Service has been suspended on all buses belonging to Malaspina Coach Lines, which runs between Powell River, the Lower Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland, until further notice.
Two men from Elite Bailiffs stepped onto a Malaspina Coach Lines bus in Vancouver June 20 and told the passengers they were seizing the vehicle, along with the rest of Malaspina’s fleet, according to Caroline Jobe of Powell River.
Jobe said the bailiffs took over the bus at Waterfront Station and then drove her and five other passengers to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal where they were told they’d have to find their own way on to Powell River.
The next day Malaspina Coach Lines posted an “urgent travel advisory” on its website saying there would be no bus service on June 21 and 22 “due to a shortage of equipment.”
On June 23, the advisory was changed to say there would be no service “until further notice due to a temporary service interruption.”
Malaspina Coach Lines owner Ali Ismail did not return calls and emails for comment, and a representative on the company’s Facebook page responded to Coast Reporter’s inquiries by writing, “At this time your questions can not be answered.”
Calls to Elite Bailiffs also shed little light on the situation as the company representative stated they could not release any information due to client confidentiality.
Malaspina Coach Lines has been in operation for more than 25 years. The bus service also carries shipped parcels between the communities.
Jobe said the apparent seizure of Malaspina’s fleet is very worrisome for the people of Powell River, who have no other bus option to get to Vancouver due to a lack of adequate public transit.
The Lower Sunshine Coast will also be left without daily bus service between Halfmoon Bay and Earls Cove.