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Northern B.C. transportation study released

The Northern BC Inter-Community Transportation Studyhas been published to Northern Development’s website. Completed after engagement with members of the public, local and Indigenous governments, service providers and other organizations, the report shares feedback and perspectives on existing transportation services throughout Northern B.C.

“Conducting this research and engagement over the past number of months has resulted in the compilation of valuable and insightful information,” said Joel McKay, chief executive officer, Northern Development, in a news release. “We are grateful for the generous way residents, community representatives and service providers shared their experiences and ideas for future improvements. Through the Northern Passenger Transportation Service, we are already supporting Northern B.C. with meaningful and safe transportation options. The knowledge gleaned from this study will allow us and the Province of BC to build upon the strong base while considering future trends.”

In addition to conducting research with community members and service providers, the study includes a community context lens. The report seeks to share information about how population changes, economic development and other community health and social initiatives may change the needs and opportunities for transportation in the coming years.

“Having reliable and safe transportation options between communities in Northern B.C. is essential for residents’ physical, mental and social well-being,” said Mayor Rob Fraser, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. “Residents of our community have benefitted from increased frequency of service through BC Bus North, allowing them to better connect with communities to the south of Fort Nelson, increasing ease of access to supplies and services. Public transportation is an incredibly important topic and I am proud that Fort Nelson residents took the time to participate in the study. The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality looks forward to working with the information provided by this study and to any opportunities to improve transportation for residents in the north.”

The Northern BC Inter-Community Transportation Study was completed with funding from the Province of BC, which was announced in May 2023.

While Northern Development was conducting transportation-related analysis and engagement, two other B.C. Trusts were doing similar work, also supported by the Province of BC. The Island Coastal Economic Trust and the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior have prepared transportation reports based on their learnings, which will also be shared with the Province and made publicly available. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will use the outcome of these reports, complemented by further engagement with other regions, to help inform next steps for developing options on transportation solutions in rural communities.

Northern Development already supports regional transportation in central and northern B.C. through the administration of the Northern Passenger Transportation Service (NPTS) program, which is funded by the Province of BC. The NPTS funding program financially supports 17 organizations as they operate community shuttle services and BC Bus North.

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