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Transportation Minister Todd Stone says the transit money will be used to create more routes, increase handy dart services and boost bus frequency.

Jeff Vinnick/The Globe and Mail

The provincial government has announced millions of dollars in new funding for public transit across the province.

B.C. Transit, which covers transit everywhere except Metro Vancouver, will receive $324-million in operating costs from the province over the next three years.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says the funding represents a $12.7-million increase over three years, compared with what was provided in the last budget.

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He says the government recognizes the importance of affordable transit, and the money will be used to create more routes, increase handy dart services and boost bus frequency.

Part of the funding will include new and expanded transit service for communities along Highway 16, also known as the Highway of Tears, in northern B.C.

First Nations leaders and community officials have long called for more transit options along that route after 18 women were murdered or disappeared along the highway and adjacent routes since the 1970s.

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