With Greyhound set to leave to BC at the end of next month, many places across the province are scrambling to find an alternative.

The issue was brought up again at the UBCM Convention in Whistler this week where Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall was one of many who met with Transporation Minister Claire Trevena.

Northern BC does have an alternative in place for the next year as the BC Bus North program has provided over 900 trips since its inception June 4th.

Hall says if they wish to entice the private sector, a short-haul system might be the solution.

“We could see in Prince George for example, that you’re going to get routing out of Prince George to places like Vanderhoof, Fort Saint James, and further north to Mackenzie, Dawson Creek out the Robson Valley and down to Quesnel or Williams Lake, it’s shorter hauls but that may be the enticement that private sector busing companies need.”

“How do we entice the private sector to come into the old Greyhound market and provide transportation?”

“I think what is going to happen is that we’re going to see short-haul routes as opposed to a massive transportation corridor that was covered by Greyhound.”

At the end of the day, it may come to money in order to make a similar transportation model feasible to operate.

“Is government prepared to assist them for a period of time,” added Hall.

“So if you’re looking into coming into our community to service an area, you’re going to want to know what the ridership history is and right now, we just can’t provide that to them, it’s a bit of a challenge and a roll of the dice for these private companies to do anything.”

“So if we talk to a private sector company and say look, can you come into this location and service these routes for a period of 18 to 24 months and we’re looking to the province to do some subsidization so that you can get a hand on what your business will look like. The problem is that we don’t have a track record that we can provide to private sector busing companies in terms of ridership.”

Hall says there are a number of thing on the table but there is no question the northern capital needs a transportation system that gets people from location to location.

The UBCM Convention in Whistler wraps up today with a speech from Premier John Horgan.