THE provincial transportation ministry says it’s disappointed the City of Prince Rupert has decided not to help finance BC Transit service between that coastal city and Terrace.
The failure of Prince Rupert to help share operating costs along with other local governments now means that option won’t be pursued as part of the province’s plan to establish public transit along Hwy16 from Prince Rupert to Prince George.
In a statement this morning, the ministry said it was additionally disappointed “since so many community members who turned out for the BC Transit open house in Prince Rupert were very supportive of the transit expansion.”
“However, we have said to Prince Rupert that the door is always open, should the mayor and council decide to change direction and take advantage of the transit program in the future,” the statement continued.
The province, as it is doing with other proposed routes along Hwy16, had offered to pay two-thirds of the operating costs for the Terrace to Prince Rupert leg.
In all, the province had committed $2.4 million over three years for improved transit along Hwy16, part of a $5 million package which includes First Nations driver training, more bus shelters, more web cameras and grants for outlying communities to finance their own transit services.
Instead of participating in the provincial plan, the City of Prince Rupert is considering financial support for the emergency transportation of women and children leaving Prince Rupert for transition houses in Terrace and elsewhere.
That financial support would come within the city’s 2017 budget which is not yet finalized.
There’s no indication yet from the province as to what it will do with the operating subsidy it had on offer for the Terrace to Prince Rupert transit route.