Cold Shot bus service at risk of shutting down in Peace Region
Published Tuesday, January 30, 2024 4:46PM PST Last Updated Wednesday, January 31, 2024 9:25AM PST
FORT ST. JOHN -- The Cold Shot bus network is at risk of shutting down its service in the Peace Region.
In a letter proposed to Fort St. John city council on January 22nd, the company says without additional funding they find themselves at a "crossroads" and will be forced to slam the breaks-- withdrawing or severely limiting service across the region.
Ryan Harvey with the City of Fort St. John says since Greyhound service was halted in 2018, it left a hole in the market that has been filled by Cold Shot.
The bus network that provides affordable travel routes into and out of the Peace Region to Grande Prairie and other cities in Alberta was requesting $85,400 in city funds.
Harvey adds that although council understands the vital need, the community charter is limited to what the city can do in terms of funding of a private-business, forcing them to deny the request.
In 2023, 837 Fort St. John residents travelled on their buses, up from 649 the prior year.
In Dawson Creek, year-over-year ridership numbers we’re also up, totalling 533 residents in 2023.
The company says it primarily serves seniors, First Nations communities, and trades workers who commute to camp locations.
Having been hard-hit by inflation, they estimate $340.24 is needed to cover their daily operational cost to sustain routes in and out of Fort St. John.
Harvey suggests that Cold Shot continue to push for provincial and federal funding to better sustain their network.