No-go Greyhound

Montana State Roundup

Published September 1, 2004  | September 2004 issue

Going Greyhound is no longer an option for residents of eastern Montana. Greyhound Lines Inc. was slated to cut 14 stops in Montana and end service east of Billings by the end of August. The company announced in July that it would serve only five cities in the state—Billings, Livingston, Bozeman, Butte and Missoula.

The cuts are part of a nationwide route restructuring that Greyhound officials hope will boost profits. Greyhound carries freight for businesses as well as low-income and elderly passengers. Stops being eliminated in Montana include Big Timber, Drummond, Glendive, Miles City, Three Forks and Deer Lodge—all with fewer than 10,000 residents. The cuts are also expected to put 25 bus drivers in Billings out of work.

To survive steep declines in ticket sales since the 2001 terrorist attacks, the company plans to focus on shorter trips, eliminating long hauls with low ridership like the Fargo, N.D., to Billings run. Company officials say additional stops and routes could be cut in the future, including more in Montana.

At press time, Billings-based Rimrock Trailways was planning to pick up some of Greyhound's routes, including the abandoned Fargo, N.D., to Billings run.

Phil Davies