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Tofino Bus and Vancouver Island Connector will stop running from January to May 2023

Key Island inter-city routes suspended for four months, shortly after company ended airport shuttle

By Cameron Welch
December 27, 2022
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Tofino Bus and Vancouver Island Connector will stop running from January to May 2023

Key Island inter-city routes suspended for four months, shortly after company ended airport shuttle

By Cameron Welch
Dec 27, 2022
Photo: VI Connector website
Photo: VI Connector website
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Tofino Bus and Vancouver Island Connector will stop running from January to May 2023

Key Island inter-city routes suspended for four months, shortly after company ended airport shuttle

By Cameron Welch
December 27, 2022
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Tofino Bus and Vancouver Island Connector will stop running from January to May 2023

Wilson’s Transportation will shut these inter-city bus routes from Jan. 3 to May, citing unprofitability during the slow season. The Tofino-Victoria bus is the Island’s only west-coast intercity bus service, while the Connector serves Nanaimo to Campbell River. CEO John Wilson told the Times Colonist that service could resume if it gets provincial funding, but that the previous funding has been used up and the routes may only run in spring and summer going forward.

Previous suspension ended with rescue by province
That April 2021 one-time funding allocated $2.5M between Tofino Bus and Wilson’s Transportation, and was intended to last a year. The money came partly in response to the Wilson’s Group suspending (and indicating it might permanently cut) these same routes it has now suspended again.



Owner also ended YYJ shuttle in November
John Wilson also owns the YYJ airport shuttle, and told Capital Daily that its demise after nine years was due to factors including the pandemic, aging equipment, and the possible arrival of Uber. He said at the time that “coming out of the pandemic with the financial hits we took in 2020 and 2021, we really have to drill down and use our people for services we’re getting a return on.”

Promising early results for new public inter-city route
Around the time of the early-2021 Island Connector shutdown, two directors of Comox Valley and Nanaimo regional districts wrote to the province. They argued that, since private inter-city routes had failed several times, short public connectors such as the Nanaimo-Cowichan Express should be funded. That express was introduced this March, and a Dec. 14 report from BC Transit found that it was outperforming initial expectations.

With files from Nina Grossman

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Cameron Welch
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