The Vancouver Island Connector along with the Tofino Bus will not be resuming service this month and will remain suspended until further notice. Black Press file photo

The Vancouver Island Connector along with the Tofino Bus will not be resuming service this month and will remain suspended until further notice. Black Press file photo

Island’s ground transportation service coming to a halt

Because of COVID-19, work and travel restrictions, revenue has been down 95 per cent

The Island’s ground transportation service – the Vancouver Island Connector – will not be resuming service this month and will remain suspended until further notice.

On a service update posted to its website, the company said the Connector, along with the Tofino Bus, will not be operational.

“Due to COVID-19, work and travel restrictions, revenue on these routes has been down 95 per cent since March 2020. While the Tofino Bus intercity bus service provides the same essential service as public transit, as a privately-owned company without any government subsidies, it depends on ticket sales to cover all costs.”

The company noted it has asked for a one-year emergency COVID-19 recovery contract from the Ministry of Transportation to cover operation costs for the Tofino Bus and allow it to resume the service, but it has not yet been successful.

RELATED: VI Connector bus on the hunt for Comox Valley ticketing agent

The Vancouver Island Connector has been in operation since 2015 providing daily scheduled services to Vancouver Island from Victoria to Campbell River. In addition to the Tofino Bus, it also provided ground shipping to Vancouver and across the Island.

Last year, the company put out a call for locations to sell tickets for its clients as various bus depots across the Island closed. Vicki Wadsworth – who owned the depot with her husband in the Comox Valley – told Black Press Media once Greyhound stopped operating in Canada “it really died off and that’s when things went downhill.”

The company said it will continue to work with the provincial government to restore the service, but is asking communities – particularly those in which are served by the Tofino Bus – to contact their MLA about the loss of service.

For more information, visit vicconnector.com



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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