Representatives of local government, the province, BC Transit and local First Nations celebrate the arrival of a BC Transit bus to Terrace in November 2017. The new service between the city and the Hazeltons filled the last-remaining gap in the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan. (File photo)

Highway of Tears public transit plan wins safety and security awards

Advocate for the missing and murdered says recognition deserved, “very very happy” with service

BC Transit’s new service connecting communities along the Highway of Tears has earned high praise from both the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) and B.C.’s premier, John Horgan.

Last week CUTA recognized the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan with a 2018 Award for Safety and Security, in recognition of the project’s “commitment to enhancing the safety and security of employees and customers through the development of an effective safety and security program.”

Also last month, the plan received a regional and provincial Premier’s Award for Partnerships, recognizing the collaborative efforts of BC Transit, the provincial government, First Nations communities, local governments and regional districts, and the families involved with the Highway of Tears initiative.

“People in northern B.C., and in particular women and teenaged girls, need to feel safe travelling between communities, and that’s what the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan is now providing,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena in a press release. “It’s wonderful to see how the increase in bus service, community vehicles and other aspects of the plan have come together and provided a significant boost to safe and reliable travel for people in northern B.C.”

Since November of last year, BC Transit began offering contiguous service from Terrace to Prince George — a route of almost 600 kilometres. The schedule was designed to allow for return travel from small communities to the nearest large centre on the same day.

Prior to their pullout of the north, Greyhound was often criticized by Highway of Tears advocates for its inconvenient scheduling, often dropping off passengers at Hwy 16 destinations late at night.

Highway of Tears safety and justice advocate Gladys Radek, and aunt of Tamara Chipman, last seen hitchhiking near Prince Rupert in 2005, also offered praise for BC Transit’s program.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I’m actually very, very happy with having our own transit system up here.”

She says some of the smaller on-reserve communities could still benefit from the service, but overall she’s heard only positive feedback from female riders.

Because all drivers are local, who know the area and the people, Radek believes the plan fosters a safer environment for passengers.

“Greyhound wasn’t there for the people anymore. Their focus, in the end, was only on parcel delivery. With BC Transit, I’m hearing nothing but good things. It’s good for all of us and it’s keeping local eyes on our girls.”

The province has committed to five years of transit funding to the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, a project worth $6.4 million. The funding covers the cost of buses and two-thirds of operating costs. Local governments and First Nations partners are responsible for the remaining third of costs.


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

One in critical condition after train hits grader near Smithers

The collision occurred at the Lawson Road crossing in the rural community of Quick

Peepchuk re-enters guilty pleas

Hazelton assault causing bodily harm and robbery case adjourned to set sentencing date

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Alkemist conjures one-man band shows

A unique performance is coming to Smithers, Williams Lake, Terrace and Prince Rupert.

BV Nordic team impresses at Western Canadian Cross-Country Ski Championships

Bulkley Valley racers get some big finishes in Kelowna ahead of hosting Sunday’s Chris Dahlie race.

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read