The BC Bus North, backed by $2 million in provincial funding, as of June 4 provides two round-trip routes a week between Prince Rupert and Prince George. (BC Transit image)

The BC Bus North, backed by $2 million in provincial funding, as of June 4 provides two round-trip routes a week between Prince Rupert and Prince George. (BC Transit image)

Debit accepted on new BC Bus North

After first announcing a credit card would be needed, debit accepted as riders get on Hwy 16 bus.

With BC Bus North preparing to launch on Monday, June 4, with the first Prince George to Prince Rupert bi-weekly bus on Thursday, June 7, the Province expanded its payment options announced May 29 that originally only included online credit card purchases.

In addition to payment by credit card, BC Bus North is now equipped to accept payment by debit card, in person, when passengers board the bus. Customers will need to reserve their seats ahead of time by calling the BC Bus North call centre, and customers will then connect with the driver to complete the debit transaction when boarding the bus. Drivers will be aware of the passengers needing to pay by debit.

People can buy BC Bus North tickets online with a credit card at BCBus.ca or by contacting the call centre at 1-844-564-7494, Monday to Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

BC Bus North is the interim, long-haul northern bus service that will fill the gap left by Greyhound discontinuing service on the majority of its northern routes on June 1.

Read more: Province launches new bus service to replace some discontinued Greyhound routes

The service will have one-way fares of either $35 or $45 per route, depending on how far people are travelling.

The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure directed BC Transit to work with one of its service operators to provide a base-level service to help fill the gap left by Greyhound. BC Bus North will be operated by Pacific Western Transportation, using four highway coaches equipped with luggage and washroom facilities.

People needing accessible buses can now use Northern Health Connections buses.

Read more: Northern Health buses fill accessibility gap

The Province said will fund BC Bus North for 12 months, during which time government will work with local leaders to evaluate the demand for this new service, and develop a long-term transportation solution that works for people in this part of the province.

As BC Bus North gets going, service will be closely monitored by the ministry to identify opportunities for improvement going forward.

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