BC Bus North passes through Smithers in September 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)

Northern B.C. bus service to continue, but some fares jump

Updated fare schedule to be posted on BC Bus North’s website on Friday

People living in remote areas of northern B.C. can count on an inter-city bus service for at least another year.

The Ministry of Transportation said Tuesday that the provincial and federal governments will share the cost of the service through March 2021.

The province and Ottawa will each provide about $1 million in funding to support BC Bus North, but some fares will climb as the service aligns fares with the distance travelled by passengers.

The updated fare schedule is expected to be published Friday on the service’s website.

The northern service launched in 2018 after privately operated bus routes were discontinued.

The government says the service has carried almost 9,000 riders on four routes spanning the width of the province, from Valemount to Prince Rupert.

Melanie Joly, the federal minister of economic development and official languages, said dependable bus service is a lifeline in northern B.C.

“From seniors heading to medical appointments to young people who work in neighbouring towns, we know just how important this service is for so many,” she said in a statement.

BC Bus North will continue to be closely monitored to better understand inter-city travel in the region. The province says a survey of riders will be conducted in the spring.

The Canadian Press

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