Alberta-based Ebus expects to begin daily bus trips in October connecting the Shuswap to Kamloops, Kelowna and the Lower Mainland.
Ebus operations supervisor Glen Desjardine said the company’s expanded routes, approved by the Passenger Transport Board on Aug. 22, will run seven days a week and include Salmon Arm, Chase, Sorrento, Enderby and Armstrong.
“Our first scheduled departure for Salmon Arm will be on Oct. 7, just before the Thanksgiving weekend,” said Desjardine, explaining the service will run between Kelowna and Kamloops. “From Salmon Arm, they’ll have a choice of travelling via Kelowna to Vancouver, or via Kamloops to Vancouver, and the same in return. As well, they’ll be able to make day trips into the communities of Vernon and Kelowna and Kamloops for medical appointments and things of that nature.”
A schedule and related fares are expected to be posted Sept. 23 on myebus.ca, with trips between Salmon Arm and Kamloops estimated to be about $25.
“So they just have to add that to the additional fare through to Vancouver, so I think in all it will be in the $95 range,” said Desjardine regarding the cost of travelling to the Lower Mainland.
EBus pickup and dropoff points will be as follows:
• Salmon Arm: Husky service station at the Highway 1/Shuswap Street intersection
• Sorrento: eastbound, Highway 1 in front of the Subway; westbound, Highway 1 at Petro-Canada station;
• Chase: Chase Visitor Information Centre at 400 Shuswap Ave.
• Enderby: Enderby Visitor Centre at 700 Railway St.
• Armstrong: Highway 1 at Petro-Canada station at 3160 Smith Dr.
Desjardine explained how the route expansion will help address local demand for transportation services.
“We’ve seen a significant number of inquiries from the Salmon Arm area,” said Desjardine. “As well, Enderby and Armstrong weren’t getting serviced. And Chase and Sorrento had service, but with Rider Express making their application to forfeit service to those communities, we felt it was an opportunity for us to expand our service in B.C. and provide our service to some of the smaller communities in the outlying areas.”
In its decision on the Ebus application, the Passenger Transportation Board noted the company had been approached by business owners, residents and local government officials, “to provide a reliable, sustainable service to the community and surrounding areas.” Included with the application were letters of support from the Adams Lake, Little Shuswap and Neskonlith Bands, as well as the City of Enderby.
The board stated the EBus route expansion “generally improves the travel options and network connectivity that previously existed between cities and towns that were served by Greyhound.”