Prov­ince re­tains long-haul bus trans­porta­tion through­out B.C.

Asian Journal - - BRITISH COLUMBIA -

Vic­to­ria: When Grey­hound ends its bus ser­vice on Wed­nes­day, Oct. 31, 2018, 83% of its routes will be cov­ered by other pri­vate op­er­a­tors by year’s end, mean­ing Bri­tish Columbians will still be able to travel safely, af­ford­ably and re­li­ably through most of the prov­ince. In mak­ing the an­nounce­ment, Claire Trevena, Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture, said she will con­tinue to work with com­mu­ni­ties and the pri­vate sec­tor to find so­lu­tions for the 17% of routes that will be with­out ser­vice.

“For so many Bri­tish Columbians, re­li­able bus ser­vice is crit­i­cal for work, fam­ily life, health care and so much more,” Trevena said. “I’m pleased that pri­vate bus op­er­a­tors have stepped up and worked with us to make sure Bri­tish Columbians will con­tinue to travel around our prov­ince safely and af­ford­ably.” When news of Grey­hound’s de­ci­sion broke, the B.C. gov­ern­ment - work­ing with the Pas­sen­ger Trans­porta­tion Board - im­ple­mented a fast-tracked ap­pli­ca­tion process to re­place the ser­vice with as lit­tle dis­rup­tion as pos­si­ble. Trevena said her pri­or­ity now is to re­store ser­vice to the eight route seg­ments ser­vic­ing smaller, more remote com­mu­ni­ties. The Prov­ince will is­sue a re­quest for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est in the coming weeks to en­gage the pri­vate sec­tor on so­lu­tions to fill these re­main­ing gaps.

“Our gov­ern­ment is go­ing to work hard to make sure no com­mu­ni­ties or peo­ple are left be­hind,” Trevena said. “Re­li­able bus ser­vice is crit­i­cal in mak­ing sure peo­ple feel se­cure in the com­mu­ni­ties they call home.”

“The Pas­sen­ger Trans­porta­tion Board is pleased to see re­li­able com­pa­nies pro­vid­ing in­ter­city bus ser­vice on many routes aban­doned by Grey­hound,” said Catharine Read, board chair, Pas­sen­ger Trans­porta­tion Board. “This con­ti­nu­ity of ser­vice will be wel­come for many peo­ple who rely on ground trans­porta­tion to move around the prov­ince.”

The B.C. gov­ern­ment launched BC Bus North ear­lier this year to cover the ma­jor­ity of north­ern routes that Grey­hound elim­i­nated. The cost is $35 to $45 per trip, with two roundtrips per week be­tween Prince Ru­pert and Prince Ge­orge, Prince Ge­orge and Vale­mount, and Prince Ge­orge to Daw­son Creek/fort St. John and one round-trip per week from Fort Nel­son to Daw­son Creek/ Fort St. John.

Claire Trevena

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