Bus service changes sought

Greyhound Canada’s proposed cuts to service in British Columbia will have a nominal impact on the Shuswap.

Greyhound Canada’s proposed cuts to service in British Columbia will have a nominal impact on the Shuswap.

The bus service has applied to the Passenger Transportation Board to reduce services on 15 inter-city routes, as minimum daily service levels are set provincially by the board.

In its application to the board, Greyhound states intercity bus passenger companies have been experiencing serious losses for the “last number of years.” Greyhound vice-president Stuart Kendrick says in B.C. alone, Greyhound lost $14 million in 2011 on the scheduled passenger operations.

“Similar losses have been incurred in previous years. These losses are no longer sustainable,” states the application.

The only proposed route cut  that would impact the Shuswap, however, is Greyhound’s Alberta border and Highway 1 to Vancouver route. The company is asking to eliminate one eastbound trip from Vancouver to Kamloops. In addition, Greyhound is also seeking to eliminate one eastbound and one westbound trip between Salmon Arm and Vancouver. Sicamous would not be affected.

The westbound bus departs Salmon Arm at 7:30 a.m. and arrives in Vancouver at 3:05 p.m. Chase and Sorrento are stops on this trip.

This cut would leave six scheduled trips for this route, and two for Chase and Sorrento.

The eastbound bus departs Vancouver at 12:30 and arrives in Salmon Arm at 9:05 p.m.

To address Greyhound’s losses, Kendrick has written B.C. Transportation Minister Mary Polak asking that the industry be deregulated.

Polak has said she is aware inter-city passenger bus service is at risk in the province, and that ministry staff are looking at options.

“It’s obvious from what they’re saying that they need to make adjustments, or they’re going to have to pull out of the whole thing,” Polak told Black Press.

The deadline for public comments was Oct. 17.

However, for the Alberta and Highway 1 to Vancouver route, interested parties have until Wednesday, Oct. 24 to submit written comments to BC Passenger Transportation Board, Box 9850, Stn. Prov. Govt., Victoria, B.C., V8W9T5.

Comments may also be sent by fax to 250-953-3788, or by email to ptboard@gov.bc.ca Comments must note the application number: 305-12/Routes A1,A2(a),A2(b).

– With files from Black Press.

Salmon Arm Observer

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