The anticipated launch of a transit service early this month between Moricetown and Smithers is being pushed back a bit.

The operating partner, the Smithers Community Services Association, needs to hire one more driver to expand the service to six days a week between the two communities. The problem they’re having is hiring for a split shift of two hours in the morning and two in the evening.

The province is expected to foot the capital costs of the buses and shelters along with 66 per cent of the service’s operational costs, with the rest will falling on both Smithers and the Moricetown Band 50/50.

Member of the Transportation Advisory Committee, and Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach, says for the rest of the transit plan along highway 16 they’re partially waiting on BC Transit to put the project out to tender.

“We’re not quite where we wanted to be originally,” says Bachrach about the original December 2016 aim to start up the action plan.

“I think it was quite an optimistic timeline. We want to have things done right…overall this service has come together on a very expedited timeline; usually these things take years.”

Chair of the Regional District of Bulkley-Neckako, Bill Miller, says they’ll be meeting with 4 to 5 First Nation communities before signing the final draft of the memorandum of understanding between all communities. He says they’ll also be looking to adopt a bylaw of the plan.

Part of the funding arrangement with communities will see those adjacent to the highway paying 5 dollars per capita, and those off the highway paying one dollar.