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qathet Regional District receives transit study funding

Exercise explores feasibility of potential on-demand transit solutions and implementation plan

qathet Regional District (qRD) has announced the success of a recent grant application for the tis’kwat On-Demand Shuttle Transit Feasibility Study for Tla’amin Nation, City of Powell River and qRD through the Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Canada Rural Transit Solutions Fund.

In July 2023, qRD completed a Rural On-Demand Transit Feasibility Study. The purpose of the study was to explore the feasibility of potential on-demand transit solutions and develop an implementation plan for the recommended scenario that would meet the needs of residents in Electoral Areas A, B, C and D, and Tla’amin, according to a media release from the regional district.

The project team consisted of representatives from Tla’amin, qRD, the city and BC Transit. Considerable public feedback was collected and analyzed through open houses, surveys and submitted correspondence, the release stated.

“We would like to thank the Government of Canada for supporting the feasibility study for the tis’kwat On-Demand Shuttle for Tla’amin Nation, City of Powell River and qathet Regional District to provide safe and reliable transit between our region’s rural and urban areas,” stated qRD board chair Clay Brander. “We would also like to extend our thanks to our project partners, the on-demand transit working group membership and all the members of the public who took the time to provide us with their valuable feedback.”

The vehicle fleet was determined to be adequate for current and future scenarios. One option was to follow the city’s Zunga Bus initiative, however, that was not recommended, according to the release. The venture would at least double operating costs, add responsibility to more closely manage and even deliver transit service in a field of service where the qRD has no expertise or capacity.

BC Transit will be starting a Digital On-Demand Transit pilot program in other areas of the province. qRD will consider an enhanced partnership with the province once the program is proven to be commercially viable. Meanwhile, qRD will advocate for Information and Communications Technology infrastructure, especially in underserved areas, the release stated.  

Learn more about the program at

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