Bus service hopes to expand with new route from Okanagan to Calgary | infonews

FILE PHOTO – Mountain Man Mike’s Buses

Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Mountain Man Mike’s

27 February 2022 – 13:57

As BC’s COVID-19 restrictions ease, a bus service carrying passengers across the province hopes to get the green light to connect Kelowna to Calgary.

Kootenay-based Mountain Man Mike Bus Service offers routes from Kelowna to Osoyoos, Kaslo to Vancouver and Kalso to Calgary and towns in between, according to its website.

Due to an increase in ridership, owner Mike Hathaway said the bus service recently expanded service across the Okanagan for the past six months. Free transportation is also offered until February 28 between Kelowna and Osoyoos. This route was initially discontinued, but with an increase in demand on other routes over the past two weeks, it has been revived.

READ MORE: Kootenay Transit Company Approved for Kelowna-Osoyoos Route

“We see a lot of people traveling for spring break. Restrictions open up a bit. People have been locked up for a long time, they want to see their families because they’ve been delaying those trips for two years,” Hathaway said.

The Christmas period has hit record numbers since the company launched three years ago, allowing it to increase bus capacity on its most popular route from Kaslo to Vancouver, he said . The former Vancouver bus driver started the business with one bus and now owns eight, including three 49-seater buses purchased last summer.

“We’ve grown through COVID, quite a bit actually,” Hathaway said.

“We were using our smaller buses after Christmas, but over the past two weeks we’ve seen these 24-seater buses sell out, so we decided it was time to bring in our larger buses,” he said. he said, reporting about 200 passengers on the Kaslo-to-Vancouver route this month during a normally slow time of year.

Mountain Man Mike’s also hopes to expand with routes from Kelowna to Calgary and Golden to Cranbrook. It is still awaiting approval from the Passenger Transport Commission, but expects to receive a response within the next two weeks.

This expansion would see five buses travel between Kelowna and Calgary, he said.

“We’re trying to increase ridership a bit, especially in the Kelowna, Osoyoos area, because we’re relatively new,” he said.

E-bus, which has a Lower Mainland bus route inside, did not return a request for comment.


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Melvin Z. Madore