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Elizabeth Fry Society Exec calls Hwy16 transit step a ‘safe opportunity’

The inter-community public transit service along the corridor is another step closer to reality.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako approved moving forward with the transit-service agreement on March 2nd, officially connecting Prince George to Moricetown. There’s no start date yet, but services will run three days a week and consist of different segments. A bus will run from Prince George to Burns Lake (230 kilometres) and another will connect Burns Lake to Smithers (145 kilometres). Each of these segments will cost $5.

The Elizabeth Fry Society has offices in both Prince George and Burns Lake. Executive Director Kathi Heim is pleased this plan is finally being implemented and calls this development a “safe opportunity.”

“We often worry about how women and girls and children travel back and forth along this corridor. This corridor covers a vast geographic and a lot of attempts have gone into making this plan a reality.”

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Moving forward, Heim hopes these bus times will be reasonable, and that there will be opportunities for feedback.

In a prepared statement, local MLA and Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad says “this follows our announcement of the first transit service agreement as a part of the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan between Smithers and Moricetown, which started up at the end of January. People are now using that bus service on a regular basis, which gives them a safe and affordable trip back and forth between those communities, and it’s going really well. So this second transit service sign-on is exciting because it continues that momentum, giving northern B.C. communities safer transportation options, linking communities along Highway 16.”

The Province has committed five years of funding through the Highway 16 Transporation Action Plan which completely covers bus funding and the majority of operating costs.

The first public transportation leg began on January 30th, which connects Smithers and Moricetown.

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