In Budget 2019, the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan received another $800,000, bringing the total investment to $8.1 million.
- Inter-community BC Transit bus services are available for residents along Highway 16 from Terrace to Prince George.
- These routes connect people between Smithers and Witset, Burns Lake and Prince George, Burns Lake and Smithers, and Terrace and the Hazeltons.
- All BC Transit Highway 16 transit services allow people to travel to their next largest community and return home the same day.
- The bus services provide an affordable way to travel between communities. The one-way fare is $2.75 for the Smithers/Witset route, and the one-way fare is $5 per segment for the other routes.
- Routes 161 and 162 originating in Burns Lake now have 30-seat capacity buses and overhead package racks.
- Local and regional governments contribute one-third of the annual operating costs.
- A new transit stop was added in the Hazeltons to provide access for people going to the new Upper Skeena Recreation Centre.
Community Transportation Grant Program (Community Vehicles)
- 12 communities and organizations have received community vehicle grants. These grants are primarily for rural, remote and Indigenous communities.
- The grants enabled the communities to purchase and operate a community vehicle (such as a van, mini-van, SUV or a small bus) to transport people to jobs, school, appointments, shopping and connecting with family and friends.
- These safe, reliable vehicles are providing more than 3,000 rides per month to people who live and work in the North.
Indigenous driver education program
- The ministry is working with other ministries to build on previous work to deliver Indigenous drivers’ education.
- This program helped Indigenous people learn to drive commercial vehicles and helped them to obtain their Class 4, 5 and 7 driver’s licences.
- The Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will be exploring a new partnership opportunity with the federal government to deliver Indigenous drivers’ education throughout the province, including within the Highway 16 corridor.
- This approach will allow broader access to driver education for Indigenous communities — both for today and into the future.
Webcams and transit shelters
- The ministry has installed 12 new web cameras, which will help increase the safety and visibility of pedestrians and motorists along Highway 16.
- The ministry has installed 15 all-weather bus shelters.
- The ministry also completed the Bear Road at Highway 16 shelter site preparation in Prince George and helped the City of Terrace procure and install four shelters.
- In addition, six traveler shelters have been installed to support the community vehicle grant program.
Collaboration to increase interconnectivity
- The collaboration working group is continuing to review existing schedules against new transportation services being offered, including the new community vehicles, to maximize transportation access and opportunities.
- The collaboration working group includes the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, BC Transit, the First Nations Health Authority and the Northern Health Authority.