Fewer buses in plan

Greyhound looks to halve number of buses in region

 

Greyhound is planning cuts to its service between Kelowna and Penticton.

“There is not enough ridership to support the amount of service that’s out there,” said Grant Odsen, Greyhound’s regional manager of passenger service for British Columbia.

At present, Greyhound offers four buses each direction each day.

The 12:15 p.m. bus from Penticton to Kelowna averages just 3.9 passengers each trip, far short of the bus’s capacity of 54 passengers.

The highest passenger load, on the 10:15 a.m. bus from Kelowna to Penticton, is an average of 11.8 passengers.

“It’s been that way for quite some time,” Odsen said.

Greyhound’s proposed changes would reduce the number of buses to two each day in each direction.

From Kelowna, buses would leave at 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. while Penticton buses would leave at 7:30 and 10 a.m.

Odsen said the details of the schedule have not yet been finalized.

“It’s difficult to forecast what the schedule will look like,” he said.

Before the bus changes are approved, the bus line needs approval from the Passenger Transportation Board.

Mayor Janice Perrino said Summerland needs the service, especially since a regional transit is not yet in place.

“This is not a time to be cutting service when we don’t have B.C. Transit,” she said. “Until we have the transit service in place, don’t reduce our services now.”

The municipality has been speaking with B.C. Transit about getting a regional service, but so far the service is not in place.

“Until we get transit, we’re not going to have enough freedom of movement,” said Coun. Peter Waterman. “This cut puts Summerland in more of a straightjacket than it already is in.”

Coun. Orv Robson said bus transportation is not yet popular within the community.

“There’s got to be a whole mindset change before people start using public transportation,” he said.

Municipal council will write a letter to Greyhound, urging the bus line to leave the service as it is.