B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena (Black Press)

B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena (Black Press)

B.C. bus service applications to be fast-tracked after Greyhound pullout

Greyhound’s departure leaves few options for small communities

The B.C. Passenger Transportation Board will move applications “to the front of the line” encourage inter-city bus companies to pick up routes that Greyhound Canada leaves behind at the end of October.

An “urgent public need process” is available for rural or remote corridors, where applicants don’t have to publish the required notice to be considered, said Catharine Read, chair of the board, in a statement Wednesday.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said Tuesday she expects “nimble and quick” response from smaller bus services to fill in the gap left by Greyhound’s departure.

The application procedure is explained on the board’s website.

Trevena said the solution would not be an expansion of B.C. Transit services.

RELATED: Market can fill Greyhound vacuum, minister says

Greyhound Canada announced last week it is shutting down all service from northern Ontario west. It had earlier stopped routes in northern B.C. and on Vancouver Island.

BC Transit’s service on Highway 16 to replace Greyhound service that ended in June is a pilot project for that region only, and private services are being sought to take up the other areas, Trevena said.

The last Greyhound bus pulled out of Terrace on June 1 with a single passenger on board, symbolizing the struggle of long-haul bus service in parts of the province. B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board approved cancelling seven B.C. routes that Greyhound said had accumulated losses of $70 million in the past six years.

B.C. Bus North began interim service on June 4, with two round trips a week between Prince Rupert and Prince George, Prince George and Valemount and Prince George to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.

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