With Greyhound stopping services to rural communities, the Alberta Government has come up with an idea to supplement.

"We have been working on this for well over a year, doing extensive consultations with municipalities and transportation providers, and it came out of a campaign promise that we made following the cancellation of a number of Greyhound routes to different parts of the province," said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation.

Mason wants to supplement what people are already doing with their neighbors, to help connect people more conveniently to medical appointments, shopping, family and friends.

"That has resulted in us developing a pilot project, it is only a pilot project, for a couple of years in selected medium sized regional areas to help connect, rural and small urban municipalities to places like Red Deer, Lethbridge and so on," explained Mason.

This project is meant to enhance the mobility of people living in rural areas to allow them to connect to the services that they need.

"This is a small pilot project where we are providing limited amounts of funding to groups of municipalities, and we are waiting for their proposals; we are not being prescriptive about how it has to work or how it is delivered but we are going to be evaluating the proposals that we receive from municipalities," advised Mason.

The Province will cover up to $350,000 for operating costs, such as fuel and drivers. The municipalities involved are responsible for providing the buses. Municipalities have until the end of March to submit proposals to the government. The successful projects should be announced by the end of April.


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