Highway 16 shuttle service sees 12,000 passengers

In just over a year-and-a-half, the new inter-community transit service along Highway 16 has provided travel for approximately 12,000 passengers in northern B.C.

At the one-year mark since implementation, about 5,000 people had used BC Transit’s new service. Ridership numbers increasing to 12,000 customers, over a period of 19 months, shows that demand for the service is on the rise.

The breakdown of ridership per route is as follows:

* Smithers to Moricetown: approximately 90 people per month

* Burns Lake to Smithers: approximately 130 people per month

* Burns Lake to Prince George: approximately 320 people per month

* Hazelton to Terrace: approximately 250 people per month

* Hazelton to Smithers: approximately 320 people per month

BC Transit introduced three new, larger-capacity buses to the Burns Lake to Smithers and Burns Lake to Prince George routes in May 2018. These new buses increased seating capacity from 20 to 30 people, making it possible for more people to board the bus and get to their destination with less of a wait.

A mid-year program check-in shows that popularity of the community vehicle program is growing with approximately 2,200 rides each month. To date, 11 of the 12 grant recipients for community vehicles have service up and running, reliably getting people to jobs, school, appointments, shopping and social engagements.

The First Nations driver education program is ongoing with over 190 students successfully obtaining their Class 4, 5 and 7 driver’s licences, enabling expanded opportunities for Indigenous job seekers.

Highway webcams help make the road safe by increasing visibility of pedestrians and motorists along Highway 16. To date, 11 new webcams have been installed and activated, in addition to 15 all-weather bus shelters for the BC Transit routes and six traveller shelters for the community vehicle program.