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True North Living » Travel » Exploring Western Canada » Travel in Style: How Bus Companies Are Changing Our Idea of the Road Trip

Canadians are itching to travel again, especially within Canada. And with Canadians feeling the pinch at the gas pumps, expensive airfares, and the hassle of flying, intercity bus travel is experiencing a renaissance.

Bus companies in Western Canada are proving that the bus experience is the best way to travel. Buses are often the least expensive travel option, but some offer premium services with business class-style seating — reclining seats, generous legroom, tray tables, headrests, and power outlets to charge your devices. The experience can also include complimentary snacks and beverages, and free wi-fi. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for cost and convenience.

Leave the driving to someone else

Red Arrow and Ebus are upping their game with expanded routes and enhanced services. They’re redefining what your family vacation could be. Instead of waiting for hours at an airport, with tiring security checks, or having the stress of driving yourself, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery through large windows, while someone else does the driving.

You can also feel good about bus travel because it has a low environmental impact compared to other forms of transportation. By design, buses are cleaner than trains, planes, and even cars. Carrying multiple passengers means decreasing vehicle emissions by removing up to 52 cars off the road each trip. And new types of fuels, such as ultra-low sulphur and biodiesel are helping to reduce greenhouse gases and emissions even more.


Connecting the west

Three bus companies operating in Alberta and British Columbia are changing our perception of what convenient travel looks like.

Family-owned and Alberta-based, Red Arrow has been a fixture in the province for more than 40 years.

They were pioneers in the industry when they offered game-changing single-row privacy seating, complimentary snacks and refreshments, and at one point had a fax machine on board! Red Arrow is still an industry leader when it comes to delivering innovative service. With Red Arrow, it’ll feel more like a business class flight experience than what you might imagine on a typical bus trip.

A deluxe onboard experience awaits, as Red Arrow’s coaches have just 36 seats, instead of the typical 52 seats with other operators. This means a more exclusive experience and more space for you to relax or to do work. Single row seating, reclining leather seats and fold-down tray tables, charging stations at every seat, complimentary wi-fi, onboard entertainment, and a rewards program are just some of the ways Red Arrow takes care of you. They were also the first in Canada to offer seat belts in their coaches. With an extensive route network between Lethbridge and Fort McMurray, including Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton, Red Arrow has you covered.


Ebus launched in British Columbia in 2018 when Greyhound left but has been operating in Alberta for 10 years among the cities of Fort McMurray, Edmonton, and Calgary. Ebus is the sibling brand to the luxury Red Arrow and provides scheduled routes in BC. Coaches connect Vancouver with some of BC’s major interior cities, including Kamloops and Kelowna. With complimentary wi-fi and spacious legroom, Ebus lets you relax so you can enjoy the trip. Ebus has partnered with local operators to connect passengers from Kamloops to Edmonton, where one can join a Red Arrow service.


When BC Bus North launched four years ago, travelling throughout British Columbia’s spectacular, yet expansive, northern region became a lot easier. With 39 communities served, you can pick your adventure. Fancy a trip to the wild west coast? Want to explore the majestic Mt. Robson Provincial Park? Or perhaps experience part of the famed Alaska Highway? BC Bus North gives you all this and more with convenient connections and access.

BC Bus North coaches are also moving works of art, as Indigenous artists were commissioned to create beautiful art that adorn the outside of the coaches. BC Bus North serves 39 communities across northern BC. One of the art pieces by Kari Morgan K’alaajex is called We Are All Connected. What are you waiting for? Bus travel is the way to go and these companies are ready to connect you to fantastic destinations across Western Canada.

Five Reasons You’ll Want to Consider the Bus for Your Next Vacation

Affordable travel

Even with the luxury amenities, bus travel is affordable. And their fares are the same even if you book last minute. The money you save can be used on another trip, or you can spend it on fun experiences at your destination.

Convenient and comfortable

Connecting with major airports in Alberta and British Columbia, Red Arrow and Ebus makes your whole trip out west a whole lot easier. With premium services and no hassle-boarding — say goodbye to airport security lines — you get convenience and a comfortable ride.

Leave the driving to someone else

Taking the bus lets you sit back and relax. You can enjoy the majestic scenery, read, or close your eyes. And if you have work to do, taking the bus lets you be as productive as you need to be.

It’s green

If you want to go green and lessen the environmental impact on your next vacation, then take the bus. Compared to airplanes, trains, or cars, buses have the lowest carbon footprint by decreasing the number of vehicles on the road every day.

More quality time

Get out of your cramped car and stretch out on the bus. Travelling by bus lets you create those precious, unforgettable family memories. You can share stories, talk about the sights out the window, or play games.

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