South Peace News
Big Lakes County’s public transportation bus is now available to rent.
At its regular meeting Jan. 11, council approved an updated policy for the Big Lakes Rural Transportation Program bus that now allows third parties to rent the bus.
At the committee-of-the-whole meeting Dec. 14, council discussed the Big Lakes County Family and Community Services (FCSS) program in its entirety.
Part of the discussion focused on the Big Lakes Rural Transportation Program and bus operations, said Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.
Third-party rentals are possible only on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday with the County’s bus driver being the only operator, the policy states.
However, Gilwood North – Triangle Councillor Jim Zabolotniuk still questions the decision to rent the bus that seats 12 passengers.
“Do we want to be in that business?” asked Zabolotniuk, who was absent Dec. 14.
He also opposed the proposal that was presented by Joussard Councillor Richard Mifflin at council’s regular meeting Nov. 23.
Mifflin says no other local services are available for people to rent a small bus and reiterated his idea at the meeting Jan. 11 in response to Zabolotniuk.
“It’s a service we will provide,” Mifflin said.
Zabolotniuk said he wants the service to be cost recovery.
Council gave third and final reading Jan. 25 to the fees bylaw that set the rate at $300 per day plus a travel rate based on the current Canadian Revenue Agency reasonable per kilometre allowance rates.
At its regular meeting Nov. 23, 2022, council opened the offer to rent the bus to third parties after council approved a daily fee of $600 and a travel fee of 61 cents per kilometre.
Only residents of the county and the town of High Prairie are eligible to ride the bus.
Transportation for medical appointments take priority over trips for other purposes.
A renter must pay a deposit of 50 per cent of the daily rate at the time the van is reserved for a trip.
Any cancellations made by the county will result in a full refund.