After a rocky start to their B.C. route in late 2018, Rider Express plans to expand service to six days a week starting on May 12. (Rider Express Photo)

Bus service expanding to six days a week

Greyhound replacement Rider Express adding days to Calgary to Vancouver route

The bus service that has replaced Greyhound on the Trans-Canada Highway route between Calgary and Kamloops is expanding their service to six days a week starting on May 12.

After a rocky start to business in late 2018, where the promised daily service between Vancouver and Calgary shrank to only one bus a week, Rider Express’ service is expanding.

Firat Uray, the owner of the bus line which also operates in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, blamed the reduced schedule on low ridership. In March, the bus started running three days a week.

Read More: Rider Express bus to increase Trans-Canada Highway trips to three days a week

Read More: Promised daily bus schedule shrinks to one day a week

Wayne Farrell, a representative of Rider Express, said ridership has increased dramatically since the service expanded in March.

“In the last two weeks it’s always been full, almost too full, so that’s why we’re going to extend it, to spread it out a little bit more,” he said.

With the schedule changes coming into effect on May 12, the Rider bus will run between Calgary and Kamloops Monday through Saturday. The westbound bus leaves Calgary at 8 a.m. and crosses the border into B.C. to stop in Golden at noon. From there, it stops in Revelstoke Sicamous and Salmon Arm before arriving in Kamloops at 4:15 p.m. The schedule states the bus finishes its journey in Vancouver at 9:15 p.m.

Rider’s eastbound route leaves Vancouver at 8 a.m. and reaches Kamloops at 12:30 p.m. before making the same stops as the eastbound bus, reaching Golden shortly before 7 p.m. and Calgary at 10:45.

In a March interview, Uray told Black Press that if riders pre-booked tickets they could be picked up in small communities along the Trans-Canada Highway such as Malakwa, Sorrento and Chase, although those stops are not on the official schedule.

Read More: Man who took Salmon Arm RCMP on wild chase sentenced

Read More: Shuswap rescuers use swift water skills in search of missing Kamloops man

The bus already runs both ways between Kamloops and Vancouver seven days a week. Farrell said once the company has enough buses and drivers available, Rider will offer bus service along the whole route between Vancouver and Calgary seven days a week.

For more information, visit riderexpress.ca.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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