The Village of Granisle now has a new community bus, more than a year after receiving a provincial grant to replace one that had been in service for several years.
This new bus has 15 seats, two more than the old one, and will keep to the set schedule of three round trips a week — one to Burns Lake, one to Houston and one to Smithers — using a village employee as a driver.
Fares have increased from $10 for a round trip to $15 but the village maintains a subsidy program for vulnerable and low income residents, said Village of Granisle mayor Linda McGuire.
McGuire said the new bus has a smoother ride and has dual back wheels, something she said will come in handy during winter driving.
“Having taken a trip on the new unit, it appears higher, and I can stand up (but I am shorter than most),” the mayor added.
Village residents use the service for shopping, medical appointments and for other services not readily available in Granisle.
Granisle first received word in the spring of 2022 that it was receiving a $172,051 grant received through the provincial government.
The money was part of $2.8 million being split between 18 communities and organizations being funneled from the province through the Northern Development Initiative Trust based in Prince George.
Granisle first began offering a shuttle service to neighbouring communities in 2017 when the province announced a program to better connect the northwest following the decision by Greyhound to pull out of the province.
Another series of grants announced this spring for communities in the north means Granisle will be able to operate its shuttle service into 2027.