But many old bus stops are still without city-to-city bus service, according to a new report from the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia. The report reviews the province’s efforts to date to provide services and makes recommendations for its long-term transportation plan.
“Northern British Columbia is a larger region than the whole of French country and the bus is a lifeline for many residents,” Michael Pickup, Auditor General, said in a statement.
“People depend on the bus to get to work in other communities, access essential services like health care, go to school or visit family and friends.
Long term plan
Currently, BC Bus North serves 35 of the 62 stops in northern British Columbia left by Greyhound.
The service was first introduced in 2018 as a 12-month interim solution after Greyhound left, as the province developed a long-term plan.
It has since been extended three times.
In the report, Pickup found that while the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure was able to offer interim services, no long-term plan has yet been developed.
“Northern regions have special transport needs – distances are vast, roads can be dangerous and alternatives are few. People’s livelihoods are at stake, ”Pickup said.
The report also found BC Bus North’s services were less frequent than Greyhound’s and fares were cheaper.
Pickup’s report also included three recommendations:
- Better monitoring of the provision of interim bus services.
- Engage with northern communities.
- Presenting Options for Durable Solutions in Northern British Columbia
The province says it accepted all of the recommendations.