A new bus service with vehicles fueled by processed vegetable oil will soon be operating in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valley on the road to Vancouver.
Mountain Man Mike’s service begins July 13.
The bus will provide service from Kaslo to Vancouver along Hwy 1, 3, 3A and 31. It will stop in the following cities: Kaslo, Ainsworth, Balfour, Nelson, Castlegar, Christine Lake, Grand Forks, Greenwood, Rock Creek, Osoyoos, Keremeos, Princeton, Hope, Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Vancouver, and eventually Edmonton.
According to Mountain Man Mike’s website, the 22-seat buses began operating on recycled fry oil at the end of June.
The booking webpage will be open with pricing and schedules on July 9.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said the Passenger Transportation Board gave the bus company the green light in May. It said it understands the frustration of people who are looking for affordable bus transportation after Greyhound Canada eliminated service in this area of the province last year.
“We continue to work on solutions to address the need for intercity ground transportation in B.C. so people can travel reliably and safely,” said the ministry in an emailed statement.
The ministry also said that private section operators are now providing service on routes Greyhound Canada operated before eliminating service in Western Canada last fall.
“There are a couple of routes that remain without service, including two stretches of highways in the Southern Interior. The Passenger Transportation Branch and the Passenger Transportation Board continue to fast-track applications from interested operators.”
The ministry also said it’s working with the federal government on a possible cost-sharing arrangement for routes withdrawn by Greyhound, which no private operator has expressed interest in offering intercity bus service.
“The province has co-chaired a working group with other provinces to get a better understanding of the complexities of providing intercity bus service. That work is ongoing as we gather further information and develop solutions,” states the ministry.
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Reporter, Penticton Western News
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