There’s a new connection for travellers looking to get from Grande Prairie to Edmonton. Northern Express Bus Line has added the route to its system, which already services High Level through Peace River and High Prairie.

General manager Simon Juckes says the plan is to run from Edmonton to Grande Prairie and back Sunday through Wednesday, as well as Friday. The move follows Greyhound Canada’s announcement that it is pulling passenger and freight service in western Canada as of the end of October.

“We just felt it was an opportunity,” says Juckes. “It also ties in with some of our other routes that we’ve been running for the last number of years so we can take this Whitecourt, Fox Creek, Valleyview corridor and connect it to High Level with our existing service already.”

The bus will leave Edmonton at 9:15 a.m. and arrive in Grande Prairie at 2:45 p.m. The return trip will depart half an hour later, and passengers will be able to connect to other locations from the city.

Juckes understands the route might not be heavily used until Greyhound stops its service. However, he believes there’s enough demand to keep it running.

“Obviously there’s going to be some slow days to start with, but we expect the numbers to grow as we keep at it,” says Juckes. “We’ve watched the Greyhound service a little bit and those times are anything but passenger friendly, and they seem to have some numbers that would suggest that there will be enough support for this route.”

The new route came into effect on August 6th and a ticket from Edmonton to Grande Prairie costs $100. Northern Express has been operating in northern Alberta since 2005 and has grown from 14-passenger vans to 55-passenger buses.

Northern Express Bus Line’s current routes. One from Edmonton to Grande Prairie was added August 6, 2018, Northern Express Bus Line