West Kelowna council endorses Central Okanagan Transit Future Plan

West Kelowna’s transit future is in line with the rest of the Central Okanagan.

Michelle Orfield, senior urban transportation planner for B.C. Transit, attended Tuesday’s council meeting to share some details of the Central Okanagan Transit Future Plan.

According to Orfield, the purpose of the plan is to collect a unified vision that directs all future transit investment.

“It’s also key in making sure that transit is in line with land use planning,” said Orfield.

Orfield said that the 25 year vision will influence urban form by providing a high-quality, affordable service that puts the customer first.

The goals of the plan are to attract new riders, deliver operational excellence, improve transit sustainability and improve custom transit utilization.

She said it is anticipated that ridership will quadruple in the Central Okanagan by 2035.

Ongoing initiatives include addressing existing service needs, matching vehicle type to local service demand, improving customer information, improving transit facilities and making transit more accessible.

Next steps in B.C. Transit’s process include getting approval from Westbank First Nation and the Regional District of Central Okanagan. After that, the B.C. Transit board approval will be needed before the plan is published and distributed.

Mayor Doug Findlater said he was curious about the fact the Transit Future Plan is a 25 year document.

“What does this really commit us to? Is this just a nice statement, or are we putting a future council on the hook for something here?” Findlater asked Orfield.

“I don’t think this puts a future council on the hook for much. The intention is to update these plans every five years. It’s really just to get the whole region in agreement on one direction for the big picture,” said Orfield.

Council unanimously decided to endorse the Transit Future Plan.

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