Prince George is the latest municipality that has agreed to support the Hwy. 16 action plan, the $5-million plan designed to alleviate hitch-hiking along Hwy. 16 by providing an affordable bus service.
Prince George council has recently agreed to contribute $50,000 a year toward the plan.
Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said he applauds the decision by the Prince George council.
“As the major centre in the region, Prince George’s decision to provide funding to the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) for the delivery of additional transit service along Hwy. 16 is extremely important to its success,” he said. “With its health-care facilities and other amenities, Prince George is a frequent destination for many people living in communities along Hwy. 16, and having the city come to the table with funding will help improve safety and convenience for those travelling to the city.”
This announcement comes after the City of Prince Rupert opted out of the plan, choosing to support a localized solution with the North Coast Transition Society instead.
Burns Lake council has committed to a maximum contribution of $12,500 per year toward the Hwy. 16 action plan.
Minister Stone said the RDBN is close to wrapping up negotiations with local First Nations communities.
“I understand the RDBN is working hard with First Nations and other communities along the corridor, and is close to securing all the partner funding necessary to allow B.C. Transit to begin service between Prince George and Burns Lake, and between Burns Lake and Smithers,” he said. “The passing of a service establishment by-law by the RDBN at its last board meeting of the year is a significant step forward in bringing transit service to the eastern part of Hwy. 16.”
“All of the members are to be congratulated for championing affordable transit service for their constituents,” he added.