Lack of transportation options in northern B.C.

Lack of transportation options in northern B.C.

Northern B.C. leaders, the provincial government, Highway of Tears advocates and northern residents had different reactions to Greyhound’s recent announcement to discontinue passenger services.

Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad and Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said the NDP government must take action to ensure that Greyhound keeps running in northern B.C.; transportation minister Claire Trevena said she was “deeply concerned.”

I agree that losing a transportation option will be a detriment to northern B.C. I believe it will have an economic impact as many travellers use Greyhound to explore the region, and having a reliable transportation option plays an important role in attracting and retaining workers in remote areas.

Although Via Rail also connects Prince Rupert to Prince George, the train does not run daily and we all know at this point that the train can be up to six hours late since the priority on the tracks is given to freight trains.

But when it comes to ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our society have an affordable transportation option, I believe government is on the right track. The new bus system that started running last June is part of a $6.4 million plan which encompasses transit, community vehicles, First Nations driver education, webcams and bus shelters.

However, the buses do not connect the entire corridor, and they also do not run daily. While the Burns Lake to Smithers and the Burns Lake to Prince George routes are already running, the Hazelton to Terrace and the Terrace to Kitimat routes are yet to start; and Prince Rupert has decided not to join the initiative.

I believe that the province and local governments need to continue working toward expanding and improving this bus service, which is intended to prevent people from hitchhiking. But I don’t agree that government needs to save Greyhound.

As I mentioned in last week’s editorial, I believe Greyhound – or any other private company – could reverse the trend of declining ridership by investing in a marketing strategy (making people see all the advantages in taking public transportation), offering more affordable tickets, comfortable buses, convenient travel times and improving bus stops.

Since I moved up north I noticed that public transportation does not have a good reputation around here. In fact, when I mention that I am taking the bus or the train, I usually have to answer a series of questions because people don’t understand why I am not choosing to drive.

The truth is that I’ve always loved the convenience of not having to worry about parking and of just relaxing and enjoying the view while I travel.

A good place to start would be asking northern residents why they don’t like taking public transportation in the first place. I doubt that Greyhound ever considered asking customers for their feedback.

Burns Lake

Just Posted

lotto max logo
Are you the lucky winner?

A $1 million ticket was bought in Burns Lake for Friday’s Lotto… Continue reading

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on June 19. A walk around the LDSS track and a draw for the quilt made by Jenny Pirie was organized by Ronda Payne for her friend Barb Wilson. Wilson was diagnosed with ALS in 2016. The draw raised roughly $6,300 from all across Canada, with tickets being bought from as far as Ontario. Burns Lake local won Patti Dube won the draw and the quilt. The money raised will now go to the ALS Society which in turn will be going towards more ALS research and for ALS Societies to provide support to other individuals and families living with this disease. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: Walk to End ALS held in Burns Lake

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on… Continue reading

Grad 2021 parade through the village. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: LDSS graduation 2021 parade in Burns Lake

Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) in Burns Lake had a graduation parade… Continue reading

First farmer's market Burns Lake 2021. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community Market 2021 begins in Burns Lake

Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce’s community market, which has received… Continue reading

Garden woodchips. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Greenhouse progress in Burns Lake

The Burns Lake Community Garden have a huge pile of woodchips, rough… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read