Flixbus, a bus service that uses a smartphone app, has expanded from Europe to the U.S. (Flickr)

Pressure on for ride hailing, bus options in B.C.

Premiers to press Ottawa for help replacing Greyhound service

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena is preparing B.C.’s long-awaited policy to allow smartphone-based ride hailing, an approach that may also help fill the gap left as Greyhound pulls out of communities across Western Canada.

Premier John Horgan said Monday the B.C. government will have more to say this month on allowing ride hailing services, a promise made by both the NDP and B.C. Liberals in last year’s election campaign.

The transportation revolution pioneered by U.S. services Uber and Lyft may offer solutions for the decline of scheduled bus service, if the province eases regulations that protect taxi and inter-city bus companies. Lyft has opened up state-wide services in the U.S. to allow private car owners to offer inter-city trips, to encourage expansion beyond urban areas. A company representative says rural service suits part-time drivers, who make up the majority of Lyft’s participating drivers.

RELATED: Lyft promotes rural inter-city ride hailing

And German service Flixbus has expanded from Europe into the U.S., with online bookings for inter-city bus trips using a smartphone app.

Horgan is heading to New Brunswick this week for the annual Council of the Federation meeting, where premiers will be seeking assistance from the federal government to deal with the departure of Greyhound.

RELATED: Trudeau wants solution to Greyhound departure

Trudeau asked federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau to “work with the company” after Greyhound said falling ridership and losses left it no choice but to end service west of Sudbury, Ont. at the end of October.

Trevena has ruled out a provincial subsidy for Greyhound, and has indicated no willingness to expand its B.C. Transit weekly service to northern communities after Greyhound ended service there in June.

“Really what [Greyhound] wanted was deregulation and an investment into its operation,” Trevena said. “We weren’t prepared to invest in Greyhound, and we have unfortunately seen that Greyhound at that time just told us they were pulling out of the northern routes, and now has pulled out from across Western Canada.”

Horgan said the company’s decision to end all Western Canada service shows that the “crisis in transportation” goes far beyond B.C. and needs a national solution.

Just Posted

StartUp Revelstoke implementing phase two of entrepreneurship supports

StartUp Revelstoke is beginning phase two of their initiative: events and workshops.… Continue reading

Stories Beneath the Surface exhibition now open at Revelstoke Museum

Revelstoke Museum and Archives opened a new exhibition on Oct. 18, 2018… Continue reading

Live results for the Revelstoke municipal election

Watch here and on Facebook for live results

A lifetime in education

Revelstoke’s Jeff Nicholson is retiring after 28 years

Revelstoke Grizzlies win 11th straight game

The Forum was packed on Saturday night

Revelstoke Cribs: Eagle Pass Lodge

Explore the eclectic houses, lodges and other spaces in and around Revelstoke… Continue reading

World Junior Hockey fever hits Vernon

Vipers spice up floor ball demonstration at OK Landing School

Shuswap refugee family settles into new, more hopeful life

Father of 10th Syrian family to come to Salmon Arm says learning English, work, top priorities

RCMP seek missing Vernon man

Michael Ramsey, 49, was last seen Oct. 21

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Most Read