Transit changes down the road for Kelowna bus riders

Tweaks to service coming this fall and a major new route is slated for next year.

Changes are coming to some Kelowna bus routes in the fall.

Kelowna’s transit and programs manager Jerry Dombowsky told city council Monday seasonal service will be reinstated in September, some on-time performance issues will be addressed and weekend service on the local transit system’s core routes will be improved.

Resources saved from the summer seasonal reductions in service are being reinvested into the system to pay for changes.

Dombowsky said in September, service on a “lower performing” portion of the No. 13 Quail Ridge route—in the Quail Run and Brindisi Road areas—will be eliminated. The savings will be used to increase the frequency of main Quail Ridge service to every 20 to 25 minutes, as well as expanding service during midday times.

Responding to growing demand, he said additional trips will be added to the Saturday No. 8 route service, to provide 30-minute frequency in early mornings and evenings.

And next year, with anticipated completion of John Hindle Drive in early 2018, a new transportation route will connect the Glenmore Valley directly to UBCO, the mid-town area around Orchard Park Shopping Centre and Okanagan College.

Dombowsky said that move will provide an opportunity to re-structure existing service from the Glenmore area of the city to the UBCO campus, which is presently provided circuitously via Sexsmith Road.

In addition to re-structuring the Glenmore service, new service is proposed for the Academy Way neighbourhood near UBCO.

As part of the changes, the system will acquire two new buses to add to the existing fleet.

A public consultation program is slated to take place this fall to explain the changes to the public as part of the city Transit Future Action Plan.

Farther down the road, in 2020/21, a restructuring of transit routing in Rutland is planned in conjunction with the second phase of the Rutland Transit Exchange.

That move is expected to add additional service hours and improve service in the Rutland area.

The changes are part of a three-year memorandum of understanding the city has agreed to with B.C. Transit.

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