Representatives of local government, the province, BC Transit and local First Nations celebrate the arrival of a BC Transit bus to Terrace in November 2017. The new service between the city and the Hazeltons filled the last-remaining gap in the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan. (File photo)

Highway of Tears public transit plan wins safety and security awards

Advocate for the missing and murdered says recognition deserved, “very very happy” with service

BC Transit’s new service connecting communities along the Highway of Tears has earned high praise from both the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) and B.C.’s premier, John Horgan.

Last week CUTA recognized the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan with a 2018 Award for Safety and Security, in recognition of the project’s “commitment to enhancing the safety and security of employees and customers through the development of an effective safety and security program.”

Also last month, the plan received a regional and provincial Premier’s Award for Partnerships, recognizing the collaborative efforts of BC Transit, the provincial government, First Nations communities, local governments and regional districts, and the families involved with the Highway of Tears initiative.

“People in northern B.C., and in particular women and teenaged girls, need to feel safe travelling between communities, and that’s what the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan is now providing,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena in a press release. “It’s wonderful to see how the increase in bus service, community vehicles and other aspects of the plan have come together and provided a significant boost to safe and reliable travel for people in northern B.C.”

Since November of last year, BC Transit began offering contiguous service from Terrace to Prince George — a route of almost 600 kilometres. The schedule was designed to allow for return travel from small communities to the nearest large centre on the same day.

Prior to their pullout of the north, Greyhound was often criticized by Highway of Tears advocates for its inconvenient scheduling, often dropping off passengers at Hwy 16 destinations late at night.

Highway of Tears safety and justice advocate Gladys Radek, and aunt of Tamara Chipman, last seen hitchhiking near Prince Rupert in 2005, also offered praise for BC Transit’s program.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I’m actually very, very happy with having our own transit system up here.”

She says some of the smaller on-reserve communities could still benefit from the service, but overall she’s heard only positive feedback from female riders.

Because all drivers are local, who know the area and the people, Radek believes the plan fosters a safer environment for passengers.

“Greyhound wasn’t there for the people anymore. Their focus, in the end, was only on parcel delivery. With BC Transit, I’m hearing nothing but good things. It’s good for all of us and it’s keeping local eyes on our girls.”

The province has committed to five years of transit funding to the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, a project worth $6.4 million. The funding covers the cost of buses and two-thirds of operating costs. Local governments and First Nations partners are responsible for the remaining third of costs.


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Homemade snow

An RCMP officer in Fraser Lake tossed a cup of boiling water… Continue reading

Government warns of polluted Bulkley Valley air

Recent air quality alerts in the Bulkley Vally - including Burns Lake… Continue reading

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Okanagan ski resort officials displeased with Family Day roll-out

From one peak of the Okanagan to the other, resort officials have raised concerns

B.C. high school robotics team ranked first in the world for programming

The Surrey team was also named tournament finalists at VEX Robotics Competition on Feb. 1

Man shot dead in front of Kamloops hotel may be case of mistaken identity: RCMP

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Most Read