VICTORIA (May 29, 2018) – MLAs representing constituencies in the northern British Columbia welcome today’s announcement of a BC Bus North service but are concerned that a more long term solution remains uncertain.
“My colleagues and I offered suggestions to the transportation minister some time ago and I’m glad that some of our recommendations have been adopted,” says Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. “We have enormous transportation challenges trying to connect distant communities and a more permanent solution is required.”
“BC Bus North will only accept credit cards for payments,” says Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. “This will be a problem for low income individuals who typically have no access to credit and have no other transportation alternatives. Residents of Kitimat also feel left out with no scheduled stops.”
“Not everyone in remote and northern communities have access to the Internet to make bookings as this service requires,” says Peace River North MLA Dan Davies. “Many people in remote areas who need a convenient form of travel will have no way to make a reservation.”
“Safety is the primary concern in my mind,” says Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris. “People need access to reliable and frequent public transportation and I am concerned a temporary solution is simply not a long term answer.”
“There are parts of my riding that will have limited service once a week or no service at all,” says Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier. “If this is just a stop-gap measure, I am worried that the government may not have a sustainable plan at all for the future.”
“The $2 million cost to BC Transit may not be recouped through other transit fares,” said Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. “The government does not appear to have much support for a real transportation solution that will benefit Northern and rural B.C.”