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BC Transit contractor needs to go: Lake Country Mayor

‘The contractor is taking money out of our community overseas’
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BC Transit is seeking support from Central Okanagan municipalities for federal government grants to upgrade the Hardy Road bus yard and design and planning for a new facility proposed for Hollywood Road. (Black Press file phot0)

Lake Country Mayor Blair Ireland took an opportunity at council’s Feb. 21 regular meeting, to drive home a message to BC Transit leadership.

Representatives from the Crown corporation provided council with an update on the Kelowna Regional Transit System (KRTS).

After the presentation, Ireland said they needed to discuss the elephant in the room.

“The contractor is taking money out of our community overseas which is exactly what happens,” he said. “Anywhere else in the world that money would be reinvested in the infrastructure for that business. It’s not a profit centre.”

KRTS is currently operated by Swedish company First Transit which signed a deal to sell its operations to French-based Transdev Group in October 2022.

READ MORE: ‘Another foreign company’ looks to take over Kelowna regional transit: Union

Ireland told the representatives that BC Transit needs to take a strong look at the KRTS is operated.

“Your leadership really needs to hear that we need them to remove these contractors so that we can do this job properly and reinvest in our communities in our own country.”

The mayor added that his comments were not a reflection of BC Transit but, again, of the contractor.

“That’s why we have issues, that’s why we can’t keep bus drivers. Bus drivers don’t get paid enough to do what they’re doing,” said Ireland.

BC Transit is seeking support from Central Okanagan municipalities as it applies for federal government grants to upgrade the aging Hardy Road bus yard and begin the design and planning for a new facility proposed for Hollywood Road.

READ MORE: A tale of two yards: Millions needed for new and old Kelowna transit facilities


@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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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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