Fle photo The Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen is writing a letter objecting to changes proposed by Greyhound Canada including eliminating stops in the Similkameen Valley.

Regional directors against Greyhound changes

Director’s write a letter objecting to Greyhound Canada’s request to eliminate stops

Directors from across the region jumped aboard a director’s motion to write a letter objecting to Greyhound Canada’s request to eliminate stops in the Similkameen Valley including Princeton, Hedley and Keremeos.

The motion was brought forward by Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer at Thursday’s Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen meeting.

The motion requested staff to draft a letter objecting changes and supporting continued service throughout the Similkameen and rejecting changes to Vancouver to Osoyoos route. The motion was unanimously supported.

“Keremeos, Princeton, I think Osoyoos — have already written letters,” Bauer said. “We’ve encouraged our residents to write letters to the transportation board on this.”

Greyhound’s proposal to eliminate the Similkameen from its service is part of a bigger change that includes dropping the number of days the Vancouver to Osoyoos route runs and re-routing the bus to go through Kelowna at Hope.

The proposal also includes the elimination of several Northern B.C. routes including the route along the Highway of Tears, and reducing the frequency of trips for several routes including Alberta Border to Vancouver, Kelowna to Penticton, Kamloops to Kelowna and others.

Mayor of Princeton Frank Armitage called for the provincial government to get involved in ensuring public transit for all communities.

He said the town previously wrote to Greyhound when route changes resulted in drop offs and pickups happening at 4 a.m. The change left residents and visitors at risk as there are no businesses open in the town at that time.

“We heard nothing back,” he said shaking his head. “It’s time the provincial government got involved.”

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit echoed Armitage’s concerns stating the bus headed west from Penticton currently leaves at midnight.

“(These are not) realistic times for people using the bus or trying to use the bus for getting to the Lower Mainland for medical or family reasons,” he said.

Okanagan Regional Transit does connect bus routes from as far away as Princeton and Osoyoos to Kelowna but depending on where and what time the passenger is starting it could take multiple days to get their destination.

Tom Siddon, director for Area D, said small communities need access to regular bus service.

“To have to get up to Kelowna to catch the bus because you don’t have a car is ridiculous,” he said.

Greyhound Canada claims the changes are unavoidable with ridership rates dropping 51 per cent.

“This decision is a regrettably unavoidable response to a challenging transportation environment that is characterized by diminishing ridership, escalating costs and increased competition from publicly subsidized services. Despite significant efforts over the past several years to reduce costs as well as other measures to adapt to the market, the status quo is no longer sustainable,” a Greyhound spokesperson wrote in an email.

Anyone may submit written comments about the application to the Passenger Transportation Board by quoting Application 256-17.

Comments must be received by Oct. 13 and can be sent to:

Passenger Transportation Board PO Box 9850 STN Prov Govt Victoria, British Columbia, V8W 9T5 Fax: 250-953-3788 Email: ptboard@gov.bc.ca

Just Posted

UPDATE: Smoke rising from Okanagan Mountain Park hills

Lightning may have sparked a fire in the hills across from Peachland

Lightning strikes across B.C. Interior

Residents are being asked to go inside until last rumble of thunder

Update: Lightning sparks blaze above Summerland

Firefighters are battling the small fire from the area that occurred Tuesday shortly after 7 p.m.

UPDATE: Crews battle wildfire near Big White Road

Joe Rich Fire Department responding alongside Big White Fire Department and provincial crews.

Lovesick cabaret hopes to captivate Kelowna

The one night only show is on Thursday

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Lightning sparks wildfires in Vernon

Tuesday night storm causes wildfire in BX and residential fire in East Hill

Crash closes Highway 5A in both directions

A collision has shut down Highway 5A about 22 kilometres south of the junction with Highway 97C

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Pike Mountain fire continues to grow – quadruples in 24 hours

Fire threatens area consumed in 2017 by a 3,500 hectare blaze

Vernon Knights hire Van Horlick

New head coach of Junior B franchise in Armstrong

St. Albert knocks down Canadians

Finals of Valley of the Champions

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Most Read