Four new bus shelters were installed in Terrace to improve conditions for commuters in the city.
Two shelters were funded completely by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) as part of the Highway of Tears initiative, and two older structures were upgraded through funding between the ministry and BC Transit.
“Any upgrade to infrastructure is important, and we want to make the entire process of riding transit as enjoyable as possible,” said Jonathon Dyck, communications manager for BC Transit, over the phone. “Upgrading things like bus stops can improve the experience for commuters.”
The new all-weather bus shelters are designed for durability with protective shelter from rain and snow, a bench, and good visibility from the street.
One shelter was placed alongside the old one in front of the Skeena Mall on Lakelse Avenue to help accommodate the increased ridership resulting from the new BC Transit Route 164 connecting Terrace to Hazelton, B.C. Another one was built in front of UNBC on Keith Avenue.
Upgrades were also done on the bus shelters in front of Mills Memorial on Haugland Avenue and the shelter in front of the Safeway on Lakelse Avenue.
The total project is valued at over $125,000, according to a press release.
“When we implemented the expanded routes on Highway 16, we talked to communities about what they were looking for and what transportation options they needed to complement other services,” Dyck said.
Knowledge and expertise about public transportation in rural areas also came through the implementation of the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan according to Jamie Weiss, the public affairs officer for MOTI.
While it is too early to tell how Greyhound’s decision to leave will affect BC Transit, the inter-community transit service, unlike Greyhound, allows people to travel to their next largest community and return home in the same day.
“We will be engaging local partners and stakeholders as we work to find a long-term solution to fill the gap left by Greyhound,” Weiss said in an email.
In November and December of 2017, route 164, which operates three times per week from Hazeltons to Terrace had 268 passengers in its first two months of operation.
One year into the Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan implementation, approximately 5,000 people had used the service between northern communities.