Skip to main content

B.C.’s limited transportation network frustrates contestants in reality show

Ten contestants in the BBC reality show Race Across the World were blown away by British Columbia’s size and beauty, but also frustrated by its lack of long-distance ground transportation.

In the series, the competitors, made up of five couples, must race to various points throughout Canada by land and are not allowed to fly. They are also on a budget and are forbidden to use phones or the internet.

The players soon find out that getting to their first mandated stop on Haida Gwaii would be a long and painful journey without a car.

“With public transport so limited, Canadians have learned to embrace car sharing,” said the announcer.

Some teams chose to travel up north via Vancouver Island, only to discover there are no trains or direct bus services.

“They can’t even put on a bus service that will take you from one end of the island to the other,” said one frustrated player, who ended-up paying hundreds of dollars for a taxi.

They also discovered that ferry service to Prince Rupert is limited, and doesn’t run every day.

Other pairs chose to travel via Merritt and Prince George and also discovered a lack of public transportation.

The B.C. government acknowledges that reliable and affordable rural transportation is essential.

“Due to the unique nature of the north and the distances between communities, after the loss of Greyhound in 2018 our government launched B.C. Bus North to help people travel safely between regional centres in the north,” read a statement from the ministry of transportation.

It also insisted improving transportation was a priority, and is “looking at options for improving inter-city bus transportation that supports British Columbians in other regions as well.”

Of course it isn’t fair to compare British Columbia to Britain. After all, the U.K. can fit into B.C. almost four times.

But the BBC program revealed why, despite the province’s beauty, most people fly when travelling long distances. Top Stories

Stay Connected