BC Bus North service continues with joint Federal and Provincial support
Over $1.6 million in one-time funding will support the BC Bus North operating costs until March 31, 2022
PRINCE GEORGE, BC — A one-year extension to the BC Bus North service was announced, meaning people who live and work in northern British Columbia can continue to rely on inter-city bus service.
First announced in Sept. 2019, Western Economic Diversification Canada and the province have extended support to fund the northern inter-city service for another 12 months. In total, over $1.6 million in one-time funding will support the BC Bus North operating costs until March 31, 2022.
“Support for reliable methods of transportation has only become more important during a time when many people need access to essential services not available in smaller communities,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development, in a statement. “Maintaining an effective transportation network helps support local economies while providing a safe and affordable means of transport for residents of northern communities for another year.”
Diversified Transportation, the current operator of BC Bus North, will continue to provide service until the contract expires. Services are contingent on the provision of federal funding and are temporary.
BC Bus North launched service on June 4, 2018 across northern British Columbia and currently has a fleet of four highway coaches that provide scheduled service to 39 communities throughout northern B.C.
“People in the North can continue to rely on affordable, dependable public transportation to access employment, education and support family members,” said Rob Fleming, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We recognize that it’s vital for everyone to have reliable transportation available to them, and the distances between communities in the North makes it that much more important for people to have access to safe, regular bus service.”
Service was not disrupted by the pandemic, and additional safety measures like plexiglass seat partitions have been installed to ensure riders are able to keep a safe distance from each other.
“For people in northern B.C., the service that BC Bus North provides is vital to their weekly routines and wellbeing,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “Indigenous communities and British Columbians living in these rural areas rely on this reliable, affordable transportation service, and we’re thrilled that BC Bus North will continue to serve people from Prince George to Prince Rupert, Fort Nelson, Valemount and all locations in between.”