As gas prices hovering in record territory, Alberta transportation businesses that heavily rely on the use of fuel are starting to feel the financial pinch.
It’s been a tough two years for the Alberta-based bus company, Cold Shot Bus Service.
The pandemic led to low ridership, but now, as business begins to pick up, recent high gas prices are throwing another wrench into its profitability.
“The price is just killing us. It’s too high to maintain the same pricing and scheduling,” Cold Shot Bus Service president Sunny Balwaria said.
Since the recent gas spike kicked in, Balwaria said costs are up 30 per cent, added costs that he’s had to absorb.
It’s a situation the business can no longer keep up with.
“Currently, what we are thinking of is increasing the price by five dollars, if the current price (of gas) stays, just to keep things running and maintaining it,” Balwaria said.
Balwaria said if gas prices remain high, the price hike would kick in April 1st and will stay in place until prices go down.
He added that’s not all that could change.
“We may have to cut down our oldest run, which is Edmonton-Cold Lake-Edmonton, by five days to three days,” Balwaria said.
He added more routes could also be reduced or completely cancelled, but that is an option he says is a last resort.
Economist Moshe Lander said several transportation businesses are looking at the prospect of having to make changes.
“In cases like Skip the Dishes, in cases like Greyhound, in cases like Westjet, it’s a major component to their cost structure and so the fact is when you see your input process quadruple, its inevitable that you’re going to have to pass that along,” Lander said
When it comes to food delivery, Dalhousie University food policy expert Sylvain Charlebois said we could see some disruption.
“Drivers for Uber Eats, Door Dash, Skip are staying home just because it’s too much right now and they are not getting more per order,”said Charlebois.
Experts believe high gas prices are likely to stick around for a while, something Balwaria hopes isn’t the case.
“We keep watching the pricing, we watch it everyday.”
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