South Cariboo residents who need to travel to Kamloops or Vancouver for medical appointments can benefit from low-cost Health Connections transit services, and even bring a companion along.
Interior Health’s (IH) Health Connections bus passes through 100 Mile House between Williams Lake and Kamloops on Mondays at a cost of $5 each way.
The bus carries 20 passengers, so limited seats are available; therefore, it is best to reserve your seat no later than the previous Friday. Payment is due to the driver by exact change and cash only.
The bus leaves 100 Mile at 8:30 a.m. and in Clinton at 9:30 a.m., and arrives in Kamloops around 11:30 a.m. at the hospital. It leaves Kamloops no later than 3 p.m. – earlier if all the health appointments are completed – so mid-day appointments are suggested if you need to use the return service to 100 Mile House.
It is also important to let your health practitioner’s office know when scheduling your appointment that you are using the health bus service, so they can try to accommodate it in their schedule.
While passenger seat priority is always given for health appointments, others may use the service, although shoppers or other non-medical users will be dropped off and picked up at the hospital.
This service does not run on any holidays. To book a seat to or from Kamloops, call 1-866-933-7812.
The NH Connections bus to Vancouver is for health appointments only and costs $40 a round trip.
It departs Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from the South Cariboo Visitor Centre at a 12:20 p.m. and drops passengers off at the Quality Inn at 1335 Howe St. in Vancouver.
The bus then returns on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, departing from Quality Inn at 8 a.m. Quality Inn offers a discount for medical stays upon request at the time of a reservation at 1-604-682-0229, and some other hotels also offer similar discounts.
All passengers must reserve a seat by calling 1-888-647-4997 before 2 p.m. the previous day, although it is best to call a week ahead.
You can also book a seat for a travelling companion, but one of you must have a medical practitioner sign a NH form (provided by the driver) as proof of an appointment for medical, dental, chiropractic or optometry. If you are not sure if your appointment qualifies, call ahead and ask.
Have your Care Card number and appointment information ready, and a VISA or MasterCard for fare payment, unless you will pay exact cost in cash to the driver.