VICTORIA, B.C. — B.C. rest areas and brake checks will offer new services this year, as the provincial government launches a new program allowing commercialization of these areas.
Transportation Minister, Judith Reid, says the program will encourage highway safety while providing investment opportunities for small businesses. Proposals will soon be accepted for seasonal vending concessions allowing vendors to sell food and beverages and provide other amenities to travellers.
Previously, commercialization of highway rights-of-way was not permitted under provincial law, but that has been amended to provide better services to truckers and other travellers.
“We are responding to requests from the travelling public for more services at our rest areas,” says Reid. “Enhancing services will encourage motorists to take more rest breaks when they are travelling, which will help keep our highways safe.”
The revenue raised from the new initiatives will help fund maintenance of the rest areas, Reid says. Currently, there are 162 rest areas in the province, which cost about $4 million per year to maintain.
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