Would you take a bus between Yellowknife and South Slave?


The feasibility of a bus service between Yellowknife and Fort Smith – and the communities in between – is currently being examined.

The Northwest Territories and Nunavut Council of Friendship Centers has launched a survey asking people for feedback on the possibility of a service that stops along the way in Behchokǫ̀, Fort Providence and Hay River.

“Even if I have to travel to Fort Providence, I have to make that lonely journey. We thought, 'Why don't we do a feasibility study?'” said Chris Pereira, program manager for the Friendship Center Council.

Pereira said the possibility of expanding the service to Fort Simpson is also being explored.

Currently, private vehicles or air travel are by far the two most common options for these trips, although a charter bus – or even a taxi as a last resort – could occasionally be used on the highway.



Courtesy of Frontier Coachlines and Greyhound, a bus route existed in the past but has been defunct for at least a decade.

The opportunity to create a new bus service came about because Canada's National Association of Friendship Centers has a funding program available, Pereira said, for which Northern Friendship Centers can apply.

The feasibility study assesses whether such a service is viable, while the survey aims to help find out what residents actually want.

Pereira told Cabin Radio he is trying to find out how often people travel, how much they spend on gas and whether they travel alone.



Safety could be a benefit of a bus, he said. Another reason is emissions.

“It’s a big carbon footprint, right?” Pereira said. “We can get 20 or 30 people to Yellowknife on public transportation instead of driving 20 or 30 cars.”

Pereira has initially set a deadline of May 6th to provide your feedback in the survey. However, he says that deadline may be extended. Participants can win gift vouchers and an iPhone.

If the survey suggests a bus service would be valuable, Pereira said the next steps will be figuring out financing to purchase a vehicle and then figuring out how to subsidize the cost of tickets for passengers.

“We expect a lot of people to come and help us understand what they think about such a service,” he said.

“If we get a positive result, we will definitely move forward and try to achieve that.”