What's Happened So Far
The Ministry of Transportation installed new bus stop shelters in October 2016. Details can be found here.
BC Bus North was launched as a new long haul coach service offering connections between Prince Rupert, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson and Valemount.
New service connecting the Hazeltons with Gitwangak, Terrace and New Remo started on November 20.
Service connecting the Hazeltons to Smithers offers an additional day of service.
For more information, visit Hazeltons Regional Transit.
New service from Burns Lake to Prince George and Burns Lake to Smithers began on June 19.
The creation of the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako Transit System represents a key step forward in establishing new transit service connecting communities along the Highway 16 corridor together. For information on schedules, routes and fares, visit Bulkley-Nechako Regional Transit.
On March 2 the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako passed a bylaw approving the local portion of funding to create transit services. Transit will be provided on two routes from Smithers to Burns Lake and Burns Lake to Prince George, a span which currently represents the largest gap in transit systems along the Highway 16 corridor. This new service will enable residents living along the corridor to have same-day travel to larger and smaller communities to access services, shopping, and visit family and friends.
The first Highway 16 Inter-Community Transit Service started January 30, 2017. New bus services will run six days per week, linking the communities of Smithers and Moricetown, which are about 30 kilometres apart. This service complements current BC Transit services between the Hazeltons and Smithers. The schedule is posted here and on the Smithers & District Transit System pages.
November to December 2016
The northern community of Smithers, through a partnership with Moricetown, is the first to sign on for Inter-Community BC Transit service, which is made possible through the B.C. government’s $5-million Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan and local government partners.
An implementation agreement between BC Transit and the Town of Smithers, signed November 30, 2016, will enable new transit service to better connect Moricetown residents to services, jobs, recreation and family and friends in Smithers.
This service complements current BC Transit services between the Hazeltons and Smithers where an increase in service is also proposed to provide trips three days per week from the existing two.
Revised service options based on public consultation results were developed and shared with local decision makers in October 2016 for their consideration and approval. BC Transit staff continue to work together with them on local funding approval and routing adjustments to implement transit services. More information about implementation will be shared as funding agreements are completed.
Following local funding approvals, implementation plans for each transit service segment will be finalized. More information will be available as this occurs.
An additional area segment (Hazeltons Area to Smithers) has been added in recognition that further enhancement to existing service in this area is needed to meet transportation needs and to bring regional services to a consistent level across the corridor.
August to September 2016
BC Transit, in partnership with First Nations and local community partners, completed the public engagement for the introduction of transit services along the Highway 16 corridor. The engagement processes spanned from August 17 to September 16 and included 20 community engagement events that were attended by over 700 people. There were also over 1,000 online and paper surveys completed.
May to August 2016:
In collaboration with community leaders, BC Transit undertook work to confirm the feasibility, scope and costs of extended or enhanced Inter-Community public transit linkages along the Highway 16 corridor.
Based on preliminary community feedback and support to move forward, the Highway 16 transit proposals were revised and the detailed schedule, fare and bus stop information was prepared for public and stakeholder feedback.
BC Transit already serves a number of communities in the corridor through the following existing transit systems: Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Terrace Regional, Skeena Regional, Kitimat, Hazeltons Regional, Smithers & District and Prince George.
In keeping with the scope of the Highway 16 Action Plan and direction from local governments, the focus of the Highway 16 Inter-Community Transit Service Initiative has been on the following sections of the corridor not currently served by transit:
- Burns Lake - Prince George
- Burns Lake - Smithers
- Hazeltons Area - Terrace
- Terrace - Prince Rupert
At the same time, to ensure coordination and maximize effectiveness, BC Transit has also taken the opportunity to review performance and needs of existing BC Transit systems along the corridor to ensure services are considered holistically.