When Greyhound ends its bus service on Wednesday, 83 per cent of its routes will be covered by other private operators by year’s end, according to 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 per cent 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, in a news release. “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 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 round-trips 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.