told TVA Nouvelles.

Bell Horizon in Trois-Rivières is going through a similar crisis, with the company accumulating $ 13 million in lost revenue since the start of the pandemic. “We do not see much additional income in the coming months. For our chartered transport activities, losses are around 100% ”, specified the vice-president of the company, Michaël Bellemare.

The scenario is similar in Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean, where the Intercar group is showing creativity in trying to limit its losses. The company explained to TVA Nouvelles that it even had to resolve to relocate some of its buses, in the hope of cutting some of its fixed costs.

The Federation of Bus Carriers is asking the federal government for $ 16 million to cover the fixed costs of maintaining vehicles and surviving a winter that promises to be long.

“We can see very clearly that the next period will be as, if not more, difficult than what just happened. There is currently no recovery. We’re at zero. There is no revenue, ”said the president of the Federation of Bus Transporters Stéphane Lefebvre.

– With information from Amélie St-Yves and Simon Philibert, TVA Nouvelles





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