It could cost over a million dollars a year to operate a shuttle bus between Prince George and Prince Rupert, according to newly released Ministry of Transportation documents.
And while the research has now been done on what it would take to have transit on the Highway 16 corridor, no moves have been made to implement the services.
Brenda Wilson explains her little sister, Ramona Wilson, went missing on Highway 16 in June of 1994.
“Well she was looking for a ride the evening she went missing and I believe that if there was a transportation in place at that time that she would have been able to get on the bus.”
Now, over twenty years later there is continued talk of implementing a busing system. But Wilson says it might not be enough.
“I believe it will provide some safety along the highway, but that’s not the only barrier that is in a lot of the communities along highway 16.”
The provincial government has looked at an array of options, ranging from carpooling to implementing coach buses.
Those buses could seat over 20 and run six days per week. The government says it would cost $1 million each to purchase the 3 to 4 buses required.
Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief Terry Teegee says a lot more consultation needs to take place before any sort of transit system is put in place.
“I think what needs to happen is that the first nations in terms of looking at a plan or a shuttle system needs to be more involved in the development of these types of initiatives. Merely just coming up here and have one meeting each with different communities I don’t think is adequate enough.”
The Freedom of Information release suggest the next step would be to stage focused discussions with communities along the highway. However it doesn’t appear that step has taken place, adding to the frustration.