Greyhound Canada is calling on the province to create a new fund that would help pay for bus transportation between the province’s rural communities.
Earlier this summer, Greyhound applied to the Passenger Transportation Board to discontinue several major routes, including all service to northern B.C.
The company blamed the cuts on increased costs and declining ridership.
Now, Greyhound is proposing a new “Connecting Communities Fund” that it says would support crucial connections between B.C.’s smaller towns.
“Federal and provincial governments and large municipalities spend billions annually on urban transit services; B.C.’s rural communities deserve transportation investments as well,” said the company in a news release.
WATCH: Greyhound service cuts could be coming to the Similkameen
Under Greyhound’s proposal, First Nations and smaller communities would have access to the fund, which they could use to seek competitive bids between different transportation providers.
“Connecting communities over 400 miles is where the challenge is, and this is where this type of funding for this type of model will alleviate that,” said Greyhound vice president for Western Canada.
98 Mile House resident Karen Simonson said she’d like to see something like what Greyhound is proposing put in place for rural transportation.
“If you don’t have a car where we live, you pretty much are stranded,” Simonson said.
“When you get up the Prince George area where all the women are missing, well, this is the reason why. Because they have no access to transit.”
At least 18 women have disappeared or been killed along Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George, better known as the “Highway of Tears.”
That route is among the service areas Greyhound plans to discontinue, but, the province began rolling out its own long-awaited new BC Transit service along the highway earlier this year.