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

Prolific offender claims he’s changed his ways

Stanley Nickason pled guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Alleged impaired driver flips car near Lake Country

The incident happened early Friday morning

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini race

Event is in honour of bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps

West Kelowna fawn will be euthanized Friday night unless claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer is currently being treated at West Kelowna’s Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini race

Event is in honour of bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Health: Living longer, a myth?

A new column to Black Press from CHIP HealthLine Solutions

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Most Read