An era is ending for Vancouver Island ground transportation and freight customers.
One bus depot has closed and another is soon closing.
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s permanent closure of the station Parksville, the Courtenay bus depot will close its doors at the end of October.
Vicki Wadsworth and her husband operate the depot at 9-2663 Kilpatrick Ave., and as of Oct. 31, bus customers will have to be picked up by the bus curbside, by the Driftwood Mall.
She said some of the challenges for customers once the depot closes is bad weather as they will primarily be outdoors waiting for the bus and that tickets will have to be purchased online.
Wadsworth noted once Greyhound stopped operating in Canada last October “it really died off and that’s when things went downhill.”
The bus depot has been a staple within the Comox Valley community, and Wadsworth explained she recalled her relative running the location on 8th Street.
“People have told me prior to that, there was a bus depot on 5th Street. People still ride the bus, but the numbers have been going down every day. They want to streamline the costs, and we’re one of the victims.”
The depot’s ground package services – which was operated by Box by Bus, a division of the Tofino Bus – will stop its operation from the depot at the end of October as well. Box by Bus filled the shipping gap last year for communities that were previously served by Greyhound Package Express.
Currently, the Vancouver Island Connector/Tofino Bus bus operates out of the depot. The IslandLink Bus operates from various pickup locations in the Valley.
As for the couple, Wadsworth said she and her husband are both looking at different careers once the depot closes. She added years of making connections with customers is helping her to explore different options in the Valley.
Meanwhile, the bus depot in Parkville, located behind A&W on 540 Island Highway closed at the end of September.
Tofino Bus and Vancouver Island Connector posted a notice to inform customers a curbside pickup has been established at the Parksville Community Centre on Jensen Ave. East, where the BC Transit stop is located.
No more freights will be accepted at the former location.
For more information on service changes and bookings, customers are advised to visit its website.
— with a file from Michael Briones