The unpopular exit by Greyhound across Northern BC has left a lot of rural residents in a quandary.
This is according to Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris who acknowledged replacement services like BC Bus North.
One of the routes they offer is from Mackenzie to Prince George and vice-versa, however, the schedule is anything but convenient.
“When I look at my constituents in Mackenzie it is a couple of days a week and if they choose to take a return bus trip they would have to spend four days in Prince George to catch that return bus. It’s definitely not the same. I think the government should have done a little more than they have, probably a lot more than they have.”
The extended stay for residents in that area would also create additional expenses such as accommodations and meals.
Morris says this can make taking the bus more costly than it should be.
“The government has put the BC Bus North on and they are going to assess it over the year and see what ridership looks like but they are going to get skewed results from that because of the people in Mackenzie because of that layover aren’t going to be taking the buses when they normally would be.”
“I hope they take that into consideration when they arrive at their final model.”
The BC Liberal MLA didn’t pull any punches either when talking about the lack of flexibility Greyhound showed in our region.
“One thing I criticize Greyhound for is that they never changed their model. They had these big buses and if ridership was low they had no alternative means to go with something smaller and a little bit more affordable, there are a number of people in the private sector we should look at.”
Since Greyhound announced its departure from the region earlier this year, alternative services such as BC Bus North, Northern Health Connections and the Highway 16 route provided by BC Transit has helped the fill the void, leading Morris to believe the demand for bus service is still there.
“There is a need and I think if we have single coordinated service with multiple carriers to make sure they are all linked together I think that would work much better.”
Greyhound officially left BC on Wednesday.