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

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Revelstoke’s Mayor Gary Sulz getting his COVID-19 vaccination on April 5. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke is leading B.C.’s interior on vaccinations: Interior Health

Approximately 70% of the community has first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services responded to a fire at the Revelstoke Community Energy Corporation site Feb. 11, 2021. It was the fourth fire at the facility since it was built in 2005. (Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services photo)
Future uncertain for City of Revelstoke owned company

RCEC is using a backup system to provide heating after a fire forced the facility offline

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News file)
People aged 30+ in Summerland, Rutland offered vaccine amid high transmission risk

Interior Health offers residents of Rutland and Summerland aged 30 and up chance at vaccine

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Lake Country firefighters assisted the RCMP on Kalamalka Lake Tuesday, May 4. (Fire Department file photo)
Okanagan RCMP interrupt houseboat break-in

Pair in their 30s arrested but no charges laid after alleged Kalamalka Lake incident

Most Read