West Kelowna transit ridership drops

The 3,700 bus service hours West Kelowna council opted to cut last year have resulted in reduced transit ridership in the district.

West Kelowna council discussed several transit issues at its meeting Tuesday. Ridership throughout the district has dropped since council opted to cut service hours in September 2012.

West Kelowna council discussed several transit issues at its meeting Tuesday. Ridership throughout the district has dropped since council opted to cut service hours in September 2012.

The 3,700 bus service hours West Kelowna council opted to cut last year have resulted in reduced transit ridership in the district.

BC Transit senior transit planner Matthew Boyd gave council an update at its meeting Tuesday.

“Overall the passenger boardings have gone down on weekdays. That’s indicative of, when you reduce your resources and reduce your budget for service hours, there’s a natural reduction also in ridership,” said Boyd.

However, Boyd told council they made the right decision to reduce service hours in September 2012 in the areas that had low ridership.

“The boardings per hour remained, overall, fairly static.”

Coun. Carol Zanon said she found it difficult to compare the statistics that were being shown to her Tuesday.

“There are very limited conclusions I can make from the data that’s shown here,” said Zanon.

“The fact is, ridership on the weekdays dropped about 15 per cent…I’m hoping there is a plan to woo back the 15 per cent, and more, because we’re putting a huge investment into RapidBus.”

Coun. Rick de Jong said Glenrosa’s Route 21 has become “ineffective” since council made the cuts to service.

“I know a few people who have actually had to go out and buy vehicles because Route 21 is no longer efficient,” said de Jong.

De Jong admitted that result came from a decision made by council; however, he criticized BC Transit for sending buses too small during the morning commute, which have filled up fast and left young students on the side of the road on several occasions this fall.

Boyd concluded his presentation by speaking about the upcoming RapidBus service, which is expected to be up-and-running by September 2014.

The Elliott Road and Westgate Road RapidBus transit exchanges will be built beginning April 2014.

BC Transit and the district plan to conduct consultation and communication regarding scheduling changes in the coming months.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

Twitter: @PatersonWade

 

Kelowna Capital News

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