BC Bus North service has been extended to September 2019, the province announced on Wednesday.
The decision to extend the service was made following a meeting between the federal and provincial transportation ministers, according to an April 24 statement from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The B.C. government launched the interim service in June 2018, days after Greyhound discontinued the majority of its northern bus routes.
Since then more than 4,500 people have boarded BC Bus North busses, the ministry’s statement said, with 20 per cent indicating that they were travelling for work.
The interim service was set to expire on May 30.
“Intercity bus services are important for the people of British Columbia and for Canadians across the country, particularly for those in Indigenous, rural and remote communities where other transportation options do not exist,” federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in the statement.
Garneau added that his ministry is working to find solutions and is encouraged by the province’s interest in collaborating.
“I expressed our government’s firm belief that people in our province need to have access to safe, affordable and reliable long-distance ground transportation, to be able to visit friends and family, to get to work or their classes,” said B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena.
“The current interim service in the north established by our government last year, BC Bus North, has been well-received, and is relied on by many individuals and organizations.”
Further details on the commitment to provide transit service to northern and rural regions are expected in the coming weeks.