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B.C. Transit opens 'competitive process' to extend northern inner-city bus services through 2021

Province wants a service provider that can thrive without government subsidies
(via Flickr/B.C. government)

The provincial government has directed to begin a process of picking one or more qualified transportation providers to extend northern inter-city bus services. 

B.C. Transit, which has been directed by the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, is beginning a "competitive process," which would see bus services continued through to Mar. 31, 2021, on the four current routes of B.C. Bus North. 

Those routes are: 

  • Prince George to Prince Rupert 
  • Prince George to Valemount 
  • Prince George to Fort St. John
  • Fort Nelson to Dawson Creek

"Many people depend on the bus in northern B.C. This is an important step towards creating and sustaining reliable inter-city bus service in the North," Claire Trevena, B.C.'s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure says in a release. "We remain committed to safe, reliable and affordable transportation, so people can get to work or school, access the services they need and have the freedom to travel."

A request for proposals will be available on BCBid until Aug. 22, 2019, at 2 p.m. (PST).

Those who submit a proposal will be asked to list conditions that would lead to the mentioned inter-city transportation services operating without the help of government subsidies. 

Any operators interested are required to direct any inquiries to B.C. Transit. 

B.C. Bus North was originally launched in June last year after Greyhound stopped its northern bus routes. 

The federal government is also participating through the Western Economic Diversification, partnering with the B.C. government to provide up to $10 million to support western provinces in the country after Greyhound put the brakes on their operations. 

"The Government of Canada is delighted to partner with the Province of British Columbia to provide safe transportation options for Canadians in northern B.C. - especially for Indigenous women and girls," Marc Garneau, federal Minister of Transport adds. "This inter-city bus service will also provide economic opportunities for northern British Columbians."

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