Northern bus passengers left in the cold

WILLIAMS LAKE (February 20, 2019) – Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA and Rural Development Critic Donna Barnett is again calling on the Transportation Minister to restore safe, reliable bus service in northern communities.

“Residents in the Cariboo-Chilcotin have been stranded without bus transportation since last fall, back when the Minister said it was a priority to fill service gaps along northern bus routes,” said Barnett. “Given her response this week in the House, which was to deflect responsibility and delay action, it seems like this is pretty far down her priority list.”

Since Greyhound shut down in late 2018, there has been some misguided efforts to replace missing services. The Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) awarded a contract to a vehicle-less private organization that is yet to provide its agreed-upon service. Numerous letters from stranded constituents calling for action on this issue have been sent to both the Ministry of Transportation and the PTB, but so far responses have been lackluster at best.

“For reasons no one can understand, a company was given a licence even though they have no vehicles to provide the service,” said Barnett. “This sham of a licence is blocking anyone else from actually providing service and the minister keeps giving the company extensions. I know of a very reliable company that would gladly provide the service but they can’t do anything as long as the licence is tied up. It is time for this unacceptable issue to be resolved and bus transportation restored.”

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