$1.6M in government funding will keep BC Bus North running for another year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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$1.6M in government funding will keep BC Bus North running for another year

A BC Bus North motor coach is pictured in this undated photo from the company's Facebook page.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/BC Bus North
March 29, 2021 - 7:00 PM

VICTORIA - The federal and British Columbia governments are working together to ensure continued operation of a bus route described as a "crucial lifeline" for northern B.C.

A joint statement from the Ministry of Transportation and Western Economic Diversification Canada says over $1.6 million in one-time funding will support BC Bus North until March 31, 2022.

The statement says residents across the region depend on the route as other transportation options have been limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BC Bus North has been operating since June 2018 with a fleet of four highway coaches that provide scheduled service to 39 northern communities from Prince Rupert east to Fort Nelson and Valemount.

Funding was due to run out at the end of this month and the statement says Diversified Transportation, the current operator of BC Bus North, will continue providing service until its contract expires.

The service covers nearly 7,000 kilometres every week and has provided rides for more than 13,000 passengers since it began.

Transportation Minister Rob Fleming says the service offers affordable, dependable public transportation.

"We recognize that it's vital for everyone to have reliable transportation available to them, and the distances between communities in the North makes it that much more important for people to have access to safe, regular bus service," he says in the release.

Fares on the four available routes are distance-based and range from $11 from Valemount to McBride to $65 between Prince George and Prince Rupert.

The provincial and federal governments stepped up to provide the bus service after Greyhound Canada cancelled most of its routes across Western Canada nearly three years ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2021.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2021
The Canadian Press

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