Terrace and the Hazeltons will soon receive new inter-community transit service, which is made possible through the B.C. government’s $6.4-million Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan.
The Regional District Kitimat-Stikine Board has been working with communities from Kispiox through the Hazeltons area to Terrace, and is ready to move forward with implementing new transit services.
New bus services will run three days per week, linking the communities in the Upper Skeena region to Terrace. The proposed fare is $5 per segment. Transit service is expected to begin later this spring.
The B.C. government, through the five-point Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, has committed to five years of transit funding. The cost of the buses is being fully covered, and the B.C. government is funding two-thirds of the operating costs. Local governments and First Nations partners are working together to share funding for their one-third share of the operating costs.
On Jan. 30, 2017, the first expanded-transit services started running between Smithers and Moricetown. This service is being used daily by many passengers, and is benefitting local residents in both communities by providing a safe, reliable and affordable transportation service.
Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure –
“With this new transit agreement in place, we will now have inter-community bus services connecting northern B.C. communities along the Highway 16 corridor from Terrace all the way to Prince George. This is incredible progress, and it is great to see the successful implementation of the five-point transportation action plan. This is a community driven, community-based plan, and it serves to boost personal safety for everyone who lives and works along Highway 16.”
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“This new transit agreement is fantastic news for the residents of Terrace and the Hazeltons, as well as the neighbouring First Nations communities, who will benefit from having a direct link between communities. This will be a wonderful new opportunity to connect people to employment, school, appointments, recreation, as well as family and friends, making travel safer and more convenient for residents, year-round.”
Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit chief executive officer and president –
“With the introduction of this new transit service between Terrace and the Hazeltons, we have an opportunity to establish new connections between communities and to enhance existing service in the region. The new service will provide same day travel opportunities for customers living in these communities, which was consistently identified during our public consultation process.”
Phil Germuth, chair, Regional District Kitimat-Stikine –
“The Regional District is excited about creating new linkages between several communities in the Kitimat-Stikine district, including the local First Nations communities. This new transit service will provide safe, affordable transportation, and it will also strengthen the relationships between all of the communities. Thank you to Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc, New Hazelton Mayor Gail Lowry, Village of Hazelton Mayor Alice Maitland, rural director, Linda Pierre, Regional District Kitimat-Stikine and our First Nations partners for their time, effort and contribution to the expanded Highway 16 transit services.”
Diane McRae, executive director, Gitxsan Government Commission –
“The Hazeltons and surrounding area have long awaited a solution to the transportation dilemmas in the Northwest. This new transit service is a positive move towards ensuring a safe transportation option for all of our First Nations communities to reach appointments, visit family and friends and participate in events throughout the Hazeltons, Kitimat-Stikine and Highway 16 areas. We are very excited to see this service implemented and sincerely thank all those involved in the community-based development of this plan.”
Learn More: To learn more about the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, go to: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-reports-and-reference/reports-studies/planning-strategic-economic/highway16-action-plan