With the final Greyhound passenger bus service departing northern B.C. on May 31, the announcement of a new bus service is right on schedule.
BC Bus North, provided by BC Transit, will begin service on an interim basis June 4, according to an announcement made Tuesday by B.C.’s transportation minister Claire Trevena.
The new pilot service, backed by $2 million in provincial funding, will provide two round-trip routes a week between Prince Rupert and Prince George, Prince George and Valemont, Prince George to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.
Transportation Minister @clairetrevena announces a new provincial bus service, BC Bus North that will replace Greyhound routes in B.C.'s North that are set to discontinue at end of month. More to come. #bcpoli #BCMoT pic.twitter.com/7E7zswZrwC
— Ashley Wadhwani (@ashwadhwani) May 29, 2018
Once a week, there will be a round-trip route to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John from Fort Nelson. The four coaches will have washrooms and space for luggage. Each bus will carry 44 passengers.
“This is a service for people, not for packages,” Trevena said.
The bus routes will run for a year, before being reassessed by the province and BC Transit, Trevena said.
“Once the service is up and running, we’re going to take the next step by working with northern communities to find a long-term solution that delivers a sustainable, affordable solution for these communities.”
Depending on how far a passenger is travelling, the fares will be $35 or $45 one way, which can be booked online with the use of a credit card.
BC Transit said there will be no retail outlets, offices or physical addresses at which to purchase tickets.
Some bus routes left out of new northern routes
The BC Transit service will only be replacing some of the eliminated Greyhound routes. Excluded from that list includes the Fort Nelson to the Yukon Border and Highway 97 route.
Trevena said she has been in talks with Yukon Minister of Highways and Public Works Richard Mostyn, who she said is “acutely aware” of the need for the route.
The bus will also not be stopping in rural communities such as Tumbler Ridge, Hudson’s Hope and Kitimat. BC Transit interim president Erinn Pinkerton said changes will come upon reviews of the service.