Those seeking bus service between Powell River, the lower Sunshine Coast and Vancouver will need to find another mode of transport come September.
Sunshine Coast Connector has applied to the Passenger Transportation Board to reduce its operation from 12 months to four months per year.
“There’s not enough people travelling,” said Sunshine Coast Connector co-owner Svetlana Zanazovsky. “We’ve tried to do it for the past many years and basically whatever we gain in the summer we lose in the winter.”
Once the application is approved, the company plans the last trip to be September 9 or 10 of this year with service starting up again in the spring of 2020.
“The next time we’ll open will be May 15th,” she added.
Though Zanazovsky said she and business partner Dmitry Tyunin believe the bus to be an essential service for many people living in Powell River, they are not able to bear the cost of running the buses year-round with such a drop in ridership during the winter months.
“People still want to travel but not in big enough numbers to cover the expenses during the winter,” she added. “So it’s kind of like a volunteer organization and government is not stepping in to help.”
Before the Passenger Transportation Board makes a decision on the application, it will consider written comments it receives by Wednesday July 10, at firstname.lastname@example.org, by fax at 250.953.3788 or mail at Box 9850 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria, BC, V8W 9T5.