B.C. Conservatives urge constructive solutions in wake of Greyhound pullout

Scott Anderson blasts NDP and Liberals for not doing enough to address bus cuts

In the wake of Greyhound route closures, Vernon’s Scott Anderson, Interim Leader of the BC Conservative Party, urged the BC NDP to find innovative solutions to transportation for our province’s northern and interior regions.

Greyhound Canada announced that effective Oct. 31, a single route between Vancouver and Seattle will be all that remain of its routes in B.C..

“Since [Greyhound’s announcement], the BC Liberals have been too busy blaming the NDP to suggest any alternatives themselves, and the best the NDP has so far come up with is to urge the private sector to do something,” said Anderson, referencing a recent statement by Claire Trevena, the BC NDP Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

See related: B.C. bus service applications to be fast tracked after Greyhound pullout

Trevena met with Western Canadian ministers and representatives on Greyhound’s service withdrawal this week.

“[Thursday’s] meeting with ministers from Western Canada, and a representative from Ontario, was positive and productive. We recognize Greyhound’s surprise withdrawal will leave people with limited options to get around. Greyhound’s 90-day deadline for service withdrawal is extremely short for alternatives to be developed. We have agreed to write to the federal minister of transport to advocate for all Canadians who need access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation,” said Trevena.

“My staff have been in close contact with their federal counterparts to advocate for British Columbians who will lose bus service, and I have asked them to continue to work together.

“I hope local operators will see an opportunity to bring a badly needed service to the parts of the B.C. most affected by Greyhound’s decision. The Passenger Transportation Board will be moving new inter-city bus applications to replace Greyhound to the front of the line,” Trevena continues. “I am committed to sitting down with service providers, the private sector and local government, and will continue to be in close contact with my provincial counterparts, to explore what other options are available to keep communities connected.”

But Anderson demands the government needs to do more.

“Neither the NDP nor the Liberals have done anything while in power to pave the way for new, 21st century innovation coming to B.C.,” said Anderson. “Neither party did anything to prepare for private sector ridesharing regulation, neither party has done anything to prepare for the coming of autonomous vehicles, and neither party is prepared to offer solutions now that the interior and northern B.C. are stuck without a viable means of transportation. Instead, they’re squabbling like children over whose fault it is, something that’s especially rich coming from the Liberals who terminated BC Rail.”

Instead of raising taxes on the most efficient and effective form of energy, as both the Liberals and NDP have done, thereby driving up the cost of transportation (and everything else), Anderson urges the NDP to think outside its usual box and incentivize the private sector to supply alternate forms of transport through transportation tax breaks and a loosening of the regulatory burden.

Anderson suggests a hybrid approach, easing the way for the private sector to fill the transportation gaps in a way that makes fiscal sense.

“For example, Flair and Swoop are booming in Abbotsford, and short haul flights make sense for that area,” said Anderson. “They may not make economic sense for other areas, but other forms of transportation, including but not limited to private bus service, may be the answer for hard-to-service routes.

“We need a leaner, more comprehensive transportation plan for the future,” said Anderson. “Let’s leverage this century’s advances in communication and modes of transportation to allow the private sector, either through incentivization or public–private partnership to fill in the gaps. Right now all either party has done is put an increasing burden on transportation through various taxes and onerous regulation.”

See related: Vernon residents upset over end of Greyhound services


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gak 4 Cops for Cancer

The Gitwangak team raised over $10,700 for pediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes.

North BC Ale Trail features Smithers

After filming in Smithers in July, North BC Ale Trail is ready to sell a trip to the Bulkley Valley.

BV Concert Association back for 57th season

Bulkley Valley Concert Association season starts Oct. 4 and has limited season tickets on sale now.

‘Skinny’ houses could alleviate shortage

Proposal made by Smithers and District Chamber of Commerce to add affordable housing.

Chief Wah Tah K’eght leaves a legacy

Chief Wah Tah K’eght (Henry Alfred) from Witset was reported to have passed away on Sunday morning.

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read