The new weekly bus service from Kaslo to Vancouver with a stop in Keremeos has been delayed due to a parts shipping mishap.
Michael Hathaway, owner of the Kaslo-based Mountain Man Mike’s, confirmed the service launch has been postponed until July 27 or at the latest Aug. 1.
Hathaway said after a safety inspection revealed a hairline crack in the aftermarket stability control of the bus, the parts ordered from Alberta turned out to be the wrong ones. Now he said they are waiting for the correct parts to arrive from the United States.
As soon as they receive them and the bus passes inspection, Hathaway said he intends to open the booking portal for a first run on Saturday, July 27.
The 22-seat bus that runs on processed vegetable oil will provide service runs from Kaslo to Vancouver along Hwy 3 with hopes of expanding.
Keremeos mayor Manfred Bauer said a private bus service such as this one likely wouldn’t be ideal for seniors and those with mobility issues. He said the village is looking into a reliable, everyday public service that will transport residents to and from locations on the same day and is less expensive. He said it would be similar to BC Transit.
“The fact that you have to possibily wait for 40 minutes, 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after the scheduling because of the way they are booking, it it could be faster or later. Of course, not everybody is able to book online and with a credit card or PayPal,” he said. “If you are talking seniors and mobility, it is not accessible. There is not wheelchair access.”
Kim English, regional community development officer with CFSOS, who is helping organize a mobility talk in Keremeos on July 24 at the Keremeos Seniors Activity Centre, said getting around in rural settings will require the entrepreneurial spirit of a Mountain Man Mike’s type business — only in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.
But she also said new forms of rural transportation will have to come from ground-up organizing.
“I think our future is a lot of networking, bottom-up organizing,” she said. “I think with the fellow from Kaslo there is going to be several glitches along the way, but it is reinventing what mobility and transportation look like for rural communities and the need is there and people are trying to be creative about it. Hopefully, it will get into a system where it reaches more people.”
To report a typo, email: email@example.com.
Reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or follow me on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram