By Laura Keil
Northern BC’s inter-city bus service will continue for another year, thanks to investment by the provincial and federal governments.
Over $1.6 million in one-time funding will support BC Bus North operating costs until March 31, 2022 thanks to the Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Province.
“Support for reliable methods of transportation has only become more important during a time when many people need access to essential services not available in smaller communities,” said Mélanie Joly, federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada.
Since 2018, the service has helped fill the gap left by Greyhound when it shut down service that year. It has a fleet of four highway coaches that service 39 communities. Valemount-Prince George via McBride, BC is one of four routes. The other three routes connect Prince George to Prince Rupert, Fort St. John and Fort Nelson (with stops in between). Two round trips are provided each week on all routes, except for Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson, which is one round trip per week. Fares are distance based and range from $11 from Valemount to McBride to $65 between Prince George and Prince Rupert. For more information on routes click here.
“Connecting communities and people is essential, especially in a province like British Columbia with such a large and diverse rural and northern population,” said Terry Beech, MP for Burnaby North-Seymour.
BC Bus North continued to operate during the pandemic. Additional safety measures like plexiglass seat partitions were installed to ensure riders are able to keep a safe distance from each other.
BC Bus North has provided rides for over 13,000 people since the service launched in 2018.