The B.C. government is still looking for bus carriers to pick up more than half a dozen routes in the wake of Greyhound’s exit from western Canada.
Greyhound ceased virtually all western Canadian operations on Oct. 31, citing a massive drop in ridership and revenue.
The province has stepped up with its own interim public carrier for some northern routes, called BC Bus North, and Alberta long-haul carrier Ebus has stepped in to cover a number of major routes in the interior.
The province said it has fast-tracked applications for carriers looking to pick up abandoned routes, and that 83 per cent of B.C. remains covered by bus service.
However, many communities in the interior remain without a long-haul bus option, and on Wednesday, the province extended a request for expressions of interest for eight routes.
- Cache Creek to Kamloops on Highway 1
- Kamloops to Valemount on Highway 5
- Valemount to B.C.-Alberta border on highways 5 and 16
- Dawson Creek to B.C.-Alberta border on Highway 2
- Salmo to Creston on highways 3 and 6
- Cranbrook to the B.C.-Alberta border on Highway 3
- Fort Nelson to the B.C.-Yukon border on Highway 7
- Hope to Princeton on Highway 3
Any carrier looking to pick up one of these routes would still have to acquire an intercity bus licence from the Passenger Transportation Branch (PTB).
Interested companies have until Jan. 15 to apply.
The province said it remains engaged in discussions with the federal government and other provinces aimed at coming up with a long-term, viable solution to ground transportation in rural communities.