Thirteen and 14 year olds now require a $5 consent form
By Cindy Filipenko
A $3.83 bus fare to Whistler from Pemberton will cost you $8.53 if you happen to be 13 or 14. And that’s only if your parents say you can make the trip and put it in writing.
Greyhound Canada, which services the corridor, has changed its policy regarding unescorted youth. The old policy allowed for kids over the age of 12 to travel independently.
Last month the rules changed. As of mid-September, the bus line raised the age for independent travel to 15 years of age. While rumours in the community referenced several different incidents responsible for the change, a Greyhound spokesperson from Whistler stated that the change was national in scope.
“The policy isn’t just in Pemberton, it’s Canada-wide. We were told to change our policy on unescorted minors to reflect the company’s U.S. policy.”
Young teenagers now join children in having to provide an unaccompanied minor consent form upon boarding. This allows the driver to know that the youth is travelling alone.
“Essentially, Greyhound is responsible for them while they are on the bus,” said the company representative.
The form, which must be completed by a legal guardian, has to be obtained each time travel is undertaken and can only be acquired through the Greyhound depot. The form, required by people aged 8-14, also comes with a $5 administrative fee.
Many youth residing in Pemberton travel frequently to Whistler to take part in recreation and extra-curricular activities after school, often a time when alternate transportation is not accessible. Greyhound does not make any provisions for these youth.