Back in September, the B.C. transit planners said that they are looking at two round trips per day, two days a week and were asking the public to select the two most important days of the week to run this service. The bus would leave Houston in the morning at 8:45 a.m. and depart Smithers in the afternoon at 3:05 p.m. Providing about five hours in Smithers for people to shop and make appointments. B.C. transit planners said that the proposed transit service fare is $5 cash for each trip, or a sheet of 10 tickets for $45. Children aged five and under would travel for free.
John Rustad, MLA of Nechako Lakes on behalf of Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said that at this time no date has been set yet for when this service will start operating in Houston.
“We’re not sure at this point, it will probably be soon. There are a couple of issues to resolve around the government and regional district, and we are optimistic that we will be seeing something in the very near future,” said Rustad.
At this time Rustad has no new information on what the schedule or fare for this service is going to look like for Houston.
“What we are doing with this service is we’re not coming to the communities and saying that this is the service we are looking to provide. We are working with the communities along the corridor asking what they would like to see, and coordinating that with the other services so that there are linkages along the Hwy. 16 corridor,” said Rustad.
Each town will also have a minimum of one all weather sheltered bus stop installed this year.
“The all weather shelters are being designed and put in so that they”ll be in place as quick as possible for those services. As soon as we have the agreements in place, we’ll be moving forward. Our hope is that all along Hwy. 16 we will have the safety improvements, the bus shelters, the additional webcams, all those kind of things running by the end of summer,” said Rustad.
“I have a few ideas [of where the all weather shelters could be placed in Houston] but nothing is finalized,” said Shane Brienen,Mayor for the District of Houston.
The municipalities, regional districts, and First Nations along the corridor requested from B.C. Transit and the Ministry ofTransportation and Infrastructure for more than the three year funding commitment agreed in the action plan. The B.C.government has complied to fund two additional years to enhance transit service.