By Dave Mabell
Alta Newspaper Group – Lethbridge
Beginning April 15, scheduled bus service will link communities between Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.
Southland Transportation will run two return trips between the cities on weekdays, stopping for passengers at towns and villages in between.
Service will be free for the first two weeks.
A pilot project, the service is being subsidized by the provincial government. It’s one of several being launched in response to Greyhound Canada’s decision to abandon inter-city service across Western Canada.
The initial schedule shows buses leaving Lethbridge about 11 a.m., arriving in Medicine Hat just before 2 p.m.
The second trip would leave about 7:10 p.m., arriving there just after 10 p.m.
Medicine Hat departures would be at 7:20 a.m. and about 3:25 p.m., arriving in Lethbridge around 10:15 a.m. or 6:20 p.m.
Pick-up points will be near the current Lethbridge Transit curbside terminal on 4th Avenue South, the Sportsplex in Coaldale and the Taber Arena.
Southland, a charter and school bus company with many years of service, will restore the Highway 3 service under a contract arranged by city officials in Medicine Hat.
“This pilot project is all about connecting residents in small communities with our community and with Lethbridge, to get them where they need to go,” said Simon Amos, manager of community access for Medicine Hat. Tickets will go on sale Monday, with discounts for seniors and children 12 and under.