New transit services will start running on June 19 connecting the northern communities of Burns Lake, Prince George and Smithers. The routes are part of the Highway 16 transit plan.
“The two new routes will better connect people and communities along the Highway 16 corridor,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer, in a press release. “The introduction of this important new service would not have been possible without the support and hard work of all the local government partners.”
Burns Lake will be a hub for two BC Transit services, Route 162 and Route 161. Route 162 will provide service between Burns Lake and Smithers, a distance of 145 kilometres each way on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Route 161 will depart Burns Lake for Prince George and return the same day, a distance of 230 kilometres each way, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The one-way fare will be $5 per segment.
“The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako is committed to connecting people across our region,” said Bill Miller, chair of the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako. “The new Highway 16 transit service attests to the dedication of the Regional District Board, staff, the City of Prince George, and First Nations partners, improving access to safe affordable transportation for all people.”
The new service will include the release of a rider’s guide and website outlining the schedule and other information about the routes. Information can be found on
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of work by local governments, community advocates, First Nations and the provincial government,” said Town of Smithers Mayor and Regional Transit Services Committee Chair Taylor Bachrach. “I’m confident that the new Highway 16 transit service will be a positive legacy for our region, allowing families to safely and affordably travel between communities to access the services they need. Thank you to everyone who worked hard to make the new service a reality.”
This new inter-community transit is part of the $6.4 million Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, which encompasses transit, community vehicles, First Nations driver education, webcams and bus shelters, and increased collaboration. It is also made possible thanks to multi-year funding commitments from Prince George, Burns Lake, Vanderhoof, Smithers, Telkwa, Fraser Lake, Fort St. James, Granisle and Houston.
“We are extremely pleased that there are more safe travel options for the north,” said Mary Teegee, Carrier Sekani Family Services Executive Director of Child and Family Services, the host agency of the Highway of Tears Initiative. “I applaud the work of municipalities, First Nations and government to launch the new transit services. This is a good example of true partnership and effective collaboration.”
On Jan. 30, 2017, the first expanded transit services started running between Smithers and Moricetown. This service is being used daily by many passengers, and is benefitting local residents in both communities by providing a safe, reliable and affordable transportation service.
For more details on the Burns Lake to Prince George and Burns Lake to Smithers route, please visitBCTransit.com/Bulkley-Nechako.