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

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

Hereditary chiefs negotiate injunction agreement

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs abide by interim injunction, but gate stays up. Still opposed.

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Suspended B.C. legislature officers accused of ‘flagrant overspending’

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Giant ice disk equipped with webcam after surviving storm

Westbrook official Tina Radel says the livestream was requested by Brown University

Ousted B.C. legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

James and Lenz say release was ‘Contrary to all principles of fairness and decent treatment’

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

Auto shop apologizes after B.C. employees disrespect memorial convoy

Mr. Lube staff members suspended after incident Sunday in Nanaimo

Most Read