B.C. Bus North only covers half the stops previously served by Greyhound: report

·2 min read
The province introduced B.C. Bus North as an interim program while it developed a long-term plan. (Justin McElroy/CBC - image credit)
The province introduced B.C. Bus North as an interim program while it developed a long-term plan. (Justin McElroy/CBC - image credit)

In the years since Greyhound pulled out of Western Canada in 2018, the province has been operating an interim intercity bus service, B.C. Bus North, in the vast region of Northern B.C.

But many former bus stops are still without city-to-city bus service, according to a new report from B.C.'s Office of the Auditor General.

The report reviewed the province's efforts so far to provide services and made recommendations for its long-term transportation plan.

"Northern B.C. is an area larger than the entire country of France and the bus is a lifeline for many residents," said Michael Pickup, auditor general, in a statement.

"People depend on the bus to get to jobs in other communities, access essential services like health care, go to school, or visit family and friends."

Long-term plan

Right now, B.C. Bus North is serving 35 of the 62 stops in Northern B.C. left behind by Greyhound.

The service was first introduced in 2018 as a 12-month interim solution following Greyhound's departure while the province developed a long-term plan.

It has since been extended three times.

Bob Keating
Bob Keating

In the report, Pickup found that while B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure was able to offer some interim services, a long-term plan hasn't yet been developed.

"Northern regions have particular transportation needs — the distances are vast, roads can be treacherous and alternatives are few. People's livelihoods are on the line," Pickup said.

The report also found that B.C. Bus North's services have been less frequent than Greyhound's, and fares are cheaper.

Pickup's report also included three recommendations:

  • Better monitoring of the delivery of interim bus services.

  • Engaging with northern communities.

  • Presenting options for sustainable solutions in northern B.C.

The province says it has accepted all of the recommendations.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting