$23 Million Dollar PG Project Part of Transit Deal
MLA Sirley Bond and Mayor Lyn Hall announce new project for P.G. – photo 250News
Prince George, B.C.- Prince George will see a $23 million dollar maintenance facility and expanded operations centre built as part of the Federal -Provincial Transit funding announcement ( see previous story).
Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall says the site for the facility has yet to be chosen “No location yet, it’s something that we will be dealing with this fall in consultation with the Ministry of Transportation and BC Transit as to where they would like to see the facility. The intent is to create a new facility that will handle all the buses, much like we have in the ( BCR) industrial site, but a much more centralized location is what I think they’re after.”
The 4th Avenue yards, which used to be home to many City Works departments, is likely not on the list of possible sites says Mayor Hall “We have that area leased out, and there are water issues because the water table is too high, and we have flooding issues, so I don’t think that would be an option.”
The facility will support a fleet of cleaner burning compressed natural gas (CNG) buses. The City is expected to be responsible for about $3.9 million dollars of the total cost of this project. That contribution could come in a number of ways says Mayor Hall, including donation of land, dollars, or a combination of both “That’s something we will talk about this fall, as they may have an opportunity to use Crown Land for this. We need to look at, obviously 17% is our contribution to this project, so this fall we will be talking about that through the budget process to see where those dollars will come from.”
There will be new buses for Prince George as BC Transit renews its fleet across the province. Details on how many new buses will be coming to Prince George are not yet available. The new buses will have “smart technology” which will include closed circuit television, real time information, such as automatic vehicle location and automatic passenger counters.
The other part of the announcement will benefit handyDART service as two replacement handyDART buses will be coming to Prince George in 2017. The City and BCTransit will be working with the community and seniors groups to ensure all 13 thousand hours of handyDART service available in the City are fully used, right now, only about 900 hours are used. Mayor Hall says there will be discussions to see what the handyDART users need and what they would like to see in service.
Work on the new facility is expected to start later this fall, with completion in early 2019.
“That economic impact is certainly good for our city as well” said Mayor Hall.