Kelowna council agrees with bus transit reliance

Costs for mass transit options called ‘staggering’

Kelowna city council agrees that riding the bus will remain the most efficient form of city transit for the next 20 years.

Coun. Tracy Gray said the costs for the three forms of mass transit—streetcars, bus rapid transit and light rail transit—are staggering.

“We are always being approached about why are we thinking about light rail or other forms of transit, and when you see these numbers you realize the costs involved. It’s quite shocking to see,” Gray said.

The city transportation planning department pegged those costs at “ballpark estimates” to create a connection from the downtown core to the airport along Highway 97 for streetcars at $500-700 million; bus rapid transit, $40 to $200 million; and light rail, more than $1 billion, figures compiled by the U.S. Transit Association based on projects completed in North America over the past decade.

Related: Best future transit option for Kelowna is riding the bus

The other aspect Kelowna is missing is the current lack of population densification in urban core areas of the city to make mass transit options financially and ridership feasible.

Gray called mass transit a long-term investment that the city may face, acknowledging the population of Kelowna is expected to grow by 50,000 over the next 20 years.

City planners recommend efforts be made to upgrade the bus riding experience, to allow buses to not be caught up in regular traffic flow with added bus lanes or traffic signal priority.

Mayor Colin Basran cited the importance to deliver on improving the bus riding experience to make current transit more effective.

“It needs to be fast, reliable and less expensive than driving,” Basran said. “The experience needs to be enjoyable and comfortable to be effective. The idea of having to ride a bus and cringing at the prospect of getting on a smelly bus needs to change.”

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Council to approve borrowing of $6.6 million for new Lake Country fire hall

Council will decide Tuesday night if the district should borrow up to $6.6 million for a new hall

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

West Kelowna Warriors suffer loss to the Vernon Vipers

The Warriors offence couldn’t get any traction as they lose their second in a row

Lake Country signs a new sight in the community

The signs, located at the north and south ends of the district, will be illuminated

Weekend weather update: Crisp and sunny

This weekend will see lots of sunshine and below season temperatures for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

Hodge: The long road to recovery

Kelowna - The first week of recovery I was too consumed in pain to notice the lack of fluid.

Letter: Teaching children to be compassionate is never a bad thing

Kelowna - Teaching Mandarin in schools? That gets my vote.

Letter: Homeless Kelowna citizens need help now, not later

Long term solutions are needed and government has a role to play there.

Letter: Election loss in Kelowna blamed on racism

For decades I have written in the local press about racism.

Letter: Peachland watershed issues being recognized

We heard that an integrated response between industry and government is required

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read