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VICTORIA, B.C. – B.C. Bus North is receiving provincial funding to continue servicing the area until March 31st, 2022. The announcement was made during a video conference Monday from the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming and  MLA for North Coast, Jennifer Rice.

According to Fleming, funding for B.C. Bus North will come from the provincial government and Western Economic Diversification Canada which will provide 50 per cent of the net cost. In total, over $1.6 million in one-time funding will go towards B.C. Bus North operating costs until March 31, 2022.

“The clear message we’ve heard is that this long haul transportation service is a lifeline for many people in the north,” says Fleming. “B.C. Bus North gives people in northern B.C. an affordable, safe, and reliable option to travel longer distances.”

Minister Fleming said while B.C. Bus North ridership was seeing good year over year growth, the pandemic caused a significant drop.

“The pre-pandemic trajectory was very strong in terms of seeing year over year ridership growth. To date, we’ve had 13,000 individual passenger trips through B.C Bus North.”

The drop in use during the pandemic means schedules have been adjusted.

“Ridership is way down. We’re seeing on most inter-city bus coaches, in some cases, it’s down by 95 per cent. There have been some schedule adjustments to keep that lifeline in place.”

Fleming indicated plans for a multi-year funding and service model for the inter-city bus industry, and he would have more to say in the coming weeks.

B.C. Bus North launched June 4th, 2018 across northern British Columbia, operating four highway coaches and providing service to 39 communities.

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