Victoria Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:00 PM
Canada’s and British Columbia’s transportation ministers have made a joint commitment to continue BC Bus North, the transportation service that connects B.C.’s northern and rural communities.
“Intercity bus services are important for the people of British Columbia and for Canadians across the country, particularly for those in Indigenous, rural and remote communities where other transportation options do not exist,” said Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau. “We are working to find solutions and are encouraged by B.C.’s interest to collaborate on this issue.”
The commitment to continue BC Bus North, as well as to address transit needs resulting from Greyhound abruptly withdrawing service, came about following a meeting between the two transportation ministers.
“I expressed our government’s firm belief that people in our province need to have access to safe, affordable and reliable long-distance ground transportation – to be able to visit friends and family, to get to work or their classes,” said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The current interim service in the North established by our government last year, BC Bus North, has been well received and is relied on by many individuals and organizations.”
The B.C. government launched BC Bus North on June 4, 2018, as an interim solution, just days after Greyhound discontinued the majority of its northern bus routes. Private operators are also running bus service in other areas of the province formerly served by Greyhound.
BC Bus interim service was set to expire on May 30, 2019. While details of the joint federal-provincial commitment are worked out, the Province has extended the interim service to September 2019.
Further details on the commitment to provide transit service to northern and rural regions are expected in the coming weeks.
- BC Bus North is operated by BC Transit through its service operator, Pacific Western Transportation.
- BC Bus North is comprised of a fleet of four 44-seat highway coaches; four routes cover 2,000 kilometres.
- More than 4,500 people have ridden on BC Bus North since the service began and 20% indicated that they were travelling for employment.
- BC Bus North covers nearly 7,000 kilometres every week or about 28,000 kilometres per month.
To learn more about BC Bus North, please visit: https://bcbus.ca/
A backgrounder with a timeline follows.
BC Bus North: A timeline
- September 2017: Greyhound Canada announced it was applying to eliminate service along six routes in northern British Columbia, one route in the Lower Mainland and two routes on Vancouver Island, as well as a reduction in service frequency on all other B.C. routes.
- December 2017: The Passenger Transportation Board held public hearings in the north-central region of B.C. to assess public need for service.
- February 2018: The Passenger Transportation Board approved Greyhound’s application to withdraw service no sooner than May 31, 2018.
- May 2018: Greyhound provided notice of elimination of all northern B.C. passenger service, as of May 31, 2018.
- June 2018: The Province launched BC Bus North, a provincially funded, base-level, interim service to cover the majority of routes in northern B.C. formerly covered by Greyhound.
- July 2018: Greyhound announced its full withdrawal of passenger and freight intercity bus service from Western Canada and parts of Ontario, effective Oct. 31, 2018, including the 10 remaining routes in B.C.
- July 2018: The Passenger Transportation Board announced fast-tracking of applications to minimize the impact to communities.
- October 2018: The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, along with the Passenger Transportation Board, announced six applications were fast-tracked, with three applications pending.
This on BC Govt website go to link here