Province to Work with Northern B.C. Communities Re: Bus Service
Prince George, B.C. – Last week it became clear, Greyhound is looking to discontinue a number of routes it services in Northern B.C. and the Province’s Minister of Transportation says she is deeply concerned by that news .
Minister Claire Trevena says “As an independent body, the Passenger Transportation Board is required to consider this application and render their decision based on the service needs of these communities, as well as the viability of Greyhound’s business along the route. We will follow this application closely and look forward to the Passenger Transportation Board’s review and its final decision.”
She says while the Government waits for the Board’s decision, the Government will “work with local governments to explore all options to support affordable transportation in Northern B.C., including examining how other jurisdictions have successfully preserved rural bus services.”
Greyhound is targeting the following northern routes:
- Prince George to Prince Rupert
- Prince George to Valemount
- Prince George to Dawson Creek
- Dawson Creek to Whitehorse
Greyhound cites subsidized transportation as one of the reasons for the proposed service cuts. The subsidized transportation comes in the form of the new BC Transit options from Prince George to Prince Rupert, and the Northern Health connections service throughout the Northern Health area.
Prince George Valemount Shirley Bond says the BC Transit service that is being provided along one section of highway 16 is very specific “And it certainly does not meet the needs of all the constituents who live along highway 16, particularly those who live in Prince George-Valemount.” She says while her constituents have the Northern Health connections service, that service is tied to medical appointments ” So if you have a need to do any other type of business, or if you don’t want to travel during the winter months on a long, isolated section of highway, you will no longer have an option.”
Bond says she is already hearing from people throughout the north about the proposed route cancellations “If the complete cancellation of services is allowed to happen, an entire region of the province will have very few safe transportation options.”
She has asked Minister Trevena to sit down with Greyhound “to better understand their argument and to work to see if there are any solutions for those of us who live in Northern British Columbia.” Bond says she is not asking the Minister to intervene in the decision of the Board “I am asking her to do the homework that it takes to sit down with Greyhound and have a conversation about how a very specific , meaningful transportation corridor, may well be without the service it deserves.”