Adventure Charters, which has been operating out of Williams Lake since 2005, has received approval from Transport Canada to operate two inter-city bus routes in the Cariboo, Fraser Canyon and Kamloops regions; one from Prince George to Surrey through the scenic Fraser Canyon, and the second from Williams Lake to Kamloops. The service will run south on Mondays and Thursdays and north on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The Passenger Transportation Board provisionally granted the licence in early April.
“There were several additional steps to complete following the license approval,” said Adventure Charters owner, Janna Gertzen. “One of the requirements was for us to publicly release our detailed routes, schedules, fares and even obtain ticket pre-sales as of April 15.”
Gertzen said ticket sales before final approval was granted by the government generated some confusion with social media followers at first, but her team was committed to answering as many social media inquiries as possible, as quickly as possible.
“One aspect we were pleasantly surprised by is that potential passengers are quite interested in close-community hops, like 100 Mile House to Williams Lake, for instance,” said Gertzen.
Since the initial schedules were geared toward the longer trips, Adventure Charters has immediate plans to introduce fares more suited to the shorter jaunts.
The Adventure Charters bus that travels from Williams Lake to Kamloops has a capacity of 20, while the Prince George to Surrey bus can accommodate as many as 36 people. The twice weekly schedule is a starting point.
“Once we determine our ridership, we’re fully prepared to add another bus or more scheduled runs, if that is warranted,” said Gertzen.
The company researched the most convenient and safest locations for passengers to board and exit along each route, by travelling to each location. The buses will stop in several smaller communities when tickets are pre-booked. Currently, those communities are Prince George, Hixon, Quesnel, Kersley, McLeese Lake, Soda Creek, Wildwood, Williams Lake, 150 Mile House, Lac la Hache, 100 Mile House, 70 Mile House, Clinton, Cache Creek, Kamloops, Hope, Spences Bridge, Lytton, Boston Bar, Yale, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Surrey.
The timing for this service to return to Interior BC couldn’t be better, according the company’s operating manager, Randy Gertzen.
“The feedback has been terrific,” he said. “It’s clear that people felt the void Greyhound left when they cancelled passenger service in this region. Adventure Charters is ready to get the wheels turning.”
The first passengers will climb aboard as of May 2.
The company chose a third-party online reservation system to ensure the best experience and most secure method for their clients to process payment. Passengers will advance-book and pay by credit card, then either print the ticket, or have it ready for the driver on their mobile device. The passenger bus service schedule, fare, route and reservations are available on their website at www.adventurecharters.ca, and their Facebook page has the most up-to-date news and changes: https://www.facebook.com/AdventureChartersWL.