New transit services connecting the northern communities of Terrace with the Hazelton area will start running on November 20.
When this begins, the inter-community transit services will be available from Terrace to Prince George.
“These buses will provide a safe, efficient and affordable way to travel between communities as part of our broader strategy of the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena, in a press release. “This is especially important for women and teenaged girls who are travelling and are in need of a safe link between neighbouring communities. This transit service will connect people who are traveling between Terrace, the Hazeltons and Kispiox, for visiting family and friends, appointments and activities.”
The Regional District of Kitimat Stikine met on Oct. 20 and approved changes to the existing Hazeltons Regional Transit system, which will enable BC Transit to introduce new service between Terrace and the Hazeltons, as well as an additional day of service between Kispiox and Smithers.
The buses will run three days per week, linking the communities of Kispiox and Gitsegukla (about 41 kilometres apart) and Gitwangak and Terrace (about 100 kilometres apart). On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays there will be one round-trip. BC Transit will start advertising the schedule in early November.
This is the fourth inter-community transit service to start up for Highway 16 this year, following transit services that have already started for Smithers, Burns Lake and Prince George (two routes), as well as Smithers to Moricetown (one route).
The British Columbia government, through the five-point $6.4-million Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, has committed to five years of transit funding. The cost of the buses is being fully covered, and the B.C. government is funding two-thirds of the operating costs. Local governments and First Nations partners are working together to share funding for their one-third share of the operating costs.