Greyhound plans could force Princeton family to move

Company officials laughed at mother’s concerns a year ago

Donna Slatten has lived in Princeton with her daughter for 27 years.

She may have to leave in 2018 – all because of Greyhound.

“I don’t want to move because Dana is so settled here,” she said in an interview with The Spotlight.

Recently Greyhound applied to the BC Passenger Transportation Board to further cut its routes throughout the province.

The company plans to eliminate service to Princeton, leaving no commercial transportation to or from town to Vancouver, and limiting access to Penticton.

For Slatten and her daughter Dana, who has multiple disabilities and medical problems, the decision is a life changer.

Dana must travel to Vancouver at least three times a year for doctors’ appointments.

Under the current bus schedule – its daytime route through town was slashed two years ago – the pair has to leave Princeton at 1 a.m. to reach the coast in the early hours of the morning, and then stay overnight to return the following day at 4:35 a.m.

If the bus route is eliminated altogether they would need to travel by BC Transit to Penticton, then to Kelowna, and go to Vancouver from there, sald Slatten.

Depending on the connections and the number of overnight stays they will require “it will take three to five days to get her there and back for a one hour appointment.”

Slatten also has a disability, does not drive and has never owned a car.

“My whole life I’ve always been a walker. I can get a lot of places walking and with the Greyhound I’ve always been able to go anywhere.”

Last summer Slatten started a petition asking Greyhound to re-establish its daytime route through Princeton.

She gathered 648 signatures and sent the document to the company,

When she received no response she followed up by telephone.

“After three different people transferring me they finally switched me to the fourth person and when he asked how many signatures I had he just laughed. He said it would do nothing. He said nothing will ever happen with that petition.”

Dana is next scheduled to see her Vancouver doctor in April 2018.

“If [the elimination of service] happens then I’ll try in April and see how that works. My house might be listed after that.”