Regional leaders and stakeholders pose for a photo op during the official launch of BC Transit’s Terrace to Hazelton route. Pacific Western Transportation will assume the contract of this and all other Northwest routes.

Pacific Western takes over BC Transit contract as of April 1

Current transit employees have to apply to new provider

Employees of First Canada, the company that now has the BC Transit contract in the region, have to apply to the new provider for continued employment as it prepares to take over the service April 1.

But those who wish to continue employment have automatically been advanced to the interview stage, says an official for Pacific Western Transportation, which was the successful bidder for a nine-year BC Transit contract.

“All applicants, including those currently working for First Canada, must apply via our website to be considered for these positions. This is a system we use for the recruitment and on-boarding of all employees,” explained James Vine, a Pacific Western official based in Prince George.

“This ensures that all current employees will be interviewed/evaluated,” he added as Pacific Western prepares to staff positions in Hazelton, Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert.

Pacific Western, based in Calgary, is looking for more than 40 people, including casual/on-call drivers, in the four communities.

Aside from drivers, the search is on for mechanics, vehicle cleaners and managers.

A general manager has already been named from Pacific Western’s employee pool.

“We will also employ driver lead hands and driver trainers locally, with these positions being filled by transit drivers who drive primarily but also train or supervise other employees as part of their regular duties.

“These positions are not posted as the manager will source them from the driver pool after the fact,” said Vine.

While Pacific Western supplies drivers and support staff, buses and route scheduling remains the responsibility of BC Transit.

Vine said interviews are scheduled to begin mid-month.

Alberta-based Pacific Western Transportation was one of two companies bidding on the contract which, for the first year, has a value of nearly $3.4 million.

It ends current provider First Transit’s 11-year contractual relationship with BC Transit in the area.

Pacific Western Transportation is already an established entity in the north because it operates the Northern Health Authority’s Northern Health Connections bus service which provides patient transportation between northern communities.

There may be some integration of services between Kitimat and Terrace but what that might mean is still not known, Vine added.

This is the second time in recent years Pacific Western, a family-owned company based in Calgary has taken a northwest contract from the international FirstGroup which has First Transit as a subsidiary.

Another FirstGroup subsidiary, First Canada, was the Coast Mountains School District’s bus services provider until that contract went to Diversified Transportation, a subsidiary of Pacific Western, in 2015.

Pacific Western Transportation also operates the transit systems in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, and Prince George. The latter system includes the Burns Lake-Prince George and Burns Lake-Smithers Highway 16 BC Transit service.

Information provided by Pacific Western indicates it operates approximately 23 transit contracts for municipalities/government agencies in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Yukon. It was founded in 1957.

Just Posted

Student rangers sought for Terrace

Young adults interested in student ranger program have until Feb. 24 to apply

Skeena Sawmills audit good overall, but fault found in tree planting

Violation only issue discovered in Forest Practices Board report

DoK delays third reading of TSW land rezoning

Decision on hold until another public hearing is held

Is Terrace prepared for a rail disaster?

Council asked to review surge in dangerous goods movement: “I live in the blast zone,” says resident

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Parents in this B.C. city can no longer opt kids out of class for personal beliefs

Change comes as part of ‘big overhaul’ of school district’s learning resources policy approved by board

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Good news: Peak flu season over in B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says that while peak season is over, rates remain high this time of year

B.C. university students dumpster dive to shed light on food waste

Eating only from dumpsters, the students hope to raise money for food banks in Northern Canada

B.C. woman posts to Facebook after she and nephew reported missing for days

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Most Read