New Larger Buses Serving Smithers-Burns Lake-Prince George Routes

BC Transit has unveiled three new buses to handle the demand for services along Highway 16 between Smithers and Prince George.

The launch was held Thursday in Burns Lake, attended by the mayors of several municipalities along the route, as well as First Nations representatives and Bulkley-Nechako Regional District Board Chair Bill Miller.

Miller says the new buses will each increase seating capacity from 20 to 30 --  reflecting the demand for the service and proving that the local and regional governments made the right call in starting it up last year.

"The larger carrying capacity is indicative of the need --- a couple of times last year, the buses were overfull and they had to make arrangements to get another bus, so it's obvious out of that that we made the right call to get this service operational," he said.

Miller added he wasn't surprised by how much the service is being used:  "I was one of the people that believed that that need existed out there, that there was that latent ridership and over the years, Greyhound's passenger service has deteriorated significantly in timing and all the rest of it so it's really been -- we've lost that interconnectivity between our communities."

The federal and provincial governments also provided funding for the new buses.