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

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams to return to Quesnel court next week

Adams is facing a breach of probation charge stemming from a 2015 conviction in Smithers

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

OPINION: Who watches the watchmen?

One of the most common questions I get asked is if I’m scared about the future of media.

BVCS hosts first ever ‘micro-business market’

Who says Dragon’s Den is just for adults?

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read