Public transit problems continue to plague Lake Country

Lake Country councillors voiced their concerns about public transportation

Lake Country Coun. Bill Scarrow, who is also a bus driver, continued with voice ongoing issues with the Lake Country public bus service, during a BC Transit presentation at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Scarrow said BC Transit’s plans to optimize The Lakes 32 route has been stagnant and going nowhere.

“I understand it’s contingent on what’s happening with the 90, but these things should be happening faster, rather than slower and it’s been two years now and it hasn’t budged an inch,” he said.

He also brought up the service problems with Old Vernon Road, saying that every time a new stop is added along the road 15 to 20 minutes is added to a lake country resident’s attempt to get to work or get home.

Yet the cost of the service remains the same, he said.

Scarrow said there also needs to be an improvement with customer service, using an example of how bikes are left on the front of a bus for an entire day, which compromises the bus’ carrying capacity.

He also said how the midnight ride from Kelowna to Lake Country is incredibly late at 1:22 a.m. for the inbound 23 route and the ridership is low.

READ MORE: Lake Country councillor voices concerns for late-night transit users

“It’s a completely useless ride and we’re paying for it… the last scheduled ride out of UBC is 11 p.m. and we would like to see one just after 12 a.m.” he said.

Youth councillors Louisa Steigenberger and Julia Paulson also weighed into the discussion, saying how inefficient the UBC stop is because of how late it is and how Oyama, as many students live in that ward, could benefit from a service there.

Levi Megenbir, senior transit planner, presented an overview of the transit plan to council Tuesday night and suggested a reduction to the 32 The Lakes bus service and a service to Oyama.

“You have a lot of development occurring scattered around Lake Country,” he said, adding BC Transit will consider expanding to those areas as Lake Country continues to grow.

The public also likes the idea of a RapidBus idea to Lake Country, however, Lake Country would have to develop more before that can be implemented, he said.

Short-term initiatives include service optimization on the 32 Lakes bus, and an Oyama service as well as expanded service to new areas for the medium-term and a RapidBus connection to Lake Country, in the longer-term, according to the presentation.

Municipalities fund 53 per cent of conventional transit, and provincial shares are 47 per cent.

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carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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