Lakes District residents had a chance to provide input on the proposed routes and schedules on the Hwy. 16 transportation plan.
Two representatives from B.C. Transit were at the Lakes District Fall Fair on Sept. 10, 2016, gathering feedback and answering questions about the plan.
The $5-million plan, first announced in December 2015, is intended to improve safety along the highway corridor, dubbed the Highway of Tears.
The proposed route from Burns Lake to Prince George would have one round trip per day, two or three days per week.
The bus would leave Burns Lake at 6:35 a.m., stopping in Fraser Lake, Vanderhoof and Beaverly, and arriving in Prince George at 10:25 a.m. The return trip would have the bus leaving Prince George at 2 p.m., arriving in Burns Lake at 5:50 p.m.
The proposed route between Burns Lake and Smithers would see buses operating one or two times per day, two or three days per week.
The suggested schedule is for the buses to leave Burns Lake at 7:05 a.m. and 12:55 p.m., stopping in Houston and arriving in Smithers at 9:55 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. consecutively. The return trip would have buses leaving Smithers at 10:15 a.m. and 3:05 p.m., arriving in Burns Lake at 12:05 p.m. and 5:04 p.m. consecutively.
B.C. Transit held a series of consultations along the highway corridor this summer, with over 1000 people participating in the consultation process. An online survey was also available.
“The feedback that we’ve had has been useful,” said Jonathon Dyck, a spokesperson for B.C. Transit. “Asking how people might use the service in different areas and their schedules was important to understand how the service will be used and how the service will work best for them.”
Dyck said the feedback will be incorporated into the plan and that the final schedules are expected to be finalized by the end of fall.
The province aims to have the first buses operating new or expanded services along Hwy. 16 by the end of 2016, and services that connect the entire corridor – between Prince Rupert and Prince George – in 2017.