Last month, inter-city bus service Adventure Charters was approved by Transport Canada to operate two inter-city bus routes in the Cariboo, Fraser Canyon and Kamloops regions of B.C. One bus route will run from Surrey to Prince George, while the other will run from Williams Lake to Kamloops.
The Passenger Transportation Board of B.C. granted Adventure Charters the licence in early April.
“There were several additional steps to complete following the license approval,” said Adventure Charters owner Janna Gertzen in a press release. “One of the requirements was for us to publicly release our detailed routes, schedules, fares and even obtain ticket pre-sales as of April 15.”
Adventure Charters recently ran their first trip on May 2.
In many ways, Adventure Charters will act as a replacement for Greyhound, which ended all their west Canadian routes last October. In addition to this, Gertzen’s company already has experience in the field, having done emergency runs for Greyhound in past.
However, unlike Greyhound, Adventure Charters will feature stops in smaller communities as well. The company previously conducted research for the most convenient and safest stops. The buses will stop in these smaller communities when tickets are pre-booked.
“One aspect we were pleasantly surprised by is that potential passengers are quite interested in close-community hops, like 100 Mile House to Williams Lake, for instance,” Gertzen said.
While the buses are smaller than their Greyhound counterparts, the Williams Lake to Kamloops bus has a capacity of 20 and the Prince George to Surrey bus has a capacity of 36, Adventure Charters believes this will make them more viable. A twice weekly schedule will be their starting point.
“Once we determine our ridership, we’re fully prepared to add another bus or more scheduled runs, if that is warranted,” Gertzen said.
Travelling is currently divided into three zones. Zone one is between Prince George and Williams Lake. Zone two is Williams Lake to Kamloops to Hope. Zone three is Hope to Surrey. Travelling between one zone will cost $65, two zones will cost $90 and three zones will cost $110.
According to the company’s operating manager, Randy Gertzen, the timing for the return of a bus service couldn’t be better.
“The feedback has been terrific. It’s clear that people felt the void Greyhound left when they cancelled passenger service in this region,” he stated in the press release. “Adventure Charters is ready to get the wheels turning.”
Mayor of Williams Lake, Craig Smith, also believes that now couldn’t be a better time for the return of such a service.
“With a regular schedule, and connecting to the right communities, this will help move people around the province economically,” he said in the press release. “Adventure Charters is going to fill a much-needed gap in service since Greyhound pulled out.”
Those interested in the service can check out their website at www.adventurecharters.ca.