By Andru McCracken

Thanks to strong local feedback, the province’s northern bus service will change its schedule as of March 11.

Now each Monday and Friday the bus will start at the McBride Train Station at 6 am, travelling to the Valemount Petro Canada (leaving at 7 am), stopping at the McBride Train Station at 8 am, leaving 10 minutes later, arriving in Prince George at 10:30 am.

The bus returns the same day leaving Prince George at 2:30 pm arriving in McBride at 4:50 pm and getting to Valemount at 6 pm.

The schedule allows for more flexibility for passengers and better integration with the Northern Health Connections bus.

“Since the launch of BC Bus North, the Ministry has gathered feedback from customers using the inter-community bus service. People travelling on Route 200 have indicated a preference for reversing this route to have it originate in Valemount in the morning, rather than Prince George.”

The route also allows for some creative interplay with the train schedule which runs from McBride to Prince George on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday leaving at 2:44 pm arriving at 7:08 pm. VIA runs from Prince George to McBride leaving at 9:45am and arriving at 1:48 pm on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Goat publisher Laura Keil lobbied for the changes in an editorial.

“The Prince George-McBride-Valemount schedule should be reversed. It would make this fledgling service very useful to Robson Valley residents – increasing the days they can schedule health appointments and allowing single-day shopping trips.”