Greyhound Lines, Inc., has announced that it will permanently end bus service to and from Goldendale and Lyle this summer.
Twenty-two cities and towns in rural Washington will lose service as of Aug. 18, along with 260 stops in small towns along "money-losing" routes in a 13-state northern region between Chicago and Seattle.
Greyhound, based in Dallas, Texas, said the cuts will "allow us to preserve the system and service in the region," and improve service to the 99 remaining stations.
The cutbacks mean Klickitat County residents will have to go to The Dalles or Hood River for interstate bus service.
"Customers will experience improved convenience, faster service, fewer stops, and improved on-time departures and arrivals," said Kim Plaskett, spokesperson for Greyhound.
Other area towns losing bus service include Camas, Washougal, Skamania, Wapato, and Toppenish.
A Greyhound news release indicated that the cutbacks will result in 150 Greyhound employees being laid off, and the elimination of 100 buses from Greyhound's fleet.
No changes in Greyhound's fares are planned.
Eric Olsen, transportation manager for Mt. Adams Transportation Service in Goldendale, said his agency would try to fill the gap.
"We're going to try to pick up some of the slack," Olsen said. "A lot of people who would have used Greyhound are kind of in a pickle now."
Mt. Adams Transportation is part of Klickitat County Senior Services, an agency of county government.
Mt. Adams Transportation began offering twice-daily round trip bus service between Goldendale and The Dalles earlier this month.
"We started it July 7," Olsen explained. "Part of our thinking when we decided to do this was to provide transportation for people who work in The Dalles or go to school there."
The buses will leave Goldendale at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Changes to transit service in White Salmon are still being reviewed.
"It's still in the developmental stage regarding White Salmon," Olsen said. "The only thing we know for sure is that we'll pick up in White Salmon at approximately 5 p.m., and head down State Route 14 going east."
Olsen said the bus from White Salmon would go at least as far as Murdock, but would take passengers on to The Dalles if the need is there.
Olsen said the loss of Greyhound could increase ridership for Mt. Adams Transportation. However, he pointed out that the systems generally served different needs.
"It's pretty much a `dial-a-ride' currently, but we will determine the needs and fix routes around that," he said.