Ebus has expanded its service in B.C. to seven days a week, with protocols in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

Ebus expands service to Kelowna, Salmon Arm

Alberta-based transportation company’s departures up to seven days a week

Michael Potestio/Kamloops This Week

Ebus is once again offering twice-daily trips between the Okanagan-Shuswap and Vancouver as it enters phase two of resuming its B.C. operations.

Effective Monday, Aug. 17, the Alberta-based transportation company increased its service from four days per week on all routes to daily service, seven days a week on the majority of departures in B.C.

Following a two-month hiatus, Ebus relaunched in B.C. in June with a limited schedule and added safety protocols.

Those safety protocols remain in place and include mandatory face masks, health screening questions before departures, physical distancing onboard buses and daily cleaning protocols.

To maintain distancing on its coaches, Ebus has limited capacity to 50 per cent, but needs to offer more schedules to accommodate the travel needs of the province, said director of motorcoach, John Stepovy.

Stepovy told KTW the 50 per cent cap is sustainable in the short term, but the company can’t maintain forever. He said Ebus hopes to be able to offer 100 per cent seating capacity again as it’s the only way to ensure the service is sustainable in the long term.

Ebus operates three routes in B.C. — between Vancouver and Kamloops, Vancouver and Kelowna and between Vancouver, Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Kamloops.

“We’re certainly nowhere near where we were pre-pandemic, but we’re slowly making steps back to that pre-pandemic schedule,” Stepovy said.

Pre-pandemic, Ebus operated twice-daily trips, seven days a week between Vancouver and Kamloops and Vancouver and Kelowna, with a third trip on Fridays and Sundays. Ebus also ran twice-daily trips to and from Kamloops and Kelowna with stops through the Shuswap.

Stepovy said being able to get back to full capacity will involve receiving a green light from the provincial government as it continues to relaunch the economy.

“It’s not quite black and white. There’s a whole lot of grey and moving parts and we’re working closely with the province and health officials and decisions are going to be made down the road when appropriate.” Stepovy said.

For more information, including current schedules, visit myebus.ca.

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