Mayoral candidate offers new vision for city transit plan
Cal Condy says he has re-drawn the city’s transit map.
While he did not have it on hand to display to the public at Tuesday night’s all-canaidates meeting, the Kelowna mayoral hopeful said it reflects a better transit system, something he would like to see in the city.
Condy, who had the audience laughing for a good part of the forum with his quips to questions that he was asked, got serious when the issue of transit came up.
He said he was “flabbergasted” at the lack of control the city currently has over its transit system, something incumbent mayor Sharon Shepherd, as well as her counterparts in Peachland, West Kelowna and Lake Country, have all been campaigning to change for years.
The mayors hope the announcement of an audit of B.C. Transit’s Interior operations by Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom will result in more decision-making power for the municipalities that are served by the systems. “It’s ludicrous to build areas with no transit,” said Condy.
The system in the Central Okanagan is a partnership between B.C. Transit, the municipalities and riders (via the fare box).
While all three contribute the money used to pay for operation of the system, B.C. Transit in Victoria has the final say on what routes go where.
As a result, the city has been unable to get a bus route to the Capital News Centre recreation building and H2O aquatic centre in the Mission.
That has not sat well with locals for some time and most local politicians and candidates in the civic election say they want to see the current situation changed.
Former mayor Walter Gray, who sat in the B.C Transit board when he was mayor, vowed to “fix” the current transit problems within the first 120 days of his term if elected mayor.
After hearing Gray make his promise, Condy said he wanted Gray on his transit team if he is elected mayor. “Well, I like your map,” said Gray.