Black Press file photo

Open houses regarding transit between Penticton and Kelowna

The meetings will be held in Summerland, Princeton, Penticton, Peachland and Osoyoos on Dec. 4 and 5

BC Transit will be hosting five open houses throughout the South Okanagan to gain input on a proposed interregional transit service between Penticton and Kelowna.

On Dec. 4, the Osoyoos Town Hall will be the first location of the “Shape Your Neighbourhood’s Transit Future” open house from 8 to 9:30 a.m., followed by another at the Okangan Regional Library in Princeton from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The final open house meeting that day will be held in the Peachland Community Centre from 4 to 6 p.m.

On Dec. 5, the Penticton Campus of the Okanagan College will host the open house from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by another at the Summerland Municipal Hall from 1 to 3 p.m.

Related: Similkameen residents face long wait for bus solution

Those that are unable to make any of these open houses are invited to share their feedback online at bctransit.com.

This proposed transit expansion was first proposed in March and would see a twice-daily route from Penticton to Kelowna starting as early as Fall 2019. The bus would travel between Penticton and Kelowna during peak times with one in the morning and one in the evening.

On Nov. 16, the federal government announced $136 million in joint funding will be coming to BC Transit for five projects across the province. The projects will involve adding 118 new buses to the BC transit fleet, refurbishing existing buses, introducing on-board cashless fare and GPS tracking technologies to 790 buses, building 100 new transit shelters and purchasing generators for transit facilities in Whistler, Kamloops and Nanaimo so service can continue during power failures.

Related: Tearful farewell in Penticton for Greyhound Canada

The region is currently facing a lack of public transit between Kelowna and Penticton due to the closure of Greyhound’s operations in the majority of the province. Penticton’s Greyhound service ran its last route between Penticton and West Kelowna on Oct. 31.

In advance of the halt to operations, the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1722, was lobbying for a valley-wide public bus service connecting Pention to Vernon, based out of Kelowna.

“We have to do something for the smaller towns (between Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon),” said Local 1722 president Scott Lovell during an interview in August.

Related: New Kelowna-Vancouver bus route off to slow start

The route the union suggested would see a Kelowna Regional Transit bus run from Kelowna to Penticton and then double back passing through Kelowna, head to Vernon and then back to Kelowna. It would stop in smaller communities along the way.

In the meantime, companies such as Ebus have been trying to pick up the slack in terms of service in the area. John Stepovy, director of business development with Ebus said in an interview that the service is seeing low passenger numbers but this may take time to improve.

“It takes a little while for people to know what service is out there and if it will be around (lon-term),” said Stepovy. “It’s a matter of building trust.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Just Posted

Central Okanagan trustees approve salary hike

Increase to off-set loss of tax-free income benefit

New Lake Country middle school named after inspirational teacher

Central Okanagan school board settles on H.S. Grenda Middle School

B.C. Tree Fruits searching for new CEO and CFO

Top job postings at growers’ cooperative listed quietly at the end of November

Shakey Graves brings his musical evolution to the Okanagan Valley

The constantly evolving artist is set to perform in Kelowna

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

Warrant issued for South Okanagan man facing manslaughter charges

Sylvain Modeste Demers is wanted on a warrant

Snowfall warning for Coquihalla, B.C. highways

It’s another wintry day for B.C. highways

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Most Read