Northern and rural MLAs question NDP’s claim 83% of Greyhound routes are covered

Jordan Sturdy

THE provincial government’s claim that 83 per cent of routes being abandoned by Greyhound will be covered by private operators by year’s end is being questioned by numerous MLAs representing rural and northern British Columbia, says the B.C. Liberals.

An analysis of the number of service stops being eliminated by Greyhound (compared to the number of routes being filled in by private sector operators) indicates only 45 per cent of the province is potentially being covered.

“I would like Transportation Minister Claire Trevena to release the data that arrives at the conclusion of 83 per cent coverage throughout the province,” says Opposition Transportation Critic Jordan Sturdy. “It’s all very well to look at the total length of highway being used by combined operators, but what really counts is what communities are actually being served and how often.”

The timing of the government’s press release on Monday coincided with the precise moment Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson delivered a planned statement in the Legislature indicating that many rural communities are being cut off from travel options as a result of Greyhound’s departure.

“I listed 49 communities that will no longer have access to ground transportation once Greyhound ends service on Wednesday,” said Larson. “I would like the transportation minister to back up her claims that these communities will still retain service.”

“There is no mention in this release that the ’interim’ BC Bus North Service, funded by the taxpayer, will be continued past the scheduled end date of June 2019,” said Peace River North MLA Dan Davies. “With the end date of the publicly funded service happening eight months from now, I really have difficulty believing what Transportation Minister Clair Trevena is peddling here.”