Saanich-based Wilson’s Transportation has secured licenses bus service between Vancouver-Kelowna and Vancouver-Kamloops. (Black Press files)

Saanich-based Wilson’s Transportation has secured licenses bus service between Vancouver-Kelowna and Vancouver-Kamloops. (Black Press files)

Wilson’s Transportation hails new bus service to B.C. Interior

Saanich-based company will start offering bus service to Kelowna and Kamloops next month

A Vancouver Island-based bus company that used to be local agent for Greyhound has taken over two of the key Interior routes that Greyhound vacated when they decided earlier this year to discontinue all but one route in Western Canada.

Wilson’s Transportation Limited, operating out of offices on Glanford Avenue in Saanich, will start servicing passengers travelling between Victoria, the Lower Mainland, Kamloops and Kelowna on Nov. 15 by the latest, if not earlier, as Greyhound will cease operations Oct. 31.

“We are excited to get it up and running,” said John Wilson, Owner and CEO of the Wilson’s Group of Companies. “We are looking forward to growth,” he added later.

The license granted by Passenger Transportation Board requires the bus company to offer at least one daily round trip between Vancouver and Kamloops and between Vancouver and Kelowna.

RELATED: UPDATE: B.C. communities lose bus service as Greyhound shuts down

Wilson said the two routes were attractive because they connect well with the company’s service to Vancouver, and because of ridership. Wilson said Greyhound would have likely wanted to keep those routes, if they could have separated them from other routes, he said.

“It is a great addition to our BC Ferries Connector – the scheduled service between Downtown Victoria and Downtown Vancouver – as well as the Box to Bus freight service that we operate in conjunction with Tofino Bus,” he said.

Wilson said his company has also filed an application to pick up Greyhound’s route between Vancouver and Whistler. The company may also take a look at other routes, he said.

RELATED: Wilson’s bus company looks to expand into void left by Greyhound

Travellers leaving Victoria for Kamloops will now be able to stop in Vancouver, Langley, Chilliwack, and Merritt before arriving in Kamloops. Travellers leaving Victoria for Kelowna will stop in Vancouver, Langley, Chilliwack, Merritt, and West Kelowna before arriving in Kelowna.

The company may also pick up or drop off passengers at any location, municipality or unincorporated area between Vancouver and Kamloops and between Vancouver and Kelowna along highway corridors approved for these respective routes.

Wilson’s received the routes after the board had issued a ruling on Oct. 16, beating out a submission from Diversified Transportation. The board cited among reasons the Wilson’s record as a “strong management organization” operating in both Victoria and Vancouver.

“Through [Wilson’s] BC Ferries Connector service the Vancouver division has the infrastructure in place to manage the two proposed routes,” the board said. “[Wilson’s Transportation] has also been connected to Greyhound operations through its operation of the Capital City Station which is the current Victoria bus terminal. The company sold tickets for all Greyhound routes, during which time it interacted with he clientele that has provided insight into the consumer demand for its proposed routes.”

Wilson’s announcement comes just hours before Greyhound Canada will close down its passenger service. “With the departure of Greyhound, it is important that the public receive bus service immediately and regain confidence [Inter-city bus] services,” the board writes in its decision. “Such confidence is critical for the long term benefit of the industry.”

The provincial government announced Monday that private companies like Wilson’s will have picked up 83 per cent of Greyhound’s routes when service ceases — a figure that Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson has disputed.

The disruption of service promises to be especially disruptive in rural ridings like hers, she said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bill Almond’s observatory in its new home on a Saanich lakeside. (Submitted/Cameron Burton)
Colwood stargazing dome makes a move to Saanich

The backyard structure finds a new home after 30 years

Chris Grzywacz, Seed and Stone’s development agent, holds products from the Songhees Cannabis S + S store on April 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
First cannabis store opens on Songhees Nation, creates economic opportunity says chief

The Songhees Cannabis S + S had a soft launch at its 1502 Admirals Road location on April 20

A convicted sex offender, whose crimes included offences against children, was arrested at Gonzales Beach after the man was spotted by an off-duty officer. (Black Press Media file photo)
Convicted sex offender arrested at Gonzales Beach

After committing crimes involving children, offender barred from public beaches, being in proximity to kids

VicPD asks anyone who sees Daniel Shumka, or with information on his whereabouts to call 250-995-7654 or report anonymously through Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man wanted on drug trafficking charges

Daniel Shumka, 50, is 6’1” and about 195 pounds with short brown hair and brown eyes

Victoria police arrested three men following a double stabbing April 19. The two victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Three arrested after double stabbing in Victoria

Two people sent to hospital after being stabbed, hit with bear spray

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

The city asking the public if they want to pursue legal action against the province and their decision to override the city on the Victory Church issue. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton ready to sue province over homeless shelter

City council voted unanimously to authorize legal action

Most Read