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More efficient transit service wanted in Lake Country

Concerns were raised by council about reliability of transit service in the community
(Photo/Black Press Media)

A BC Transit survey says Lake Country residents would like more frequent and efficient service and new routes.

The results come from public engagement done between January and February of 2021. Highlights include the expansion of service to cover Jim Bailey Road and Oyama, restructuring Route 23 Lake Country and Route 32 The Lakes and for transit to serve Kelowna International Airport more efficiently.

The improvements are prioritized into short, medium, and long-term categories.

Council had their own concerns.

“If we don’t have the reliability to begin with then how can you expect people to want to ride it?,” asked Councillor Blair Ireland. “We need to keep sending that message back. This system is broken and needs to be fixed.”

Councillor Penny Gambell noted transit issues in the community have been discussed for a while and this is the first time she has seen a definitive, positive response.

“We’re seeing the price of fuel get up to higher levels and I’ll tell you the bus looks a lot more attractive every day,” added Gambell. “But I do think that reliability and safety are the two key things we hope to see on the bus, along with efficient locations.”

Mayor James Baker asked if the portion of property taxes used to pay for school bussing could be redirected to transit bussing.

“That would not be our decision what to do with those taxes and how those are directed,” said Chelsea Mossey, senior manager of government relations at BC Transit. “However, if using public transit resources to serve schools is something that the district is interested in that is certainly something that we could look at.”

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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