June 13th, 2024

Hat included in rural bus plan

By Collin Gallant on July 25, 2018.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks during a press conference on April 15, 2018. Notley says the decision to cut oil production seems to be working, but says it’s not a long-term solution. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Medicine Hat News

Premier Rachel Notley is expected to announce plans for a rural busing strategy that will include Medicine Hat during her visit to the city on Wednesday.

Notley will participate in the grand opening of new wings of the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital during the afternoon, a release states. In the morning, she will announce “new bus services under the Rural Transportation Pilot Program to support Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and more Alberta communities.”

That program was announced in the 2018 provincial budget.

Last month, four projects involving Camrose and Grande Prairie were awarded, with the promise that others in mid-sized centres would announced this year.

Wednesday’s program announcement comes weeks after Greyhound revealed it would close Western Canadian routes, and Notley discussed the issue at the recent premier’s meeting in New Brunswick.

That group resolved to ask the federal government to work with the private busline to extended its Oct. 31 deadline, so provinces could develop alternative plans.

“For Canadians in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, Greyhound has been a lifeline to work, school, vital health care, family and friends,” Notley said in a statement following the meetings. “I said we will not leave people stranded by the side of the road. And I mean it.”

The announcement in late June involved a total of $1.4 million for municipalities to establish routes to outlaying communities from Grande Prairie, as well as daily service between Camrose and Edmonton.

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