Kelowna bus.—Image credit: Capital News file

Regional Transit celebrates 40 years of service

Kelowna - Systems has grown over the years to become second largest regional transit system in B.C.

The Central Okanagan’s transit system will celebrate 40 years of operation next week.

On July 4, BC Transit, along with regional partners Kelowna, West Kelowna. Lake Country, Peachland, the Westbank First Nation and the Regional District of Central Okanagan will celebrate the Kelowna Regional Transit System’s milestone, exactly four decades after the system rolled into service.

“Transit plays an increasingly important role in connecting people and places within the region in a sustainable way,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran of the upcoming anniversary.

“We look forward to celebrating 40 years of service and looking ahead to the future of transit in our community.”

Kelowna Transit—as it was known then—started in 1977, replacing a private company that operated a small bus service in the city called Lake Valley Transit.

Kelowna Regional Transit is now the second largest regional system in the province, carrying 4.9 million passengers last year and providing 160,000 hours of service.

The system has a four-decade history of improvement and expansion and innovation, including the introduction of custom HandyDart service here in 1981, extending service to West Kelowna in 1982 and to Lake Country and Peachland in 1992. A year later, it expanded again to bring service to the Glenmore area and Okanagan College.

In 2002 it added the now distinctive double-decker buses to its fleet and in 2010 the first phase of the RapidBus route 97—now the most popular route in the system. It connects Westbank with Okanagan College via Kelowna and Orchard Park Shopping Centre making a limited number of stops along Highway 97.

Tuesday’s event will mark the midway point in a year-long campaign to recognize the past, present and future role of the transit system in the community, say organizers.

“I congratulate everyone that has supported the delivery of effective and efficient transit services in Kelowna over the past 40 years,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit chief executive officer and president. “BC Transit looks forward to continuing to work with the community in their effort to connect people to a more sustainable future.”

The 40th birthday bash will take place July 4 at 3 p.m. at the Queensway Transit Exchange in Kelowna.

To learn more about the service and infrastructure milestones of the local transit system from 1977 to today, B.C. Transit has created an interactive timeline for the Kelowna Regional Transit system at kelownaregionaltransittimeline.ca.

Just Posted

UBCO students to get medical cannabis coverage

Kelowna - The pilot project will be implemented in April

Lake Country tourism centre calls for better emergency plan

The tourist centre says it was relied on to provide information during the summer floods and fires

Kelowna art camp held for spring break

Classes for children are available from March 19 to 29

B.C. BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

Hope raises thousands for two Kelowna charities

The event Hope in Her Eyes managed to raise more than $17,000 for two Kelowna non-profits

BC BUDGET: NDP push for purpose-built rentals in ‘historic’ $1.6B investment

Hundreds of thousands of new low- and middle-income units coming over three years

B.C. BUDGET: More for wildfire recovery, campsites

NDP government to hire 20 more Conservation Officers this year

B.C. BUDGET: Surpluses predicted for three years

Tax revenues up, ICBC losses weigh heavily on provincial books

Parts of B.C. see record-breaking temperatures in cold snap

Sechelt, Yoho National Park were the chilliest ever Monday

Claim dimissed against RCMP over 2008 B.C. woman’s murder

Mother of Lisa Dudley, shot in her home along with her partner, had alleged negligence

B.C. cold snap prompts energy use spike

BC Hydro is reporting a 10 per cent increase in the energy demand in the last two days

COLUMN: Benning stands firm on Gudbranson, will keep him with Canucks until 2021

Canucks opt to not trade the 26-year-old defenseman, but sign him to multi-year deal

VIDEO: Four-year-old Revelstoke snowboarder featured in viral video

AJ Pitaoulis tours Revelstoke Mountain Resort with young pal Kasper Treadway

Most Read