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New funding stream available for northern B.C shuttle buses

A new northern community shuttle funding program is coming to our region.

According to the province, it will sustain and enhance access to services and amenities, friends and family, and other transportation services.

The program is administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) and is accepting applications from local governments, First Nations, community organizations, non-profit groups and small to medium-sized businesses.

“Safe, reliable public transportation options provide vital links between rural and remote communities in B.C.’s North,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

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“Our government recognizes the importance of developing sustainable solutions for integrated transportation services in northern B.C. and throughout the province.”

NDIT has set aside approximately $3 million to help applicants with the costs of introducing, expanding, or continuing passenger transportation services in its service area for as long as three years.

Applications opened up on November 15th.

The northern community shuttle program will replace the existing community transportation grant, which expires on March 31, 2022.

“Northern B.C. is a vast and vibrant place with residents living in many remote and rural communities. Dependable and affordable transportation options are necessary to allow people of all ages to safely travel to access health care, services, education, and employment,” said Joel McKay, chief executive officer, NDIT.

“Reliable transportation also plays a significant role in allowing people to attend social activities, reducing feelings of isolation and building a strong sense of community.”

The new community shuttle bus grant money is part of a $7.9-million Safe Restart grant provided this year by the federal and provincial governments to help address the need for public transportation in rural and remote communities in northern B.C.

Applicants, including agencies that have previously received community shuttle bus funding, can seek a maximum of $100,000 for capital costs (such as a vehicle purchase), and operating costs.

Applications will be accepted until December 23rd.

Last week, BC Auditor General Michael Pickup stated a long-term transportation plan is still needed in Northern BC following the departure of Greyhound in 2018.

To view a full link to the report, click here.

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