Smoky River Transportation Program Wins 2024 Minister’s Award for Transportation Innovation

Falher, Alberta

March 12, 2024


The Smoky River Transportation Program is thrilled to announce its prestigious win of the 2024 Minister’s Award for Transportation Innovation in the Transit/Accessible Transportation Innovation category. This accolade recognizes the program’s exceptional commitment to innovation, collaboration, and accessibility in addressing transportation challenges within the Smoky River Region.

“Today, we celebrate a milestone for the Smoky River region as Smoky River Transportation is honored with the prestigious 2024 Minister’s Award for Transportation Innovation. This recognition underscores the Region’s commitment to pioneering solutions, fostering collaboration, and ensuring accessible transportation for all. The Town of Falher is immensely proud of the innovation and dedication displayed by the Smoky River Transportation Program, a testament to our community’s resilience and commitment to improving the lives of our residents.”

-Donna Buchinski, Mayor, Town of Falher

The Minister’s Award for Transportation Innovation (MATI) acknowledges individuals and organizations in the transportation industry that exhibit excellence in planning, design, construction, environmental practices, safety measures, operational efficiency, or transit/accessible transportation innovations. The awards ceremony was held Monday, March 11, 2024, at the CEA’s 2024 Transportation Connects Alberta Conference banquet, to be held at the Edmonton Convention Centre.

The Smoky River Transportation Program (SRT) has been recognized for its groundbreaking innovation, marked by resource pooling and outside-the-box thinking. SRT is a collaborative effort among five municipalities (Towns of Falher & McLennan, Villages of Donnelly & Girouxville, and the Municipal District of Smoky River No.130), with support from the regional FCSS, providing essential transportation services with a primary focus on medical appointments in the Smoky River Region.

“The Transportation award stands as a testament to the dedication and hard work of our Councils. It is a true success story that highlights the collaborative efforts and innovative initiatives that have shaped this program. Together, we have demonstrated the power of partnership and dedication in driving positive change in our transportation system. This award serves as a reminder of the impact we can achieve when we work together towards a common goal.”

-Myrna Lanctot, Mayor, Village of Donnelly

SRT recently received the United Way’s Healthy Aging Alberta grant, further enhancing its impact. This grant serves as a testament to SRT’s dedication to improving mobility and accessibility for vulnerable populations in the region. The program’s unique approach involves pooling resources and expertise to fill a critical gap in public transportation.

“The program’s commitment to the residents of our area shows the benefit of our region working together”.

-Jason Doris, Mayor, Town of McLennan

The grant facilitated the appointment of a dedicated coordinator, strengthening the capacity to improve mobility and accessibility, particularly for aging residents and vulnerable populations. As SRT embarks on this transformative journey, the grant not only validates its mission but empowers the program to elevate its impact on the lives of those in the Smoky River Region.


For media inquiries or further information, please contact:


James Bell
Chief Administrative Officer
Town of Falher
Phone: 780-837-2247 x 103


Download the press release here