Owner Michael Hathaway will use this 22-seat bus fueled by processed vegetable oil to run a 16-stop route from Kaslo to Vancouver. Photo submitted

Kootenay bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes from Kaslo to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

A new Kootenay bus service featuring vehicles fueled by processed vegetable oil has been given the green light to operate.

Kaslo-based Mountain Man Mike’s was approved on May 9 to run two routes by the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board. The first is a weekly Kaslo-to-Vancouver route that will make 16 stops in communities including Nelson, Castlegar and Grand Forks.

Michael Hathaway, the company’s owner, said Thursday that he hopes to have his 22-seat bus running to Vancouver by the end of June. Demand for the service is already high, he said, but Hathaway plans to be cautious.

“We are still going to try to take it slow and see what the ridership is because I don’t want to bite off too much and then have too much equipment,” he said.

The second route approved is an eight-stop weekly route from Kaslo to the B.C.-Alberta border that includes Nelson, Salmo, Creston, Cranbrook and Fernie.

Related: Kootenay man proposes charter bus service fueled by french fry oil

Hathaway said he’s negotiating with an Edmonton-based company to pick up passengers at the border and continue on to the Albertan capital, but if that fails he plans on running the service himself. He hopes to have that route open within two weeks of the Vancouver route operating.

Rates have not yet been set, but Hathaway said he expects the trip to Vancouver to cost approximately $100 plus tax, along with a service charge for oversized luggage.

The new inter-city bus routes come after the sudden closure of Nelson’s Queen City Shuttle and Charters on Monday. Hathaway said the news has changed his plans for Mountain Man Mike’s, and that he wants to have two or three buses running by the end of the year with at least one wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

“Initially we were just going to have one bus and see what the ridership was, but since Monday after Queen City dropped I’ve been getting phone calls from their clients…,” he said. “Originally we were only going to be a Greyhound replacement, but now we’re going to apply to take on the charter market as well.”

Hathaway’s application to the transportation board featured 25 letters of support including one from the office of Hope’s Mayor Peter Robb.

It was opposed by Trail-based Silver City Stagelines, which is owned by Fritz Keller and runs a Nelson-to-Kelowna route Sunday to Friday. Silver City is the only other company approved for an inter-city bus route in the West Kootenay after Greyhound closed all of its routes in B.C. last year.

The transportation board acknowledged in its ruling that Hathaway’s company may impact Silver City’s ridership but the need for service was the greater consideration.

“We find approving the application would promote sound economic conditions in the transportation industry in B.C.,” the board wrote in its decision.

Mountain Man Mike’s does not yet have a website. Hathaway said questions about rates, bookings and the company’s plans can be emailed to mhathaway442@gmail.com, or posted on its Facebook page.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland golfers play all net scores event

Summerland Senior Men’s Club held event on June 4

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip appeals for living-donor kidney transplant

Okanagan Nation Alliance Grand Chief has chronic kidney disease

Column: Penticton Regional Hospital returning to ‘new normal’

If we’ve learned anything over the last few months, it’s how important good health is in our lives.

Olympic athlete sends shout-out to Cawston Primary students

Canadian Olympic sprinter Khamica Bingham participated in one of the school’s long-time traditions

Penticton Search and Rescue respond to six calls in less than a week

Two hikers rescued in early morning search near Greyback Lake latest in series of searches

Second video of Kelowna RCMP arrest shows Mountie punching suspect at least 10 times

The officer involved in the incident has been reassigned to administrative duties

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Community backlash over Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Some members of Kelowna’s black community stated they don’t support Friday’s rally

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Flooding prompts closure of parks along Shuswap and Mara lakes

Boaters asked to respect No Wake policy protecting properties along water

Black Lives Matter protester stands alone in Vernon

Rumblings of a citywide protest continue across social media platforms

Cyclist in serious condition after being hit by dump truck in Kelowna

The woman sustained injuries to one of her legs, according to RCMP

Injured 71-year-old mountain biker rescued from Okanagan trail

Vernon firefighters assisted with the rescue in Ellison Provincial Park

Most Read