The Rutland Transit Exchange on Shepherd Road. (City of Kelowna photo)

City of Kelowna seeking input on transit exchange improvements

Since 2010, Kelowna transit service has expanded by 20 per cent but ridership has grown by around 40 per cent

The City of Kelowna inquiring its residents and transit riders for input on potential improvements to four transit exchange facilities in the city.

The city, alongside BC Transit, has begun a transit exchange study that will identify opportunities to enhance facilities at the Midtown/Orchard Park Exchange, Rutland Exchange, Mission Recreation Exchange and the Kelowna Airport Transit Station.

In part, that study will see the city conduct an online public survey to better understand what riders want from the facilities.

“An essential service in our community, transit represents a key component of Kelowna’s transportation and growth strategy to support future population growth, which is expected to increase by 50,000 people over the next 20 years,” said Mike Kittmer, transit services coordinator with the City of Kelowna. “As we continue to improve and expand transit service, it’s important that we hear from those who are impacted, including current and future transit riders, nearby businesses and surrounding property owners.”

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The transit study will identify design options for potential future improvements that meet several goals, including:

  • Supporting future transit service expansion to align with increased ridership;
  • Supporting improved transit access through diverse transportation options such as park and rides and mobility hubs;
  • Improving interactions between transit buses, vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists; and
  • Enhancing rider and bus operator convenience, comfort and safety.

“We’ve chosen these four locations to be included in the study because they serve high-demand transit routes and present the greatest opportunity to grow ridership in Kelowna,” said Kittmer. “Because transit changes and improvements are most successful when we can consider feedback from the public, we strongly encourage community members to get involved.”

Since 2010, Kelowna transit service has expanded by 20 per cent, while ridership has grown by approximately 40 per cent during the same timeframe. Currently, the Kelowna Regional Transit System is the third-largest system in the province, behind Translink and the Victoria system.

Conceptual design options are expected to be complete this fall, with future construction dependent on external funding and budget availability.

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