Owner Michael Hathaway will use this 22-seat bus fueled by processed vegetable oil to run a 16-stop route from Kaslo to Vancouver. Photo submitted

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

A new Kootenay bus service featuring vehicles fueled by processed vegetable oil has been given the green light to operate.

Kaslo-based Mountain Man Mike’s was approved on May 9 to run two routes by the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board. The first is a weekly Kaslo-to-Vancouver route that will make 16 stops in communities including Nelson, Castlegar and Grand Forks.

Michael Hathaway, the company’s owner, said Thursday that he hopes to have his 22-seat bus running to Vancouver by the end of June. Demand for the service is already high, he said, but Hathaway plans to be cautious.

“We are still going to try to take it slow and see what the ridership is because I don’t want to bite off too much and then have too much equipment,” he said.

The second route approved is an eight-stop weekly route from Kaslo to the B.C.-Alberta border that includes Nelson, Salmo, Creston, Cranbrook and Fernie.

Related: Kootenay man proposes charter bus service fueled by french fry oil

Hathaway said he’s negotiating with an Edmonton-based company to pick up passengers at the border and continue on to the Albertan capital, but if that fails he plans on running the service himself. He hopes to have that route open within two weeks of the Vancouver route operating.

Rates have not yet been set, but Hathaway said he expects the trip to Vancouver to cost approximately $100 plus tax, along with a service charge for oversized luggage.

The new inter-city bus routes come after the sudden closure of Nelson’s Queen City Shuttle and Charters on Monday. Hathaway said the news has changed his plans for Mountain Man Mike’s, and that he wants to have two or three buses running by the end of the year with at least one wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

“Initially we were just going to have one bus and see what the ridership was, but since Monday after Queen City dropped I’ve been getting phone calls from their clients…,” he said. “Originally we were only going to be a Greyhound replacement, but now we’re going to apply to take on the charter market as well.”

Hathaway’s application to the transportation board featured 25 letters of support including one from the office of Hope’s Mayor Peter Robb.

It was opposed by Trail-based Silver City Stagelines, which is owned by Fritz Keller and runs a Nelson-to-Kelowna route Sunday to Friday. Silver City is the only other company approved for an inter-city bus route in the West Kootenay after Greyhound closed all of its routes in B.C. last year.

The transportation board acknowledged in its ruling that Hathaway’s company may impact Silver City’s ridership but the need for service was the greater consideration.

“We find approving the application would promote sound economic conditions in the transportation industry in B.C.,” the board wrote in its decision.

Mountain Man Mike’s does not yet have a website. Hathaway said questions about rates, bookings and the company’s plans can be emailed to mhathaway442@gmail.com, or posted on its Facebook page.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Unusual case has Trail police asking for help identifying suspect

The man was caught on video surveillance at Trail City Hall

Rossland council agrees to finish skateboard park

Will cost taxpayers about $30,000 to complete project

Core funding to boost spending on tourism services for Rossland

Resort Municipalities grants will pay for a public washroom, better signage, and shuttle services

Passenger counts still rising at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Reliability rates also on rise in second quarter.

Third cannabis store in Greater Trail opens next week

The City of Trail has had six applications from non-medical pot retailers to date

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Nelson’s net-zero ready house is a glimpse into B.C.’s future

One local builder set out to construct the province’s ideal energy efficient home

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Most Read