Prince George is ponying up its share of the cost for Highway 16 Inter-Community Transit Service.
Council decided Monday to kick in $50,000 to the project, which is designed to alleviate hitch-hiking along the so-called Highway of Tears and provide low-cost transit to residents living between Prince George and Prince Rupert.
“Obviously (the project) hoping this makes Highway 16 safer for those wanting to travel that route,” said Mayor Lyn Hall, adding the funding commitment is for one year and council will re-evaluate next year.
Of all the communities along this stretch of Highway 16, Prince George is the largest and, as such, will contribute the most to the transit system. However, using the formula used in other communities of $5 per person living in the community, Prince George would have contributed over $300,000 to the program, so a flat fee of $50,000 was decided upon.
Smithers will contribute $24,660, Vanderhoof $22,460, Houston $15,600, Burns Lake $12,500, First Nations communities $7,491, Telkwa $6,760, Fraser Lake $5,745, Fort St. James $1,776, and Granisle $304.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Coun. Murry Krause.
Coun. Terri McConnachie supported the need for the bus and pointed out that many people from west of the city come to Prince George come to the city “and get stuck here.”
Hall said he’s looking forward to seeing where the stops will be along Highway 16.