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

BC Housing to host information meeting on application process for 19th Street affordable housing

The meeting will take place Wed., July 24, at 6 p.m. at the GFSS auditorium

Grand Forks council denies pot shop for Weeds Glass & Gifts

The company owns two buildings in the city and is currently renting one to a competitor

PLACE NAMES: Grand Forks neighbourhoods, Part 2

No nuts were grown in Almond Gardens

Warming centre has until July 31 to vacate 7500 Donaldson Dr.

The landlord of the building sent a letter to operators earlier in July

Christina Lake homecoming welcomes all to the party

Tenth annual homecoming celebrates founders, volunteers and lakers

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

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

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

B.C. removes personal limits for bringing home out-of-province alcohol

Previous relgulations placed limits on the amount of liquor that B.C. residents could bring home

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read