Free public transit is coming to Vanderhoof and the Saik’uz First Nation.
The two communities are pitching in for a driver and bus that will run a loop of the area, in conjunction with the Provincial Government’s Highway 16 bus network.
Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen is excited to finally deal with one of the area’s longest running challenges: a shortage of public transit.
“This has been a real community builder between the two communities of Saik’uz and Vanderhoof….It’s certainly a really good news story.”
The District is putting up $14,100 a year while the Saik’uz contributes $10,000.
“We have three years of funding. We want to in that time, to understand what the appetite for public transportation is in our area and what amount of it we need to have.”
The bus will run a loop from 8:30 to 5 during the week with part of the day set aside for “on call” rides (see tentative schedule right).
Saik’uz Chief Stanley Thomas echoed the Mayor’s sentiments about the bus strengthening the bond between the two communities.
“Great idea, I think it will be helpful to most of our people that can’t afford transportation between ourselves and Vanderhoof.”
Thomas says they made such a large contribution because this new loop will actually save them money in the long run – their current shuttle system costs significantly more.
“I’m just happy that things like this are starting to happen in our area. I think it will benefit both communities.”
The bus will hopefully be running near the end of the year.