BY BILL PHILLIPS
Nothing is being ruled out when it comes to dealing with the fallout of Greyhound pulling its service out of British Columbia, says Transportation Minister Claire Trevena.
That includes everything from using private bus companies to replicating the BC Bus North project in other parts of the province.
“At the moment, all options are on the table,” said Trevena during a media event to showcase the recently launched BC Bus North service. “I had a talk with a number of commercial providers today, there are a number who are clearly interested in offering service around the province. We’re looking at every single opportunity we can have.”
The BC Bus North service, providing twice weekly bus service across the North, was the province’s answer to Greyhound successfully lobbying the Transportation Passenger Board to allow it to drop service in northern B.C. It has since announced it is dropping service in western Canada.
“We didn’t know what to expect, what we did know is people needed safe and affordable transportation,” Trevena said of when Greyhound service was dropped in northern B.C.
While Greyhound pointed to other subsidized routes such as Northern Health’s Connections bus and the shuttle bus along Highway 16, subsidies were not in the cards for Greyhound.
“Greyhound made it very clear they wanted to pull out of the north,” said Trevena. “We looked at everything, but what we found was Greyhound wanted to pull out. We needed to find something to fill in.”
She said BC Bus model doesn’t replicate Greyhound as it runs in the daytime and has cheaper fares.