Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, released the following statement on community support and Prince George’s decision to help fund inter-community transit service along the Highway 16 corridor:
“The passing of a service establishment by-law by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako at its last board meeting of the year is a significant step forward in bringing transit service to the eastern part of Highway 16. All of the members are to be congratulated for championing affordable transit service for their constituents.
“Additionally, I applaud the decision last evening by Prince George mayor Lyn Hall and council to support the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan through funding for new inter-community transit service.
“As the major centre in the region, Prince George’s decision to provide funding to the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako for the delivery of additional transit service along Highway 16 is extremely important to its success.
“With its health-care facilities and other amenities, Prince George is a frequent destination for many people living in communities along Highway 16, and having the city come to the table with funding will help improve safety and convenience for those travelling to the city.
“I understand the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako is working hard with First Nations and other communities along the corridor, and is close to securing all the partner funding necessary to allow BC Transit to begin service between Prince George and Burns Lake, and between Burns Lake and Smithers. The Province will be cost-sharing this through BC Transit, as part of our $2.4-million commitment to add transit to the corridor.
“This will build on the first agreement, signed Nov. 30, which will bring bus services six days per week between the communities of Smithers and Moricetown beginning in January 2017.
“The $5-million Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan has been developed to improve safety by providing more transportation options along this 800 kilometre stretch of highway. Its success will be through collaboration, partnerships, and the leadership of communities along the corridor.”