Bus company gets green light to add five stops on Kamloops to Kelowna route

The Passenger Transportation Board has given the green light to a bus company to add five extra stops along its daily Kamloops to Kelowna route. Passenger Transportation Board

Daily inter-city bus stops may soon be coming to a handful of communities in the North Okanagan and Shuswap.

The provincial Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) has approved an application by a bus company that wanted to add five stops to its daily Kamloops to Kelowna route.

Diversified Transportation Ltd., doing business as EBus, had proposed stops in Chase, Sorrento, Salmon Arm, Enderby and Armstrong.

Currently, the daily route has just four stops: Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna and West Kelowna.

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The PTB announced its decision on Aug. 22, stating a handful of reasons why it gave the application the green light.

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“Since Greyhound Canada reduced services and exited in 2018, communities between Kamloops and Salmon Arm have faced [inter-city bus] service declines,” said the PTB, “and communities between Salmon Arm and Vernon have lost ICB service, a significant fact that we have considered in this decision respecting the EBus proposal to expand service on Route B.

“The support letters received from communities between Kamloops and Vernon were given weight as an indicator of public need for establishing a required service at Chase and Sorrento, and for adding other the points that EBus proposes to add to its Route B.

“Further, the EBus proposal to add five communities to its Route B enhances the certainty of service to Chase, Sorrento and Salmon Arm; reinstates parts of the Greyhound network (Enderby and Armstrong); and, generally improves the travel options and network connectivity that previously existed between cities and towns that were served by Greyhound.”

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The PTB continued, saying “we find that the applicant has demonstrated a public need to expand service on Route B. Overall, we find that a minimum route frequency of five trips per week in each direction for the new route points is commensurate with the level of public need for a service that connects the five proposed route points as well as communities beyond these five route points.”

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Global News has reached out to Ebus regarding the application. It’s unknown when the stops will be added.

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At the same time, Diversified Transportation Ltd., also proposed a new route between Kamloops and Prince George, with three trips per week in each direction. This route featured stops in Cache Creek, Clinton, 70 Mile House, 100 Mile House, Lac La Hache, William Lake, Quesnel and Hixon.

That proposal, however, was denied, with the PTB stating “the panel finds that, at this time, the proposed addition of Route D, could have an injurious and adverse effect on (another inter-city bus operator) and the overall viability of [inter-city bus] services on the corridor.
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“We are unable to find that approving the addition of Route D to the EBus licence would promote sound economic conditions in the passenger transportation business in B.C.”

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According to the PTB, the Passenger Transportation Act regulates the licensing and operation of commercial passenger transportation vehicles in B.C.

The PTB adds that, under the act, it makes decisions on applications for inter-city buses and has the authority to consider and approve applications for new licenses, as well as applications from existing licensees to change terms or conditions of their licences.

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