Rider Express Transportation is providing bus service between Calgary and Vancouver on Fridays only instead of the promised daily service promised in October. (Photo submitted)

Rider Express Transportation is providing bus service between Calgary and Vancouver on Fridays only instead of the promised daily service promised in October. (Photo submitted)

Promised daily bus schedule shrinks to one day a week

Rider Express says runs cancelled between Vancouver and Calgary due to low ridership

It was promising at the start, but bus service from Calgary to Vancouver has all but ground to a halt. And getting information is almost impossible.

At the end of October, Rider Express Transportation announced that upon Greyhound’s demise, the company would provide daily bus service between Calgary and Vancouver.

The daily westbound bus was to make stops in B.C. at Revelstoke at 1 p.m., Salmon Arm at 2:25 at the former Greyhound bus terminal at 50 – 10th St. SW, Kamloops at 3:45, Hope at 5:45, Abbotsford at 6:45, arriving at the Vancouver bus terminal at 8 p.m.

The daily eastbound bus was originally scheduled to leave Salmon Arm at 1:30 p.m. and, with stops in Revelstoke, Lake Louise, Banff and Canmore, was scheduled to arrive in Calgary at 8 p.m.

Related: New express bus to stop daily in Salmon Arm

The reality is very different, something the company says is due to low ridership. But booking a trip is difficult.

Betty MacDonald of Salmon Arm found that out last week when she tried to get information on travelling to Calgary.

The only service between Calgary and Vancouver that Rider Transport is now providing is once a week on Friday. Passengers heading east to Calgary will be getting a very early start as the bus from Vancouver arrives in Salmon Arm at 1:35 a.m. and departs at 1:40.

The Friday service to Vancouver arrives in Salmon Arm at 1:35 p.m. and leaves five minutes later, arriving in Vancouver at 7:15 in the evening.

Related: Bus company vies to replace Greyhound in Kamloops to Vancouver, Kelowna

“I tried to call four times in one morning and thought, this it is ridiculous,” MacDonald says. “I don’t know where to buy a ticket, is anyone there when you check in? Do you just wait till they come?”

MacDonald says she did get through on the phone about a month ago and got the sense the man who answered was at home because she could hear small children in the background. Another call around the same time connected her to a woman who told her the company was looking into the schedules.

“It’s making me really uncomfortable, kind of a fly-by-night feeling,” she says. “If people in small centres can’t book online, you have to phone, but nobody’s taking calls.”

Related: Greyhound to end bus service in BC, Alberta

Rider Express did respond quickly to an email from the Observer.

“We changed our service to once a week due to the low ridership. We are hoping to add more service as soon as the ridership will increase,” reads the Dec. 3 email. “We are experiencing high volume of calls, that might be the reason for people not getting through to us. We are also trying to contact government about a funding program, but they are not answering to us.”

But a company recording notes “the person you have called is not accepting messages at this time. Please try your call again later. Thank you. Goodbye.”

As to how would-be travellers can book a ticket, a second email from the company explains: “We are working on adding Salmon Arm for online ticket purchase. It is going to be available in a couple days.”


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

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

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

The person behind @revelstokecharm said this community provides good fudder for memes because there is a big concentration of people that don’t take themselves too seriously, and also a great concentration of people that take themselves way too seriously. (Instagram)
Review interviews the mysterious meme maker behind @revelstokecharm

The Instagram account is a popular page that parodies local happenings

Revelstoke Mountain Resort was voted Best Ski Resort in Canada in the 2020 World Ski Awards. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke Mountain Resort voted best in Canada

The World Ski Awards announced the 2020 winners

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is mouring the death of former president Len Dergousoff of Salmon Arm. The longtime Revelstoke Grizziies board member, who was president from 1999-2002, lost a year-long battle with cancer at age 80. (Dergousoff family photo)
Former KIJHL president dies after cancer battle

Len Dergousoff, 80, of Salmon Arm, was longtime Revelstoke Grizzlies exec, president 1999-2002

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

LeAnne Jakubeit, a prominent Penticton business woman and wife of former Penticton mayor Andrew Jakubeit, has died after a battle with cancer. Her death was announced Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 on The Grooveyard’s Facebook page. (The Grooveyard / Facebook)
Prominent Penticton businesswoman dies after battle with cancer

LeAnne Jakubeit opened iconic Penticton record store The Grooveyard 30 years ago

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Device found on Walmart parking lot confirmed false: Kelowna RCMP

Banks Road around Walmart was closed off on Nov. 22

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read