New Kelowna-Vancouver bus route off to slow start

Ebus says business must pick up if service is to continue ‘long term’

Greyhound’s replacement for passenger bus service between Kelowna, Vancouver and Kamloops is not off the roaring start the operators of Ebus had hoped.

After the first two weeks of operation, the company that runs Ebus said while it expected it may take some time to attract business, sales will have to pick up if the service is to continue into the future.

“If levels stay as they are, it will be a challenge to be around long-term,” said John Stepovy, director of business development with Ebus.

He said currently, passengers are buying tickets just a few days ahead of travel.

“It takes a little while for people to know what service is out there and if it will be around (lon-term),” said Stepovy. “It’s a matter of building trust.”

But from the company’s point of view, that will need to happen sooner rather than later and ticket sales will have to pick up.

RELATED: Greyhound replacement ready to roll between Kelowna and Vancouver

Stepovy said while some buses have been quite full on the two Kelowna routes, other have only had a handful of passengers on board.

Ebus runs two buses per day in each direction between Kelowna and Vancouver and Kelowna and Kamloops.

Stepovy said the company has had a few “hiccups” since starting its service Oct. 31, including late arrivals and departures due to heavy traffic in both the Vancouver and Kelowna areas. Adjustments will be made to schedules to avoid some of that traffic. The revised schedules should be released in the next few weeks.

“The new schedules will better reflect traffic in Kelowna and Vancouver,” he said.

Ebus, owned by Alberta-based Pacific Western Group of Companies, replaced Greyhound on the Kelowna-Vancouver and Kelowna-Kamloops routes at the end of October after Greyhound cut all its Western Canada service with the exception of the route between Vancouver and Seattle. That route is operated by Greyhound in Washington State.

The Ebus service between Kelowna and Vancouver includes stops in Merritt, Hope, Abbotsford, Surrey and Richmond. The Kelowna-Kamloops route includes a stop in Vernon.

Stepovy said the company is close to securing a pick-up and drop-off location in West Kelowna, and is working with the City of Kelowna to find a second pick-up and drop-off location in the city, one closer to the downtown core than its current stop at the Kelowna airport.

He said while the airport location would continue to be used, having a downtown location was one of the more frequent requests it has received from riders in the first few weeks of operation.

Unlike Greyhound, Ebus will not use buildings at its stops, instead operating more like conventional transit with simple curbside pick-up and drop-off locations.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

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

Landslide stops repair crew from reaching internet service tower near Salmon Arm

MyBC Datacom users in Tappen, Sunnybrae, White Lake and parts of the Salmon Valley may be affected

Salmon Arm’s Elijah Lazar wins provincial wrestling title

Lazar overcomes Parmjot Sidhu from DW Poppy Secondary in the final on Feb. 17

Chase Heat in fine form as season winds down

The team’s first playoff opponents will be the 100 Mile House Wranglers.

Axe throwing, road hockey among Salmon Arm food drive festivities

Fill the Pantry event wraps up on Monday, Feb. 17 with day of activities. 600lbs of food collected.

Shuswap artists come into focus for upcoming exhibit

Salmon Arm Art Gallery presents 20/20, an open community exhibition

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Town of Osoyoos voices support for proposed casino

Osoyoos council voted to submit a letter of support for a proposed casino on OIB land

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Most Read