The provincial government of British Columbia is proposing to spend $1 billion to fix its bus system, which it says has been the biggest problem facing the province in recent years.
The government said Monday it would invest $100 million over three years to address the issue, which has left students without adequate transportation to school and the provinces capital city, Vancouver.
The provincial transportation minister said the bus network would be overhauled by 2018 and the system would be upgraded by 2019.
The province is seeking to build a new, more efficient system, including an electric bus fleet, new buses and a new network of buses that would link Vancouver and the Fraser Valley with new bus routes.
The proposed $1.1 billion program, known as the SmartBus, is designed to fix problems that have plagued the system since 2014.
The transit system is plagued by delays, equipment malfunctions, delays in service, and the use of outdated buses, according to a report by the federal Office of the Auditor General released last month.
It also found the bus fleet is understaffed and its drivers are poorly trained.
“The bus fleet’s poor reliability and poor service make it an easy target for thieves, who pose a significant risk to public safety,” said the auditor general, Richard Ferguson.
“Buses are not the only system of public transportation that is broken.
The public transportation system is broken in every way imaginable.
It is an absolute disaster.”