Prince Rupert Northern View

Minister of Transportation to begin consultation on public transportation along Highway 16

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Mary Polak said work on the public transit recommendation will get underway after the holidays.

Public transit along Highway 16 was one of the recommendations from Forsaken, the 1,448 page report released earlier this week by the he Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, and it is one Polak said will be acted upon.

“In the new year we will start targeted consultation at first involving stakeholders involved in regional transit like local government, community leaders and First Nations... Part of that is born out of the way regional transport operates in the province. Currently all regional operations do involve local governments,” she said.

“From that I think we’ll be able to scope out an overall consultation strategy that is a bit broader. We’re hopeful to have the initial phase concluded by the summer of 2013, and a key piece of that is to really get a handle on what could be done in the region. The good news is that a lot of work has already been done along the corridor when it comes to studying it.”

Polak also said she is aware of concerns about the impact a public transportation system could have on the operations of Greyhound, the only private bus service operating in northern B.C.

“It is something we will have to pay close attention to because we don’t want to damage any of the existing services or reduce the level of those services,” she said.

All five volumes of the report can be downloaded at Missingwomeninquiry.ca.

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