Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has applied for licences to run Vancouver-Kelowna and Vancouver-Kamloops bus service. (Black Press files)

UPDATE: B.C. communities lose bus service as Greyhound shuts down

Cache Creek, Creston, Cranbrook, Hope-Princeton routes still lack service

More than 80 per cent of inter-city bus services will be picked up with the departure of Greyhound from Western Canada this week, B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says.

That claim is disputed by B.C. Liberal critics, who said Trevena is using the total length of routes to arrive at the conclusion that 83 per cent of service is replaced.

“I listed 49 communities that will no longer have access to ground transportation once Greyhound ends service on Wednesday,” said Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson. “I would like the transportation minister to back up her claims that these communities will still retain service.”

In the legislature Monday, Larson criticized the government for a “last-minute scramble” that leaves communities like Princeton with no service and others having to make an appointment to get a bus to stop.

Bus services such as Saanich-based Wilson’s Transportation, Saskatchewan’s Rider Express and Merritt Shuttle have received or have pending licences to begin service.

Routes that still don’t have a carrier are Cache Creek to Kamloops, Kamloops to Valemount, Valemount to the B.C.-Alberta border, Dawson Creek to the B.C.-Alberta border, Salmo to Creston, Cranbrook to the Alberta border, Fort Nelson to Yukon border, and the Hope-Princeton route.

“For these eight segments, we are going to be working with the Passenger Transportation Board to issue requests for expressions of interest in the coming weeks, to further engage the private sector on filling the gaps,” Trevena said Monday.

RELATED: Kootenay bus line connects to Okanagan

RELATED: Island bus service expanding to Kelowna

The province isn’t expanding provincially subsidized service beyond B.C. Bus North, a one-year pilot program launched by B.C. Transit in June after Greyhound stopped service from Prince George west to Prince Rupert and north to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John and Fort Nelson at the end of May.

B.C. Bus North also serves Prince George to Valemount, with fares between $35 and $45 for its network. That service is costing taxpayers $2 million for the year, and work is underway to attract a private operator for the northern routes as well.

Trevena said the northern routes have attracted substantial ridership along Highway 16, Highway 97 and points north.

“The current proposed plan of using reservation-based companies, with departures that only happen once or twice a day, is no way to serve residents of this region,” Larsen said. “The change in service will have the most significant impact on our rural seniors.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Film documents transformation of snowboarders, surfers

Former professional athletes forged deep ties with communities

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

Transitioning back into the world

Courtenay man had been living outdoors before starting Sally Ann program

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Most Read