People living in northern B.C., from the Hazeltons to Terrace, will soon have inter-community transit services, which will connect those who live and work throughout these communities.
These new transit services will launch on the morning of Monday, Nov. 20. This will be the fourth inter-community route as part of the transit expansion component of the B.C. government’s Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan.
“All of the new transit services along Highway 16 have relied on building new partnerships. The time and effort everyone has contributed to bringing new inter-community transit services to Highway 16 has resulted in what we are celebrating today – safe, reliable and affordable transportation,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena. “This new route will provide some communities with public transportation for the first time, meaning safe and reliable transportation so people can get to appointments, access services and visit friends and family.”
Once this service starts, transit will be available a minimum of three days per week between communities from Terrace to Prince George. BC Transit designed the service based on public feedback that asked for transit services that would allow for travel to the next largest community and a return trip home the same day.
“For years, families of the Aboriginal women who have gone missing along the Highway 16 corridor have been advocating for more safe and accessible transportation options. This expanded service will provide families with safe options for travel in the region,” said North Coast MLA and Parliamentary Secretary Jennifer Rice.
The BC Transit route 164 Kispiox/Terrace will make round-trips on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The standard one-way fare is $5, while seniors and students will pay $4 each way.
“The expansion of this service along Highway 16 would not have been possible without the support and hard work of all our local government partners,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit president and chief executive officer. “The expanded service will better connect people and communities along the Highway 16 corridor.”
This is the fourth inter-community transit service link to begin on Highway 16 this year. BC Transit services are actively operating between Smithers and Moricetown, between Burns Lake and Smithers, and between Burns Lake and Prince George.
“We are very pleased that the Province and BC Transit have collaborated with First Nations across the Northwest in an attempt to eradicate the issues surrounding missing and murdered Indigenous women. We have a right to health and wellness and a responsibility to ensure our community members, women especially, get to where they need to go safely,” said Chasity Daniels, Chief Councillor of Gitwangak. “This collaboration sets a fine precedent of Northwest B.C. showing respect, recognition and reconciliation with First Nations people. To’Yax Si’ Niin (thank you – Gitxsan)."
“This improved public transit between Terrace and the Hazeltons will be another great step towards safe regional transit opportunities for our residents and those in surrounding communities,” said Carol Leclerc, mayor of Terrace. “Improved transit options will strengthen ties between our communities and allow us and our neighbours to better access each other’s events and services.”
“We are very pleased that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and BC Transit, in particular, have worked so hard with local governments to design a service that actually meets the needs of our community,” said Alice Maitland, mayor of the Village of Hazelton.
“The Regional District is pleased to be part of this project. It provides safe, reliable and affordable transportation options that will link our smaller and larger communities to each other,” said Phil Germuth, chair of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine. “We also recognize that without the funding from the B.C. government this would not have come to fruition, and we thank them for their contribution to this very important transit service.”
The B.C. government has committed to five years of transit funding, through the five-point, $6.4-million Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan. The cost of the buses along these routes is fully covered and, as well, 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.
To see the new routes, go to: https://bctransit.com/hazeltons
To learn more about the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, go to: www.gov.bc.ca/highway16actionplan