Thursday, March 31, 2022

Prince Rupert's Friendship House gains funding for Shuttle Bus program

The Friendship House EVAW Van, the Prince Rupert organization
has just been awarded new funding for the program for 2022
(photo from Prince Rupert Friendship House website)

The Shuttle Bus program operated by Friendship House on the North Coast has secured 200,000 dollars in funding today, with the local transportation initiative one of 18 groups or communities to gain financial help from the province through the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

In total, the Province has allocated 2.8 million dollars towards the program which North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice notes provides for reliable transportation for many communities.

“This funding will ensure people in rural and remote communities in B.C.’s North continue to have access to affordable public transportation. The long distances between small, isolated communities in the North underscore importance of maintaining safe, reliable bus services in this part of the province.” -- ” Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast, on behalf of Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The grants were awarded earlier this month by NDIT as part of the Federal/Provincial Safe Restart Funding program, the Northern Community Shuttle program will will replace the existing community transportation grant program effective Friday, April 1, 2022. 

“The Northern Community Shuttle Program builds upon the success of the previous Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan and connects even more communities and people together. The introduction of new, on-demand and scheduled services will benefit numerous communities, including reaching Dease Lake in the northwest and offering multiple stops along Highway 20 between Williams Lake and Anahim Lake.” -- Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust.

The Province has funded community buses since 2017 as part of the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan. In 2018, after Greyhound discontinued service in the region, the Province also launched the long-haul intercity BC Bus North service.

The shuttle buses, along with Regional Transit co-operation from Terrace through to the Lakes District helps to fill in some of the transportation gaps that exist in the northwest.

The Friendship House Service operates every Tuesday and Thursday, it leaves the Friendship House on Fraser Street at 10 AM and makes the return trip to Prince Rupert from Terrace at 2:30 PM. Passengers are advised to arrive 15 minutes prior to departure. 

The Fare is five dollars one way, ten dollars for the round trip.

Further background on the Shuttle service can be reviewed here.

More on today's announcement and the full list of those communities which have received funding can be reviewed here.

What the NDIT northern Passenger Transportation program is all about can be examined here.

Further items related to the Highway 16 corridor can be reviewed here.

Notes on the provincial scene are available through our Legislature archive.

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