Greyhound depot in Keremeos needs a new home

Public transportation in the Similkameen could take another hit in mid August as Keremeos’ present bus depot location gives up the business

The present location of the bus depot in Keremeos will not be available after mid August.

The present location of the bus depot in Keremeos will not be available after mid August.

Public transportation in the Similkameen could take another hit in mid August as Keremeos’ present bus depot location gives up the business.

Sandy Taylor, who manages the Greyhound depot presently located at 604 -7th Avenue, recently announced her intention to relinquish the business by the middle of this month.

“I thought when I took this on that it wouldn’t require many hours in a day to handle,” Taylor said, “but I’m finding that it needs more “full time” attention, which interferes with the time I can spend helping Darryl.”

(Partner Darryl Letkeman runs Canadian Chopper in the same building.)

Taylor said that  the passenger and freight  business in Keremeos continues to be steady, with the depot providing service to three buses per day – an eastbound bus at 5 a.m., westbound at 9 a.m., and a short haul route heading east to Osoyoos or Rock Creek at 12:25 p.m.

Taylor added that most of the depot’s earnings are based on commission, with the 9 a.m. bus generating the most revenue.  Taylor said her workday is generally over shortly after the arrival of the last bus at noon.

Should Greyhound not be able to find someone in Keremeos willing to take on the depot, it would mean yet another reduction to public transportation in the Similkameen valley. Over the past decade, the number of daily buses through the valley has declined in what is essentially the only form of public transportation available in the area, other than a twice weekly handyDart shuttle that is primarily focussed on transporting people with medical issues to regional centres like Penticton and Kelowna.

Presently, Hedley is the only other community in the Similkameen with a bus depot; Princeton is presently without one, and the depot in Osoyoos only handle passengers, not freight.

“This would be a great opportunity to supplement an existing business in Kermeos,” Taylor said. She is hopeful someone will come forward before August 15 to take on the business and continue the service in Keremeos without interuption.

About the handyDART Transit Service

The Community Transit Service is for all residents of Princeton and Area.

How to Use Community Transit

First you have to register with the office. There is no fee to register. When you call, the dispatcher will discuss your travel needs with you, then file the information for future bookings.

Booking a Trip

To book a trip call 295-6666 or 1-800-291-0911 on Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. If the dispatcher is not available when you call, please leave a message with your booking request and telephone number. Please speak clearly and slowly.

TWhen you call to book your trip, the dispatcher will ask you the following questions. Please be ready to answer.

– your name

– the date on which you would like to travel

– where you would like to be picked up

– your destination and the time you would like to arrive

– if it’s a return trip, if so, when you would like to return

– if you use a mobility aid (i.e. walker, wheelchair, cane)

Service

There are two types of service:

One-time trips: please call at least 24 hours ahead for your reservation.

Regular subscription trips. If you want to set up a regular trip, you need only call once to set it up, and the bus will be there to pick you up on a regular basis.

Please let the dispatcher know if you have more than one stop to make on the same trip. This will make it easier for the dispatcher to schedule the entire trip.

Cancelling a Trip

If your plans change, and you no longer need your reserved seat, please call 295-6666 or 1-800-291-0911 as soon as possible so that the dispatcher can schedule a trip for someone else.

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday

8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

For more information about the Community Transit Service, call 295-6666 or 1-800-291-0911.