A Greyhound bus takes a last run in northern B.C. (Susan Zielinski/Black Press)

Bus company applies to drop Shuswap stops

Rider Express Transportation wants to eliminate four locations, add routes

The Village of Chase council is not pleased about a plan to remove bus service from Chase.

Rider Express Transportation Corp out of Saskatchewan has applied to B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board to amend its licence, with one of the proposed changes being the elimination of scheduled service to Chase and Sorrento.

“Council did discuss it last night and they were a bit concerned,” said Joni Heinrich, chief administrative officer for Chase, on March 13. “We don’t have Greyhound anymore and that was a big hit…, plus they (Rider) have only been stopping here for a few months and now they’re not going to.”

Greyhound stopped providing service to B.C. in October of last year.

Read more: Shuswap shocked by Greyhound decision

Read more: Tearful farewell in Okanagan for Greyhound Canada

At the end of October, a Rider Express spokesperson stated the carrier would be providing daily service between Calgary and Vancouver. That has since been reduced to once a week, as is confirmed by its receptionist and online schedule. The bus travels from Calgary to Vancouver on Fridays only and from Vancouver to Calgary on Saturdays only. However, service back and forth between Kamloops and Vancouver is provided daily.

Read more: New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

One of the amendments requested on its application is the reduction of the minimum route frequency for points east of Kamloops from one daily trip each way to one weekly trip each way.

Heinrich said that through the application process Rider Express Transportation is undergoing, council has learned that the bus company has an obligation to publish its schedules in a manner accessible to the public, something, she says, the council hasn’t seen. So a letter from Chase council will be sent to the Passenger Transportation Board, which is receiving comments until March 20 on Rider’s application.

Read more: Chase and neighbouring First Nations to suffer from Greyhound plan

Along with eliminating scheduled service for Sorrento and Chase, the company is asking to also remove Langley and Coquitlam from the schedule.

The application also requests the addition of three routes: one daily trip each way between Kamloops and Kelowna via Vernon; one daily trip each way between Merritt and Kelowna; and, during the summer to start, one weekly trip each way between Kelowna and Penticton.

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

In its rationale for the requested amendments, the company writes that it is reducing the frequency between Kamloops and Calgary because of low ridership. Regarding the addition of the new routes, it writes: “the inability to service more destinations with a larger population could force us to terminate our operations elsewhere. We should be allowed to seek routes that can help us subsidize our less profitable routes.”

Ebus is another carrier that is currently operating a daily service between Kamloops and Vancouver, between Kelowna and Vancouver, and between Kamloops and Kelowna.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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