THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – COVID-19 continues its impact on the economy. Today, April 27, 2020, Kasper Transportation announced the company has notified the Ministry of Transportation that the company will be suspending operations of all routes effective Saturday, May 2, 2020. The decrease in revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic makes it financially irresponsible to continue operations at this time according to company CEO Kasper Wabinski.
In a media release, Kasper Transportation says the company provides inter-community land-based transportation services to the northern 50% of the landmass of Ontario and plays a vital role in providing passenger, charter, and freight services. The company is also suspending its twice-daily Owen Sound to Guelph service.
The transportation sector has been hard hit with all of the shutdowns of businesses and travel. Also impacting Kasper Transportation has been the decision by the Manitoba government on individual travel into the province. On March 23, 2020, the Manitoba government established checkpoints at the province’s borders. Travellers entering Manitoba receive information about Manitoba’s current state of emergency, public health orders issued under The Public Health Act, and the need to immediately self-isolate for 14 days after travel in Canada or internationally. This effectively shut down Kasper Transportation’s run from Sioux Lookout into Winnipeg.
Suspending their service will impact a significant portion of the population in Northern Ontario who do not have access to private vehicle transportation, and must travel for essential medical appointments as well as for employment. Kasper Transportation freight services transport medical samples, municipal water testing samples, drug prescriptions, and freight for mines and hydro development projects, according to the company.
Kasper Transportation company was established in Northwestern Ontario in 2015 to provide service to communities without bus services and their scheduled routes replaced the bus service abandoned by Greyhound Canada.
Today, Kasper Transportation provides passenger, charter and freight services with established depots in Thunder Bay and Winnipeg along with sheltered stops in over 40 locations across Ontario and Manitoba. It serves over 20,000 passengers annually on eight scheduled routes, with a current fleet of 24 vehicles and over 32 staff. Its fleet of vehicles can seat from 6 to 36 passengers that allows the rightsizing of buses used to match the passenger volumes needed.