With Greyhound bus service across Western Canada—including throughout the Okanagan—ending today, operators of a partial replacement service connecting the Central Okanagan with the Lower Mainland and Kamloops say the service is revved up and ready to go.
Ebus were scheduled to start operating routes between Kelowna and Richmond today, with stops in Merritt, Hope, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Surrey and Vancouver. Two buses a day will leave Kelowna for Vancouver—at 9:15 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. and two buses a day head in the opposite direction, leaving Vancouver at 7:25 a.m. and 4:55 p.m.
Each trip takes a total of 6 hours and 15 minutes and the Kelowna stop will be at the Kelowna International Airport.
The online booking site for Ebus lists fares at $67.48 plus tax each way for trips between Kelowna and Abbotsford, Surrey, Vancouver and Richmond.
The other route offered, between Kelowna and Kamloops, also started today with a stop in Vernon. That trip will take two hours and cost between $23.75 and 33.51 plus tax each way.
Stop locations for Ebus in B.C. will be:
· Kelowna: Kelowna Airport
· Richmond: River Rock Resort & Casino (adjacent to Bridgeport Skytrain)
· Vancouver (centre): Exact location to be determined (passengers who have booked will be notified by phone)
· Surrey: Fraser Heights Recreation Centre
· Abbotsford: Abbotsford Airport
· Chilliwack: Husky Truck Stop (7620A Vedder Rd)
· Hope: Hope Visitor Centre
· Merritt: Husky Truck Stop (3999 Airport Rd)
· Vernon: On 32 Ave approaching 31 St (next to the Clocktower)
· Kamloops: Exact Location to be determined (passengers who have booked will be notified by phone)
The company says it is looking at a West Kelowna location for a stop on the Kelowna-Richmond route, but it has yet to identify one.
According to the company, Ebus will be a fully cashless operation and will only accept credit and debit cards. All fares are non-refundable and non-changeable.
On its website, the company also lists a cannabis policy that says in addition to no smoking or drinking alcohol on board its buses, passengers are not to smoke marijuana at least one hour before departure and are prohibited from smoking dried cannabis during stops.
If a passenger boards the coach and has the odour of marijuana, he or she will be required to leave the bus.
“We still have a zero tolerance for alcohol or drugs,” says the website.
Passengers are also not allowed to carry dried cannabis onto the coach. It must be placed in the luggage bins.
If the passenger requires to have a medical dosage during their travel, they first inform the driver and must do so in a pill, oil or another consumable form. They may not smoke. In this case, they may bring it on board.
Ebus and it’s sister company Red Arrow—which operates in Alberta—are owned and operated by the Pacific Western Transportation Group of Companies, the largest privately-owned passenger transportation enterprise in the country.
For more information and to book, go to myebus.ca.
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