Have your say on Greyhound’s West Kootenay future

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
October 15th, 2009

If you’d rather ride the bus than drive a car, you might soon be in trouble. Greyhound has applied to the provincial government to cut its routes through the West Kootenay by 50%. Luckily, folks concerned about Greyhound’s application to reduce its service through our region will get their chance to speak on the issue later this month.

Greyhound currently operates 28 trips a week from Kelowna to the Alberta border. For some in the West Kootenay, this is an essential service. Given that the company carries both freight for local businesses as well as providing affordable transportation for locals, there were numerous complaints filed from our region to BC’s Passenger Transportation when the service was threatened with a fifty percent reduction.

“As a result of some of the comments and feedback that was received, what the applicant (Greyhound) did was revise their proposal,” explained Jan Brock, director and secretary to the Passenger Transportation Board. “The original application was for a weekly minimum route frequency of 14 trips down from 28. The applicant is now proposing to reduce the frequency from 28 routes down to 20 routes a week. That revision is only on the Nelson to Kelowna section of the route.”

Under the new proposal, service from Nelson east to the Alberta border would still be reduced by half from 28 trips weekly down to 14.

The BC Passenger Transportation Board will now be holding a series of five public hearings in the Kootenay region to gather public input on the proposed route frequency cut prior to making their decision on the application.

When making their decision on Greyhound’s application the Board will look at three key factors.

“One of the things is the public need for the service. It also looks at applicant fitness, and the third thing it looks at is sound economic conditions in the passenger service business,” explained Brock. “With inter-city bus applications, what they are looking at especially to reduce minimum frequency is what level of service meets the public need. Fitness is generally not too much of a concern on the route because they’ve been operating for a while. The third test is to consider the sound economic conditions and that’s included–but not limited to the financial health of the applicant seeking the reduction.”

Anyone wishing to speak at any of the public hearings must register as a speaker with the Passenger Transportation Board by October 23rd by contacting the board:

Phone: 250-953-3777
Fax: 250-953-3788
e-mail: ptboard@gov.bc.ca
mail: PO Box 9850 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC, V8W 9T5

Public Meeting dates and location:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Fernie Stanford Resort
100 Riverside Way
Fernie, BC V0B 1M1
9:00 am Mountain Time (Speaker’s List posted @ 8:45am)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
ROTA Crest Hall
230 B – 19th Avenue North
Creston BC V0B 1G5
3:00 pm Pacific Time (Speaker’s List posted @ 2:45 pm)

Thursday, October 29, 2009
Hume Hotel
422 Vernon Street
Nelson BC V1L 4E5
9:00 am Pacific Time (Speaker’s List posted @ 8:45 am)

Thursday, October 29, 2009 Castlegar & District Community Complex
2101 6th Avenue
Castlegar BC V1N 3B2
2:00 pm Pacific Time (Speaker’s List posted @ 1:45 pm)

Thursday, October 29, 2009 Trail Memorial Centre
1851 Victoria Avenue
Trail BC V1R 3T3
6:30 pm Pacific Time (Speaker’s List posted @ 6:15 pm)

Categories: Issues

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