Islandlink has resumed bus service between Port Alberni and Tofino or Ucluelet following a short interruption due to the Cameron Bluffs wildfire, which forced the closure of Highway 4 since June 6.
"We were forced to suspend service on June 8 due to the Cameron Lake fire road closure, cutting off Nanaimo, but now realize the people on the Coast also require local services," says Phillip Morgan, owner of Islandlink and TofinoExpressBus. "For them, the closure has gone on too long already, so today we have re-started those services."
Bus service between Port Alberni and Tofino/Ucluelet resumed June 13. Service between Port Alberni and Nanaimo will restart when Highway 4 is re-opened, tentatively scheduled for June 24 by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Islandlink and TofinoExpressBus are now offering $5 fares for passengers.
"Effective June 14, we are slashing the bus fares between Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino to $5 one way when booked online, on our website," said Morgan.
He cited many reasons for offering the special fare.
"We can see that west coast residents have been dealt a pretty bad hand with respect to satisfying their transportation needs over the past two to three years, first with COVID and now with a road closure 150 kilometres away," said Morgan. "TofinoExpressBus.com intends to do something about it,"
The lower rate will enable more people to become familiar with TofinoExpressBus and to encourage more people to use the bus. In addition, Morgan says, with the lower rate, more people can affordably take day trips from Port Alberni to Ucluelet and Tofino.
Morgan says the online special rate will be in effect, daily, at least until October but could go longer. At this special rate, passengers are encouraged to reserve their seats online at least one day ahead of travel.
“Tofino Express Bus is committed to West Coast service long term,” Morgan stated.
Islandlink’s Port Alberni to Nanaimo route has been affected by the wildfire.
“Our Port Alberni - Nanaimo trips and our bus routes between Nanaimo and Ucluelet/Tofino will start again as soon as the road is re-opened at Cameron Lake,” said Morgan.
The bus departs Port Alberni daily at 7:30 a.m., arrives Ucluelet at 8:55 a.m. and is in Tofino by 9:45 a.m. The return bus departs Tofino at 3:30 p.m., Ucluelet at 4:15pm and arrives back in Port Alberni at 5:50 p.m. TofinoExpressBus uses a 24-seat bus for this service.
For information on fares, schedules and availability, and to make or cancel bookings visit the TofinoExpressBus website at www.TofinoExpressBus.com or IslandLink website at www.IslandLinkBus.com Bookings can be made until midnight on the day before travel.