Several remote and Indigenous communities in northwest B.C. have received a community shuttle grant with an aim to better access affordable transportation services in the area.
As part of this, 18 communities and organizations have received a total of $2.8 million in funding to support their shuttle services.
Distributed through the Northern Development Initiative Trust, the grant is an effort to bridge the transportation gap due to shortage of bus services in many remote communities.
Kermode Friendship Society in Terrace received $126,336 and the Nisga’a Village of Gingolx in the Nass Valley got $200,000.
Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert saw $200,000. In Smithers, Dze L K’ant Friendship Society received $150,000. Similarly the funding stream provided Gitanmaax Band $150,000 and Gitanyow Human Services $128,640.
“Rural and remote communities throughout northern B.C. continue to face challenges related to the loss of Greyhound bus service in the region,” said Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen.
The newly appointed Municipal Affairs minister, Cullen said the funding highlights the government’s ongoing commitment to ensure these communities have access to affordable transportation options.
The northern community shuttle program will replace the existing community transportation grant program effective Friday, April 1, 2022.
“Northern Community Shuttle Program builds upon the success of the previous Highway 16 Transportation Action Plan and connects even more communities and people together,” said Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust.
McKay also said the introduction of new, on-demand and scheduled services will benefit numerous communities, will reach Dease Lake and offer multiple stops along Hwy 20 between Williams Lake and Anahim Lake.