The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) board is voicing objections to a proposed reduction in Greyhound Bus services from three times a day to two.
CRD chair Al Richmond says the board’s overall concern is the “significant” reduction in bus service will leave residents and businesses struggling with less affordable travel and shipping options.
With no scheduled flights in the South Cariboo, 100 Mile House residents flying anywhere typically must travel an hour to Williams Lake or two hours to Kamloops (and six months of the year in winter conditions) and have an available vehicle, a driver and pay parking fees.
It all adds up to be cost prohibitive for many people.
“Any reduction in services has an impact on those who can’t afford to fly.”
Richmond explains some freight will continue to arrive by truck as before, but other packages do currently travel by bus.
“The reduction in frequency certainly will impact those smaller packages we get up to three times a day right now, for parcel-type delivery.”
The trickle-down effect will likely also affect family visits and area tourism, Richmond notes, as those coming up by bus to spend a short time at a resort, B&B or private home may not find the limited bus scheduling suitable for their own timing.
Changes may not only impact those along the Vancouver to Prince George line, he adds, but also beyond, north to Prince Rupert and west to Dawson Creek.
“They are predicting further reductions from Prince George out, too.”
After a unanimous vote, the board sent a letter to the province’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB), who is the authority over bus service.
Greyhound indicates in a notification letter to do that, he notes, rather than responding directly to them, and gave a deadline of Oct. 24.
There is no implementation date indicated as Greyhound must first obtain TSB approval.
“It’s a major inconvenience to people and I think it’s severely limiting the options for public transportation. Even though Greyhound is a private company; it’s still public transportation.”