KAMLOOPS — Greyhound Canada has proposed a 'Connecting Communities' fund to ensure access to transportation routes for rural and remote communities in British Columbia.
The bus giant calls it a 'made-in-BC solution' and it would leverage existing infrastructure by linking public and private resources to provide needed intercity bus services.
"Municipalities and First Nations across BC would access the fund and seek competitive bids in an open, fair and transparent bidding process with qualified, safe and secure private sector operators who can link rural and remote citizens to regional hubs that are located on primary transporation corridors like Kelowna and Prince George," says Greyhound.
The competitive process would be open to all bidders to select the best private sector transportation provider by community.
All of this follows Greyhound's move in September to file an application with the BC Passenger Transportation Board to eliminate service on five routes in B.C. that have experienced a 51 per cent reduction in ridership. Those routes are Victoria to Nanaimo, Prince George to Prince Rupert, Prince George to Valemount, Prince George to Dawson Creek and Dawson Creek to Whitehorse.
Other service routes affected include Kamloops to Kelowna, Kelowna to Penticton and Kelowna to Vancouver.
The company calls the action "regrettable but unaviodable due to a challenging transportation environment characterized by diminishing ridership, escalating costs, the rise in ride-sharing services and the challenge of competing against government-subsidized fares."
Greyhound says it will continue its BC operations as normal and does not expect any impact on passenger ticketing and package transport for the rest of the year.
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