With Greyhound Canada scrapping all service to northern B.C. routes, the province is stepping in with what it’s calling an “interim” long-haul bus program to fill the gap.
The new service will be called BC Bus North and begins operation on June 4, three days after Greyhound pulls out.
“People in the north rely on transportation for their livelihoods, to access the health and education services they need, and to visit family and friends,” Premier John Horgan said in a statement.
The new service will operate two round-trips per week between Prince Rupert and Prince George, Prince George and Valemount and Prince George to Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.
It will also operate a single weekly round-trip between Fort Nelson and Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.
One-way fares will vary between $35 and $45 depending on how far the ride is.
WATCH: Greyhound applies to cut Vancouver Island route and all northern routes
The province says the new service was developed after directing BC Transit to work with one of its existing service operators to help keep transportation links in place following Greyhound’s exit.
Pacific Western Transportation will operate BC Bus North using four highway coaches that have luggage racks and toilets.
The province says it will fund BC Bus North for 12 months, and will work with local communities to try and assess demand for transportation and develop a long-term solution.
WATCH: Princeton, Falkland and Keremeos among Okanagan towns losing Greyhound service
Greyhound announced plans to pull the plug on northern routes and reduce service elsewhere in the province last August, and got approval from the Passenger Transportation Board in February.
The company says the move was necessary due to declining ridership numbers.
Greyhound has been operating in the province since 1929, but says since 2010 ridership province-wide has dropped 46 per cent.