The provincial government has announced 2 million dollars in funding to support the transportation needs of 12 northern communities. As part of its Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan, the communities will be able to purchase and operate vans or small buses.
The province says the program is designed to improve safety along Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert by providing better transportation options for women and teenage girls. “This program is a critical component of the action plan created to provide safer transportation along this 800-kilometre stretch of Highway 16” said Prince George Valemount MLA Shirley Bond.
The grants were determined through the consideration of several preferences, including applications to support First Nations communities. John Rustad, the Minister of Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation said “this safe ride service will help everyone, but it will especially be helpful for women, teenagers, elders, and seniors who want to catch a safe ride to their destination, and didn’t have options in the past.”
The provincial government says it used a needs-based analysis to determine which communities would receive a grant, with a focus on isolated communities. “The community vehicle grant program brings a safe, reliable, and simple way to get around town for people who live in First Nations and smaller northern communities, many of which do not currently have bus service or even taxi service,” said Prince George Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris.
The following communities received grants:
Binche Keyoh Bu Society – Binche and Tl’azt’en Community Connector
Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society – Community Connections
Fraser Lake and Area Community Bus Service
Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert – 3 Sister Community Transportation Service
Gingolx Village Government – Gingolx Transportation Service
Gitanmaax Band – Gitanmaax Transportation Service
Gitanyow Human Services – Gitanyow Connections Program
Granisle Better at Home / Village of Granisle – Granisle Better at Home Transportation Services
Kermode Friendship Society – Kermode Transportation Partnership Initiative
Nee Tahi Buhn – Nee Tahi Buhn Community Transportation
Saik’uz First Nation – District of Vanderhoof – Saik’uz – Vanderhoof Community Transportation
Takla Lake First Nation – Driftwood Corridor Transportation Services