Albertans living in the Camrose and Grande Prairie regions will get new public transportation services under a government pilot program.
Four projects under the rural transportation pilot program will receive a total of more than $1.4 million in funding over two years, Transportation Minister Brian Mason announced Thursday in Camrose. Each project links residents in smaller communities with the services in larger ones.
“Whether it is a medical appointment, classes for school or simply a shopping trip, projects like these will help people get from one community to another in a faster and more efficient way,” Mason said in a news release.
“I hope these pilot projects help set a course for expanded services in the future.”
The projects are intended to fill service gaps between communities where there is no existing provider.
The City of Camrose will get more than $450,000 to establish a regular bus shuttle service between Camrose and Edmonton.
Camrose will also get more than $137,000 to hire a regional transit co-ordinator to oversee ride-sharing opportunities.
Grande Prairie County will get nearly $640,000 to provide a regional transit service connecting Sexsmith, Clairmont, Wembley, Beaverlodge and Hythe with the City of Grande Prairie’s existing transit system.
The Town of Spirit River will receive $200,000 to expand an existing van service between Spirit River, Rycroft and Grande Prairie from one day a month to three days a week. The service is run by Family and Community Support Services.
The government said it chose the Camrose and Grande Prairie regions for the program because they are home to large numbers of people who don’t have access to regional transit services. Other projects are being considered for funding.