My parents live in Lone Butte BC, near 100 Mile House. Greyhound provided bus service until 2018 that wasn’t that good, but at least there were 2-3 buses a day to Vancouver. Now there are only two buses per week! The new private bus service uses a small bus without a bathroom, so passengers have to ask the driver to stop if they need to go, and the heat doesn’t work well so your feet can get very cold in the winter. It’s a 6-7 hour trip to Vancouver from where my parents live with a round trip fare of $186 and $25 for each extra bag.
Because of the lack of reliable, frequent bus service, I often have to drive a car to visit my parents. Last February, my mom needed two surgeries and I drove to the Interior from the Coast, even though I prefer not to drive on those often dangerous winter roads. In the 100 km stretch between 100 Mile House and Williams Lake I saw two serious accidents.
Most of my parent’s medical appointments are in Kamloops, which is a 2 ½-hour drive each way. There is a medical bus, but it only runs on Mondays so your specialist appointment has to be between 11:30am and 3pm on a Monday. The only other option for medical appointments is the same private service that goes to Vancouver. The bus to Kamloops runs on Mondays and Thursdays, so if you have a medical appointment in Kamloops and are relying on the bus, you have to stay overnight in Kamloops for three or four nights to catch the next bus home.
Here’s an example of the stupidity of using a bunch of different private bus services:
Last year a company applied to run three buses per week on the Prince George-Kamloops route. This would have improved service for people like my parents and substantially increase service to 5 trips per week. But the overseeing Passenger Transport Board wouldn’t allow the new route, claiming the proposed additional service “could have an injurious and adverse effect on the new Inter-City Bus (ICB) operator and the overall viability of ICB services on the corridor.” So, essentially, it refused to improve service to the community because that could affect profits for the existing private bus company.
As a result of all this infrequent service, I have had to make the nine-hour trip from Victoria to Lone Butte several times to drive my parents to medical appointments in Kamloops. The lack of public transit is also putting community members at risk. Seniors have to drive long distances, often in adverse driving conditions. People without access to cars are often forced to risk hitchhiking when they have no other options. …
Maryann A. Victoria, BC
We need decent transit throughout the province….
There is a misconception that people who use public transit are poor. It’s true, people who don’t have enough money have to take public transit. However, there are many people who have cars, who would rather take transit, because they don’t drive, no longer drive long distances, want to cut down on emissions, etc. I live in Victoria, but when I want to go up-Island, there is a patchwork of small bus lines available–some are just vans. My partner has a walker. It is hard to figure out which bus company goes where you want to go (You have to know the name before you can find out how to buy tickets, or what the schedule is.) Sometimes you have to transfer from one company to another, and the schedules don’t match, or one bus won’t wait for another if it’s five minutes late, so you have to find somewhere to stay before you can go on to the next leg of your journey, 24 hours less five minutes later. It’s very difficult to find out in advance if the bus (small, van, whatever) will take a wheelchair, or if the waiting spot is accessible, etc. which adds to the stress of the travel.
We took the train to Harrison Hot Springs last year, because it seemed easier than taking a bus. Got off the train about 5 minutes drive from our hotel, only to discover that there was no taxi service in the town. Us, our luggage and the walker all had to rely on the kindness of two women who took pity on us and drove us to our hotel. We decided to take the bus back, got one near our hotel, took the bus to Chilliwack, then had to get a cab to travel to the pick-up spot for the big bus to Vancouver.
Kate N. – Victoria, BC
Well, Greyhound is a complete rip-off. One Christmas I wanted to go visit my sister between Christmas and new years- bought my ticket, $200 round trip. Then I got sick- so needed to cancel it. And there was no way to cancel the ticket so I lost $200. Now they have pulled out of Canada- thank gawd as it is a US corporation with customer service in the Philippines who know nothing about Canada, winters, and they have no authority to grant you anything. We need a Canadian company with agents in Canada to deal with customers who need to adjust travels for health or weather.
I do not have a car and I have family in Greenwood.b.c. and I cannot get there because there is no bus that goes there anymore!
Lily S. – Greenwood, BC
Yes! Is so necessary – like to learn more.
We need access to and from isolated communities.
Hi! It’s Madelin from ATU Canada. I just wanted to get on this mailing list to learn more about future actions 🙂 the site looks great!
The people that are most affected in our rural community are those requiring transportation to and from healthcare appointments. Within our small town we have a taxi service and HandiDart bus service that takes care of most local transportation needs. When these services are not available or difficult to access, people rely on the generosity of family, friends, and neighbours. Access to healthcare that requires travelling away from the community presents a different set of problems. Again, there’s HandiDart that operates on a limited basis, but this is not always an acceptable solution, especially for the frail and elderly. We used to have reasonably good bus service but now that that’s gone, travel by private vehicle is usually the only option left.
It’s impossible to get from Nelson (where I live) to the lower mainland without Kootenay Rideshare (impacted by COVID-19) or a private vehicle. A reliable bus service paid for by the province and replacing Greyhound would be fantastic. I have no car and our nearest major hospital is in Kelowna. There is or has been a good service to Kelowna, back the following day. Locally our bus service could be considerably improved with public service on Sundays and a fleet of electrically powered buses. I need a bus to get to Vancouver and there isn’t one. We should get organized locally and get behind this as a community, a region and a province. Let me know how I can help with this campaign.
Sandra H. Nelson, BC
My husband and I live in Princeton. Since the Greyhound bus stopped running, there is no public transportation to Penticton, Kelowna, Vancouver etc. There is a local shuttle bus running to Penticton at 7:15 am (with the option to continue to Kelowna). Usually people will have to stay overnight, since often they have to miss the return bus which leaves Penticton at 12:50. If their appointment is scheduled for the afternoon there is the extra hardship of having to wait for many hours somewhere in Penticton.
Princeton has a large (and growing) population of elderly people. This brings enormous hardship, with some people deciding that they will not go to a specialist. The results may be that their health deteriorates and they will end up in the ER, or in hospital, which in the end is more costly for the taxpayer.
Nienke V. Tulameen, BC
While we have some Regional transit capacity on Vancouver Island, both Denman and Hornby Island are not part of transit network. So, get crackin’
Bill E. – Denman Island, BC
Public transit in the Comox Valley has improved over the years, but is still poor. Lack of evening, weekend and holiday service is especially problematic. Car culture is very strong, which is detrimental to our environment and to our kids. WE need a campaign to get people out of their cars and onto buses or micro-buses – something that makes public transit popular, easy and affordable. Unfortunately, it seems to be low on the radar for municipal authorities.
Tara S. – Comox Valley, BC
Once a week east / west daytime bus (E Bus) service for our local Chase citizens who have to get to Kamloops or Salmon Arm specialists or the Hospital. Only in town / local Chase Seniors Transit Bus, operated by Chase Community Services Society. After Grey Hound Bus services stopped we had no out of town transit opportunities, not even a Taxi Service now. So we definitely need BC Transit or Handy Dart or another form of Regional Transit Service. Even worse now with COVID 19 and the Health Orders.
Dave S. – Chase, BC
I live in the Kispiox Valley in Northern B.C. We have a regional BC Transit shuttle that goes to Smithers and one that goes to Terrace, stopping in local communities along the way. However, these only run three days a week. This makes it challenging to schedule medical appointments and grocery runs. Service is also limited to one vehicle, meaning people who miss the bus are stranded for hours in the cold until it comes back around again. This leads to a lot of people hitchhiking, which is a bad idea during COVID-19 and dangerous in general on Highway 16. One final hiccup: the shuttle buses do have a bike rack on the front, but it blocks the headlights. This design limitation means you can only take a bike during daylight hours.
Kai N. – Kispiox Valley, BC
We pledge to commit to and advocate for a BC-wide public bus network. – Students are one of the largest users of transit, and during COVID-19 many UVic students learning remotely in their home communities in BC, many of which do not have adequate transit service. We need ambitious, large-scale investment in the transit system across BC, NOW!
The University of Victoria Students’ Society – Victoria, BC
I pledge to commit to and advocate for a BC-wide public bus network. If we, as British Columbians, are to receive substantial dollars from the federal government then rural BC deserves to have a share that would see a public transportation system that would serve it regularly and affordably . We lost the BCR and recently lost Greyhound, rather than spend all the $ in the lower mainland treat the rural areas as more than 2nd class citizens.
Rod H. – 100 Mile House, BC
Over the course of my teaching career,I worked in remote First Nations and rural locations around BC. Often I was the only one with a vehicle as poverty is a very real issue. The need is great to have a safe reliable and affordable public transit system that serves all people and connects the province. Whether it is transportation for seniors trying to get to medical appointments, young women trying to get home or workers who may live in one community but can only find work 30 minutes to an hour away, reliable safe transportation is critical. The investment in an inter- community network would not only be beneficial economically,(plus possible added tourism dollars) environmentally it is cleaner and there is also the add the element of safety for riders. This must become a priority for this government ..it could even translate into votes.
Joanne B. Campbell River, BC
I live in Saanich, and my parents live on Quadra Island. I am deeply frustrated and concerned, because I have yet to find a bus service that will bring me and my kids to Campbell River or even Courtenay. I don’t have a car, so I have to rent one every time we go. I also get serious anxiety driving on the highway. It makes it really hard and expensive to visit my parents.
Elise C. Saanich, BC
We need transit or bus service from Mile 0 in Victoria all the way to Port Hardy.
Matthew D. Langford, BC
The current dysfunctional patchwork of privately-owned services isolates & underserves communities.
I am visually impaired and am now extremely limited in where I can go in BC unless I fly. While Greyhound wasn’t a high quality service, at least the routes connected with each other and ran frequently. Now it’s a patchwork at best.
Heather L. Prince George, BC
Buses in Richmond do not serve the city. Buses are used as a way to funnel people into Vancouver, and/or the local casino. Low-income individuals and families need transit to get to jobs, services and to and from home. You shouldn’t have to transfer buses to get around the city.
BTW I also strongly support the regional transit initiatives to provide better long-distance (no hotels) bus transport all around BC. Travelling in Argentina, a huge country, is largely done in buses where people can sleep aboard and arrive at their destination the next day, refreshed and not out of pocket.
Deirdre W. Richmond, BC
The need is great for regional transportation now that the government is pushing for low emissions and people to decrease driving or owning a electric vehicle.
How are we able to get to where we need or want while keeping those goals. What better way than to have transit where many people going to the same place can take transit rather than many vehicles.
If government wants people to decrease driving cars then we require better access to transit. Transit that is available for all people and economic status.
Best of luck. Much needed initiative.
I would frequently use a bus service between west Kootaney and the Okanagan.
I have not been able to travel to see my family since the Greyhound was pulled from our area. The airlines from here are unaffordable and unreliable. The lack of bus service keeps our citizens trapped as a reasonable means of travel is no longer available.
This could move to CanadaWideBus. The electric bus by Toyota uses a disc to charge it. Multiple discs give an extended range. Ideal for 8,000 km of Canada.
Thank you for this initiative! It is badly needed. Most of the world, including the third world, has far better inter-city and rural transit than B.C. Since passenger services of all kinds are rarely profitable (remember Greyhound?), a publicly-run network is essential.
Rail could be viable as well, with connecting buses, in several corridors:
1) Victoria-Courtenay: This popular service shut down only because of poor track conditions. Fixing the track and running a public service is far less expensive than the parallel highway, currently congested and dangerous
2) Vancouver-Kamloops-Kelowna: This could relieve the congestion on Hwys 1 & 5, providing a relatively swift, comfortable, mostly all-weather service.
3) Prince George-Prince Rupert: Via Rail currently runs an unreliable and infrequent service on this route where highway options are dangerous. An improved service could meet the needs.
I used “Mountain Man Mikes Bus Service” a couple of years ago to go to Keremeos to pick up a car. It was great, but it is only a small company with limited choice of choice departures and destinations.
When you look at Mexico with a fantastic efficient bus system with choice of fares and quality and here we are in love with our cars and paying dearly for it.
There are ride share companies like Pop-a-ride but that doesn’t appeal to everybody.
A province wide bus service would be a great benefit to all small towns throughout British Columbia.
I have recently moved from Edmonton to Surrey. I don’t own a vehicle and rely on public transport for commuting. I am really disappointed with the public transport in BC. It’s insufficient and inefficient not only within Surrey but outside as well. For going to Guildford mall I have to wait, and wait and quite often it is canceled. I have to visit my family in Edmonton via Abbotsford airport quite often. I pay more for getting to and from the airport to Uber than on the plane ticket because no direct public transport to Abbotsford is available. Please improve it.
We used to bus from Victoria to Trail at Christmas. It was more reliable than flying which was susceptible to fog and better for the planet.
I am an occasional bus rider, I have used it to go back and forth from the Interior to Vancouver also to go across Canada. I find it frustrating that the government has done nothing to provide some kind of service to replace Greyhound. It’s not like they didn’t know Greyhound was pulling out of Canada. I am thankful for the limited service we have now with Ebus and Rider Express but they don’t cover the whole Province/Country. I thank you for getting behind this and trying to get service to all BCers/Canadians.
I am glad to know of this initiative – long overdue. I hope that you can expand to include the return of BC Rail passenger service on the Island and from N Van to Prince George, and to connect to the rail service to and from Prince Rupert. Thank you UBCIC for launching this!
Senior needs bus service from Kelowna to Williams lake and also to the lower mainland.
I live in van but cant go to Britannia Beach, Squamish due to lack of transit.
I am a senior and I don’t drive on highways. My husband has a lot of health issues. Sometimes he needs to go out of town to seek medical help. Due to his health issues, he can’t drive long distance neither. Our friends, most of them are seniors and most of them also have health issues. So friends can’t help us.
We have no family in town (Nelson) anymore. So we stuck and are helpless. There is no easy public transportation in Nelson to other areas of BC. The Airport in Castlegar is undependable and also expensive. I urge the government, both Provincial and Federal, should seek to develop a passenger trainline system to make the infrastructure more friendly to rural British Columbians.
Live in west kelowna and need a bus to williams lake to visit daughter and grandchildren, also need frequent trips to vancouver.
My own needs are adequately met in Vancouver, but I’m concerned about those outside the Lower Mainland — especially women and working families.
We really need an inter-community public bus service provincially and even nationally, especially in rural and northern communities. It is not only a matter of public safety and connections too health care and families but also for the environment. Having no such service leaves people mostly dependent on the use of gas guzzling, climate destroying cars at best and often either unsafe transportation or none at all. Public inter-community connected bus service is essential.
Frequent reliable inter-city buses are required to reduce pollution and reduce the planet heating crisis.
I was a regular user — and great admirer — of the BC Transit system in Victoria, to reduce my carbon emissions. I’m not riding as much now due to Covid, but I will certainly get back on the buses as soon as I reckon it’s safe. We certainly NEED good bus service right away, to at least slow down the climate catastrophe.
I live in Chilliwack, formerly in Abbotsford. I decided to go car-free about 4-5 years ago. I primarily rely on bicycle for transportation as well as walking. In Abbotsford I occasionally used transit, but it was often indirect, infrequent, or non-existent. Service on weekends and evenings was especially lacking. BC Transit finally introduced the 66FVX service connecting Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and Langley a few years ago, but it has a separate fare from all systems not allowing transfers, is infrequent, stuck in highway traffic jams (it needs a shoulder bus lane), and is especially bad on weekends and evenings.
My wife and I do pledge support for every convergent possible to reduce the need for fossil fuel to that of the many options for GREEN energy. We will be voting for such public transportation proposed by politicians from city councilor to Canada Prime Minister in 2022.
I live in Vancouver. I mostly bike and walk everywhere I need to go, but strongly support affordable(free!) public transit for those who can’t.
I live in Golden BC which is vastly underserviced, we have no reliable bus service for in town or out of town appointments. We need a bus or transit service that can accommodate our citizens who live in the country, having a ride into town for an appointment and having to wait around all day to catch the bus back home is not a viable option for many. Most medical appointments are 3 to 4 hours or more away, over treacherous mountain passes, which can be closed to travel at any time during the winter months. Community members need to depend on friends and family to get around if they do not have a vehicle, many live out of town which makes even local appointments and/or shopping a challenge. Community members have been known to put off necessary specialist appointments as they have no safe way of travelling to them. A reliable, dependable mode of bus transportation should be a right of every citizen in BC not just in the larger centers.
For myself, I would like to see transportation to Cranbrook and Kelowna for medical appointments. I do not drive in the city and the highway is treacherous in the winter, we need service that can take us to these places and back in the same day as the hotel costs are prohibitive and out of many peoples budgets.
I was extremely fortunate this spring to have family to drive myself and my husband to Kelowna, 4 !/2 hours over the Rogers Pass multiple times for medical appointments, without that my husband would had to been sent by ambulance, which is a huge waste of resources. We would not have been able to be with him through some of the worst times of his life. Like I said we were lucky we had family there are many many people in this area who are not only alone, know few people but are also seniors.
We desperately need public transportation here in Golden. We have no public transport to any other centre. How can we get to a regional hospital ?
We need this service – seniors without licenses are increasing as the boomers age. Time to recognize there is more to BC than the lower mainland.
Badly needed in rural communities.
Affordable, safe, efficient and sustainable bus systems are so important to my family – in particular for my aging parents who have very limited other options for travel!
My aging parents in the Kootenays could really benefit from this type of bus system. Thanks for your consideration.
Completely agree we must have a publicly owned and operated transportation system throught BC and then the rest of Canada.
My name is Anthony Kupferschmidt, and I am the Executive Director with the Langley Senior Resources Society. I am also a member of the Transportation Working Group of the Community-Based Senior Services Leadership Council convened by the United Way of BC, and a member of the Translink Access Transit User Advisory Committee.
The transit gaps in the City and the Township of Langley create challenges for older adults who are no longer driving to get around and access appointments. The lack of benches and shelters at bus stops also impact the accessibility of the transit system in the communities we serve.
Anthony K. Langley, BC
Walking or bus when needed. Travel outside local is rare but then by car.
Greg H. Saanich, BC
I live in Prince George. I try to drive my car only when absolutely necessary and I actively try to create conditions where it is not necessary. I regularly walk or take the city bus.
When I travel outside of Prince George, I either fly or drive. There are few other options.
Gerry C. Prince George, BC.
Effective intercity bus transit is one of the most effective tools we have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
I live in Golden British Columbia. I have multiple sclerosis and live my life in a power wheelchair. Up until four years ago I was still driving with hand controls in a wheelchair accessible van. Four years ago I almost created a large crash and decided it’s time to quit driving. So I no longer drive. I need to depend on others to get where I need to go. The only bus that runs out of our community is a medical bus that is funded by Interior Health that goes twice a week to Cranbrook which is 250 km one-way from here . While Cranbrook has medical services as well as shopping options a lot of our medical referrals go to Kelowna. We have no bus service to the west to get out of Golden towards Kelowna. I know of several other people in the community that have had to scramble to find transportation to Kelowna for medical purposes .
Chris H. Golden, BC
My wife (Françoise 83) and I (Lloyd 92), Bus or Walk limited and very likely facing some degree of energy-dependent vehicles; so, we will be strong promotors of Victoria and all other BC electrified home and transit infrastructures.
Lloyd S. Victoria, BC
Having a seamless, efficient bus network across the province provides equity to communities of all sizes and people of all socioeconomic levels. Safety is enhanced for those who don’t have the option for private transportation.
Please, make sure that it is possible for all people to move where they need to without having to own a vehicle. The availability of transportation options needs to be put in place first before those who have the means to own a car will be willing to ditch them and support the rest of society in their desire for sustainable and equitable transportation. I grew up in Europe and never had to think about car ownership or how I will get from point A to B. There were always options. This is not true here in Canada at all and puts disadvantaged people in dangerous situations. Please, move us forward by helping to fund comprehensive transportation options around our province.
Accessible transportation is a right that needs to be acknowledged and supported with public funding and government oversight to be sure that a transportation network becomes and remains physically connected. Private enterprise cannot be relied upon to provide a province-wide transportation network that allows residents of all ages to access timely medical, social and work commitments from their homes and places of work. So many countries already have models that work for citizens. Let’s go there and offer as equal opportunities as possible during the transition to a fossil-fuel-free economy.
I rely on our local community bus service (BC Transit) however, our transportation service out of our rural, remote, Valley to connect with Williams Lake, and beyond is nil. As a senior citizen, I require dental, medical, and eye appointments which are on hold without a reliable transportation network. Nor, am I able to visit friends and relatives. Thanks for the opportunity to sign this petition.
Irene B. Hagensborg/Bella Coola, British Columbia.
I strongly support this campaign for various reasons; high airline fees, limited airline schedules, people who fear flying, and a big disconnect to communities/families is a cause for more stress to people who just have no reliable, convenient, transportation from point A to point B.
My needs are transit transfers to the interior cities such as Williams Lake, and on westwards.
There aren’t any such mode of transfer and have to rely on private mode of travel which is not doing any good to the climate.
Ivy M. Bella Coola, BC
Public transportation is a right, not a luxury. In addition, with the climate crises, some of us do not wish to add to the problem. We need efficient, reliable connection from the north tip to the southern part of Vancouver Island. It is currently impossible to get from Victoria to Port McNeill.
Lindsay L. Victoria, BC
We need a regional bus in the East Kootenay.
Alan Cranbrook, BC
BC Society of Transition Houses(BCSTH) applauds the work of Let’s Ride to build a safe, affordable accessible inter-community transportation network in rural and remote BC. The BCSTH Transportation Project: Embedding a Gender-Based Approach into Northern and Rural Transportation Systems is a community-based project that is analysing systemic policies and practices that lead to unsafe, unreliable, inaccessible transportation options for women and girls in rural and northern BC. The project is working on collaborative strategies and solutions with our members who provide safe shelter and support services and BCSTH looks forward to collaborating with Let’s Ride moving forward.
BCSTH, Vancouver, BC
Where do you live and what are your transit needs and personal experiences trying to get around the province:: I live in multiple cities, travelling for work and school. I have medical restrictions which makes using a car to get around difficult, and used to use Greyhound to connect me between Prince George, Kamloops, the Lower Mainland, and the Island. I’ll be travelling back and forth between Langley and Victoria for awhile and it’d be easier if there was a regularly scheduled bus (or for the Mainland, even train services) that I knew I could rely on. I also want to move back to my own Indigenous nation’s territory and work remotely, but there’s very little for transit north of Kamloops and up through the North Thompson Valley to Valemount and Jasper. Commercial flights are also not option to any of the towns in that stretch.
Ashley C. Prince George, Kamloops, Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, BC
One component of getting people out of their cars is affordable, reliable, convenient transit options. In addition, travel by car just isn’t an option for many people thus the requirement for affordable, reliable, convenient transit options.