Bus service on the so-called Highway of Tears is going to get a bit more difficult to navigate come June 1.
The Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) has given Greyhound the nod to cancel multiple major routes to northern B.C., including from Prince George to both the Alberta border and Prince Rupert.
Service along the northern B.C. routes will be reduced, effective immediately, until their cancellation in June.
Ultimately only a route between Vancouver and Prince George and another between Dawson Creek and northern Alberta will remain.
“We will continue to provide fair and open communications with our customers to ensure that adequate notice is given for any planned route changes,” Greyhound Canada senior vice president Stuart Kendrick said in a statement.
“We appreciate that these changes will be difficult for our customers and staff.”
According to Greyhound, service on the cancelled routes has dropped 51 per cent since 2010, and provincewide ridership has dropped off by 46 per cent.
Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says she’s concerned that Greyhound has gotten the go-ahead to cancel the routes.
She said the NDP government will be looking at all options, alternatives and replacements to the service Greyhound has been providing.
“I understand the Passenger Transportation Board is going to try to expedite — if anyone wants to come in and offer service — expedite applications,” she said.
“They’ll work to find reliable and affordable ground transportation for those who rely on it, particularly in the North.”
BC Liberal MLA John Rustad said the move will have a significant impact on communities.
“Obviously the ridership is down, but it’s an important component that is available for people, whether they’re First Nations or seniors or others – to be able to move back and forth along that corridor,” he said.
“For that now to be missing, will leave many people wondering how they will be able to make that journey, to be able to go in for shopping or other appointments and things that they need to do.”
He added the transportation minister should have sat down with Greyhound to find a solution.
“Ultimately, it comes down to, if the route is losing money, what is it going to take to be able to provide that service? How do you work with the company so that they can find a service that is going to be now missing?”
He said he doesn’t believe another company will step in to fill the gaps.
READ MORE: Greyhound allowed to reduce Okanagan service
Greyhound Canada will be required to post two weeks notice for all cancelled routes.
Routes to be eliminated
- Prince Rupert to Prince George (which includes the Prince George – Fort St. James route)
- Prince George to Alberta border & Highway 16 (which includes the Prince George to Valemount route)
- Dawson Creek to Prince George
- Dawson Creek to Whitehorse (which includes the Dawson Creek – Fort Nelson route and the Fort Nelson – Yukon Border & Highway 97 route)
- Victoria to Nanaimo
- Victoria to Vancouver
- UBC (University Endowment Lands) – Whistler
There are also several route segments and points that will have service eliminated.
- Highway 97 between Highways 1 (near Monte Creek) and 97 north of Vernon
- Hope-Kaleden Junction (via Highways 3 & 3A)
- Highway 1 (between Cache Creek & Hope)
Route points cancelled
- West Louise Lodge, Field Junction, Glacier Park East Gate, Rogers Pass
- McLeese Lake, Laidlaw, Bridal Falls, Agassiz
- West Vancouver, Britannia Beach, Pinecrest / Black Tusk, Mount Currie
With files from Global News reporter Liza Yuzda