A new bus service will soon connect Red Deer-area travellers to Edmonton and Calgary.
Snow Travels Inc., based in Calgary, will be hitting Alberta highways starting July 23.
Inaugural routes will include runs between Calgary and Edmonton, with a stop at 7-Eleven in Gasoline Alley, located at 45 Gasoline Alley E.
“We are covering extensively the route between Calgary and Edmonton and we believe Red Deer is one of the important cities to cover, where we can provide affordable bus service,” said Abu Ramil, Snow Travels president and CEO.
Passengers will be able to access the washroom at the 7-Eleven gas station and convenience store, and they can wait for their bus inside the business.
“As we grow, we also may include an extra stop in Red Deer to make sure we cover the whole city and people can get on our bus in the most convenient manner.”
Other routes will run between Calgary and Lethbridge, with stops in Okotoks, High River and Nanton; between Calgary and Drumheller; and between Calgary and Canmore, with a stop in Cochrane.
Snow Travels will start with three new buses, with a maximum seating capacity of 24 people each. Due to COVID-19, buses will run at 50 per cent capacity and seating will only be allowed in window and aisle seats to ensure social distancing.
Only those from the same household may sit together.
Ramil said pre-booking seats, at no cost, will also eliminate lineups and reduce contact.
“We are following all the medical best practices.”
He said Snow Travels will provide another option for people looking to travel around Alberta.
“Alberta has endured some turbulent economic times as of late, and we felt that a bus passenger service that was both budget friendly and comfortable was missing from the market.”
Every trip will feature amenities such as WiFi, bottled water, recliner seats, reading lights and overhead storage.
He said as proud Albertans for the past decade, he and his cousin, Vebhav Datt Sanjiv Coomar, who is director of operations, started Snow Travels to reflect Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.
The company plans to expand throughout the province, and then into Manitoba and British Columbia by 2022.
“Once we get momentum, and have the market share that we’re expecting, we are planning to have bigger buses some time next year,” Ramil said.