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October 27, 2017 6:41 pm

Preferred Site of New Prince George Transit Facility Unveiled

Friday, March 3, 2017 @ 2:35 PM

Prince George, B.C. – “It’s a great day for transit in Prince George.”

The words of Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall as he gathered with other dignitaries outside Kin 1 today for the announcement of the preferred site for the new BC Transit operations and maintenance facility – the corner of Foothills Boulevard and 18 Avenue – behind Exhibition Park and at the bottom of University Hill (the current facility is located far on the south side of the city).

So, why Foothills and 18th?

“It was a concerted effort between BC Transit and the City of Prince George,” said Hall. “We looked at a number of properties in the community and felt that one had the best location logistically.”

“Often, we don’t give enough emphasis to the need for transit in rural communities, or smaller urban centres like Prince George,” added Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. “When you’re talking about Vancouver or the Lower Mainland it’s all that anybody wants to talk about but it’s really critical here too. It allows people t be connected to their jobs and to their school and to their families.”

Aaron Lamb, vice-president of asset management with BC Transit, said once complete the facility will feature five-bays and a bus wash – something the current facility doesn’t have – plus room for future growth.

He also added:“The fleet in Prince George is 35 buses right now. There’s 27 conventional buses and eight for the handyDART system. So, for the transit facility, once that’s in place, you’re going to see a transition of the fleet to new clean-burning compressed natural gas buses.”

(According to FortisBC, using CNG reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 25 per cent, and costs 25 to 50 per cent less than diesel fuel.)

The City of Prince George will be starting a rezoning process for the preferred site that will include a public information meting in advance of the public engagement component.

The meeting will take place March 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the new Kin Centre where BC Transit and City staff will be available to answer questions.

BC Transit says the project represents a $23 million commitment in Prince George transit.The new facility is part of the almost $160 million in federal and provincial funding that was announced last year.

The City of Prince George is also contributing 17 per cent of the funding for the project – up to $3.8 million. A portion of that investment will be in land value and a portion of it will be in budgeted dollars.

The tentative completion date for the project is in 2019.

Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris also announced that bus service will soon be implemented between Prince George and Burns Lake as part of the government’s Highway 16 Transit Project.

(Earlier this year bus service was put in place between Burns Lake and Smithers).

“We’ll have service three times a week and service will start as soon as we can get the contractors and buses lined up.”


Here we go again, Feds give money for transit and the BC Liberals turn it into a photo-op. Wonder how much it’s costing us for the podium signs for each of these announcements?

    anniemartin, would not the BC NDP do the exact same thing!

    Come on now, be honest, or be a hypocrite! Your choice!

    50 percent funding is federal, has to be matched by 50 percent provincial or the federal funding does not come.

Better call call a WAAAAAAAAAMBULANCE!

Why don’t they put it down by the winery on Pulp mill road.

    LOL, good one!

Gotta love these photo op whiners. You know if the shoe was on the other foot and their NDP heroes were in the picture they wouldn’t utter a peep.

    Where’s Dominick

      Bwahahahah! Good point. Surprised Ol’ Shirley wasn’t worried! They should get her an inflatable podium that she can blow up wherever she goes!

It matters not which party is doing this, photo-ops are wasteful and unnecessary.

If you want to believe this is partisan, then have at it.

Gordon Campbell had my respect for putting the breaks on the use taxpayer funds to advertise in the couple months leading up to an election, but Christy Clark has taken it to a whole new level – $54 million and counting.

    So, in answer to my earlier question, would this be you admitting that the NDP would do the exact same thing?

    Come on, you can admit it! Your head won’t explode! I promise!!

      How could I possibly admit to knowing what they would do? I am not the leader of the NDP.

      Oh nice cop out Annie. Well played. Seems that politicians can’t win for trying. When they’re in photo ops people whine. If they weren’t people would be complaining about never seeing the local politicians and accusing them of staying in hiding.

      Don’t bite anniemartin, HG and RS want you to play along with them in their “imagination” game. Don’t sink to their fantasy level.

      ht tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lnr8THgL5k

      Imagine 40,000 LNG jobs, Imagine a $1 Trillion dollar Prosperity Fund, Imagine a Debt Free BC, now Imagine what the NDP would do if they got in, sigh… just imagine!

      Rusty, you just can’t win with truth and common sense, love ins with politics, you know, LOL.
      They have photo ops every month, but NOW, all of a sudden it’s about the election. Kids!LOL

      BeingHuman, with regards to my earlier question to anniemartin about the likelihood that the NDP would de the same thing, I’ll now direct the question to you!

      Would not the BC NDP do the exact same thing!

      Come on now, be honest, or be a hypocrite! Your choice!

      Oh wait, we all know what happens to you when you are faced with the “tough” questions!

Wow! I have lost count on how many photo ops Shirley and Mike have appeared in just today, and we still have tomorrow.

Every Friday and Saturday, between now and May 9th, get use to this folks!

The NDP supporters are still trying to find their Fast Ferry terminals.

    No I am still looking for an LNG terminal. Any planes landing yet to pick up meat from the meat packing plant? Will we see any tree planters in PG this year?

      Should see tree planters every year May and June we will be crawling with them

      Once the BC Cattlemen return the study the government funded we shall find out

      Lelu Island just got the go-ahead last September but with the eelgrass issue that came up they have just come back with reworked plans to move it to Ridley Island next to the propane plant going there. Pacific Northwest is waiting until after the election to announce whether they will start construction of its 36 billion dollar facility buying Shell’s development rights to Ridley Island. Lots of money to tie up so they have to see which way the election results come in first. Kitimat LNG has spent over a year prepping a site just north of Coste Island which you can now see on Google Maps

I thought this property was supposed to be dedicated to local sports and sports facilities? Wasn’t that the slippery slope argument used to deny the hotel on Ospika and 22nd just a few years ago. I think a hotel is a mich better use of the land then a big ugly industrial building and parking lot.

I understand the central location idea… Why not behind YMCA or Edgewood tarrece? I guess the last community plan for the recreation area is now subject to change as well?

If the mayor was honest, they’d have done a cost/benefit study and build it in the BCR site where their is acres of room.

Gee I can not believe how all of a sudden Shirley is so caring talking about our jobs, schools and our families. As I have said before Shirley has more pictures taken of herself than MT Robson. What will the next picture be? Any guesses?

    This is part of the infrastructure dollars you voted TrueDough in for. The province has to pony up matching funds that is why they are in the photo. TrueDough couldn’t send anyone I guess, and the city provided a bit of cash (probably for the utility and services hookup costs) and the hand picked land so they are there for the announcement. I do suppose the city could have drug their heels until after the election and then there would have been no photo op. The money for Transit were announced months ago, that was TrueDoughs photo op.

I agree with Eagleone and contractor … This is not the best location for this type of facility … We are slowly eroding away the green space and sports lands in the core of the city … we have plenty of light industrial parks that are better suited for this type of facility … the light industrial zoning places the transit facilities right beside their suppliers, other mechanical repair facilities, etc.

Hope there is a big protest crowd out at the public meeting.

    This is a really dumb location for a facility such as this! I can’t imagine how anybody can think this is a smart decision. It simply does not fit in with the other facilities in the area! Who’s idea was it to create a situation where we will have more and more large vehicles cruising around our largest sports fields, sports fields that are very often filled with lots and lots of kids running around!

    Dumb, dumb, dumb!

As well as the noise and air pollution in a residential area. That spot has the cleanest air in the bowl area and now they would like to put 35 buses warming up there every morning.

IMO the school buses are the worst. Pull up behind them at an intersection and their exhaust is overwhelming.

    They are switching from diesel to compressed natural gas to run the busses

Too bad the comments on this issue are dominated by all the political infighting crap.

The real issue is the location. Eagleone and carpenter are on the exact right track.

Foothills going all the way down from the intersection with Chief Lake Road to 18th Avenue and eventually to hook up with Ferry Ave. is the longest single scenic drive in Prince George which looks like “parkways” in many other larger cities.

An industrial property does not belong there, plain and simple. Any well-educated and experienced City Planner would know that. The thing is, we do not have any such people in City Hall anymore and it is showing more and more each day.

If there is anything worth protesting it is this decision. When one looks at this, all the Talktober events become totally meaningless.

This Council and City Administration are starting to show their true colours.

    I’m not trying to venture into alternative facts with this, I am simply asking questions about this piece of land from what I have heard at the water cooler.

    Last year that piece of land was for sale by the province. There was a group interested in buying the property but after extensive soil testing, the interested party backed out of the deal. I was told the City of PG then purchased the property from the province. Now, the City and the province have struck a deal to put an industrial complex in an area deemed by the City to be for sports and recreation.

    I welcome any additions or corrections to this because something smells bad here. Pun intended.

      There are several parcels of land in that location shown on PGMap as City owned. I believe one or more may be the one reserved for the BCSPCA. I doubt the BCSPCA would have spent any money on soil testing at this time.

      Based on past information, they want to own the property before they build, if they do not already.

      The map of City ownership may not be updated yet.

      Why would the SPCA want to locate there ? A snow dump (noisy at night 4 months of the year) and a bus maintenance facility for neighbours.

      My apologies. The piece of property I was referring to is across 18th from where this will be located. Still, seems like a bizarre location for this facility.

They never gave the location any thought. The only thing they were thinking about was to get a picture of Shirley in the news promising something before an election that may never happen. Don’t be fooled by Shirley.

    oldman1, the “only thing” they were thinking about was getting a picture of Shirley in the news? So, exactly how long has it been since you became senile?

      Hart Guy–What’s the matter, can’t take the pressure. Is BeingHuman starting to break you down.

      This another account for BH? Probably not she would use oldwoman1

      Little hurt by that comment are you sure there isn’t senility creeping in there a bit? Sore topic?

      The only reason it wouldn’t happen is if the NDP cancel it and make a reannouncement to get their own photo op

      oldman!, I don’t think that BeingHuman has ever answered any serious question directed at him! “Duck and cover” seems to be his modus operandi.

      BeingHuman staring to break me down? Hardly! Peeps is a joke, and I laugh at jokes, haha!

I agree that transit is important, but that seems like a horrible spot to put an industrial type “maintenance and operations facility”. There are many other areas where this facility could be housed without changing current bylaws. Why would we change the zoning to allow this?

I don’t even love the idea of putting a road through there: people drive 70-80km/h down Foothills, and then with no real transition they will be right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. That can’t possibly be a change for the better.

Or at least the last I heard this was to become a residential neighborhood. Something very recently must have changed? I’m with the commenters above, this is absolutely not the place to put such an industrial facility.

    There is no addtional residential to go along Foothills.

    Eventually Massey is supposed to extend up the hill to join Tyner. Whether that will ever happen, nobody knows. If it is no longer under consideration, then the City should update their road network layout.

    There is residential all along Foothills.

    As far as speeding goes, that is a matter of the RCMP enforcing the law.

      I think there are indeed plans for the area between 18th-22nd behind the CN center to be rezoned residential; at least there was a motion put forward to do that. There was some kind of consultation sent out about it a few weeks back.

      That would in fact have the boulevard Foothills turning into residential if that happens. And yes the RCMP could enforce existing speed laws – but I haven’t seen them around doing that lately, have you? For one thing I think they have more important things to do. I think it would make more sense to try to design roads that are inherently safe by design, or at least as much as is logical. They could mitigate perhaps with some barriers to make sure people have to slow down before entering the residential neighborhood maybe.

      I think it would be a bad idea to extend Massey up to Tyner too; hopefully they do rethink that plan. University way was a bit too unstable as it is and those roads would be quite steep and dangerous in the winter. Just last week even on UW there was a single vehicle accident. It doesnt take much weather before that stretch of road becomes quite difficult.

      But maybe I’m putting too much thought and logic into the planning of expensive changes we’re all going to have to pay for?

    This site is “convenient” because the ownership still resides with the City/Province.

The planning depertment thought this is the best choice, I am a little surprised they didn’t find a park somewhere to rezone

Seems like most people are not in agreement with the City’s decision about this site. Does the Mayor and Council give a damn about what we, the people think? That does not appear to be the case with this and other decisions made by our “Mayor Lynn Hall and Council”!

Everybody missed the Burns Lake to Smithers bus route being added – three times a week should stop the hitchhiking for sure. Wonder if they wil use greyhound, doesn’t make sense for a contractor to buy a bus for a few hour run three times a week

    I don’t think it was missed. That was already covered some weeks ago.

    It may be a factor since this is a BC transit facility and would be close to their route from PG.

      That was the Smithers to Telkwa service where they added a couple trips a day was it not?

What about the old City Works yard for the location?? Maybe negated due to being on a flood plain..

I agree with some of the comments about this discussion being politicized, when it should be about the location of the facility. However, they could have announced this project without multiple pictures of, and quotes from, the local MLAs. They inserted themselves into this story to get political mileage, so they are getting the attention they deserve, IMO.

    They are providing the funding, it is political

    The city decided on the location that best suits the city, the local MLA or federal MP didn’t

      This is the same city that wants to build a firehall in Carrie Jane Grey park.

      That would be correct. City hall hasn’t changed a bit, like I said before I am gobsmacked that the city didn’t choose a park they want to decommission for this.

Is the honeymoon over for our Mayor and Council yet? If the love-in for Hall and Co. isn’t over yet, it very well should be!

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