Upstart bus company providing service via Prince George to become operational in March
Photo Courtesy of Merritt Shuttle Bus Service/Facebook
Merritt Shuttle Bus Service says it should be up and running by March 1st if not before then in Prince George as well as the Cariboo after receiving an extension of Feb. 28 by the Passenger Transporation Board.
Director of operations, Gene Field admits they were ready to accept that it might not happen.
“My wife she went back to work full time again because we needed the money to come in to pay the bills.”
“And I finally got to speak with the one investor that I was emailing back and forth with, and he said he’s willing to do it and liked the terms that we had for him, and then with the help of Community Futures and BDC we should be able to have enough to get the buses.”
Community Futures will match the investor’s funds for the purchase of the buses with the Business Development Bank of Canada providing two-thirds of what the investment was.
Field adds that because they will be buying the buses in bulk they will be getting a discount.
“I’ve got two guys that both own four buses each that we want. The one guy is giving me a really good deal on four buses and the other guy has four buses and two shuttle buses so I’m going to see what kind of deal he’s going to give me, and then there’s half of our fleet right there and then it’s just a matter of getting some more shuttle buses,” added Fields.
Because it has taken them this long to get off the ground, they will have to hire some new staff because some of them have found employment elsewhere.
“We’ll get the right people in the right spot and we’ll be up and going again.”
The bus service will offer passenger service with routes from Merritt to Prince George as well as PG to Langley.
Cargo service will also be available.
– with files from Rebecca Kelli, My Cariboo Now