Tofino Bus Service claims north island bus service is unsustainable without subsidy. ( Photo)

No time frame to resume Route 5 bus service between Campbell River and Port Hardy

Passenger Transportation Board is still deliberating, leaving north Islanders stranded

The Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) has no time frame to make a decision regarding Route 5 bus service between Campbell River and the north Island, stranding locals who rely on bus service to travel down island.

Route 5 is the only pubic transportation option connecting the Tri-Port towns to the rest of Vancouver Island.

Tofino Bus Service announced May 13 its plans to permanently cancel the route, the same day it suspended all bus service due to COVID-19. The public was given two weeks to contribute to the PTB’s file.

The board’s executive director, Trevor Paul, said there is no legislated time requirement for board members to make a decision, but said he is aware of how serious a consideration this is for north Islanders.

A local taxi company, Waivin’ Flags, has applied separately to take over the route.

The PTB will consider the two applications separately, Paul said. The decision to grant Tofino Bus Service’s cancellation request will be independent of Waivin’ Flags’ application.

Waivin’ Flags’ owner Paige Quansah is optimistic that she will be approved, but said it could take weeks to get the official green light.

RELATED: Cancelling bus service between Campbell River and Port Hardy will compromise health access, region warns

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