There are few options available for people needing to travel in the Peace Country. Cold Shot is the only regional bus service still running, but with a number of restrictions, including the distance between passengers and mandatory masks.
Red Arrow chose to suspend service a few weeks ago and says it remains in a holding pattern until the provincial or federal government gives the nod of approval for business to return to normal.
Director of Motorcoach with Red Arrow John Stepovy says the company continues to do its part to flatten the curve, adding they will continue to plan for a full return to service when applicable.
“Our longer-term view is re-launch and re-launch strong, do it safely and working with health officials for that timing, taking their advice and their lead as to when people should start travelling again.”
Stepovy says they’re currently feeling the pinch financially, but knows they have to have a solid plan in place for customers to return, especially when it comes to vehicle cleanliness.
“I think there is going to be a need to be cautious and vigilant in hygiene practices from our staff and the public as our passengers, along with those enhanced cleaning and sanitizing measures that we put in place prior to the suspension.”
Early in March, Red Arrow announced expanded service between Edmonton and Grande Prairie, and Stepovy says that plan will be put into motion once service levels return to normal.
The County Connector transit service, which connects local communities, has also been suspended until further notice. In its place, the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership created the Community Care Program for those unable to access food or prescriptions due to social isolation or lack of transportation.
Within the City of Grande Prairie, transit services have been reduced, and evening service is on-demand only. While the Grande Prairie Airport is still open, service from Westjet and Air Canada has been greatly reduced, and there are no direct flights to or from Edmonton.