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Pacific Coach Line Clarifies Concession and Reservation Policy

Pacific Coach Lines (PCL) which operates the bus service primarily between Vancouver and Victoria using BC Ferries has always accommodated and recognized CNIB National ID cardholders and their companions with a reduced fee structure. In fact at one time cardholders and their companions were provided travel free of charge.

Like most business entities, Pacific Coach is facing some challenges maintaining profitability with the routes they operate.  As a result they have instituted a new fee assessment. The new structure, effective immediately  is as follows:

British Columbians who are blind, deafblind or partially sighted and possess a valid CNIB National ID card will now be charged 50% of the bus fee and 50% of the BC Ferries passenger ticket rate when purchasing via PCL.  This same fare structure will apply to a companion travelling with a valid CNIB National ID cardholder; essentially resulting in a two travelling for the price of one scenario.

Pacific Coach Lines, by their own admission, has not been consistent in how their reservation agents have interpreted or applied this to CNIB National ID cardholders travelling in recent months.  The Manager of their Reservations Centre is making swift efforts internally to lessen this confusion moving forward.

PCL highly encourages valid CNIB National ID cardholders to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance to guarantee themselves and their companion a seat.  PCL will still accept walk-ups to the counter but they will not guarantee a seat as a walk-up.  In essence all seats on the bus are on a first come first serve basis with reservations getting priority.  Previously, Pacific Coach Lines would have a standby bus and driver available if the first coach was sold out and they would just simply add another bus based upon demand.  In an effort to control costs they are discontinuing that practice.  PCL does not anticipate many challenges for seat availability in the winter months, but recognizes that in the peak summer season and long weekends this may prove problematic for those walk-ups who are expecting that a seat will be available. Wherever possible, reservations are recommended by calling (800) 661-1725.

Posted: November 1, 2014

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