Good news for people who have been annoyed by the hours on Kelowna’s HOV lanes.
Beginning Jan. 19 the high occupancy vehicle lanes on Highway 97 will be transitioning to time-of-day operations. The HOV lanes will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday (excluding holidays). At all other times, the lanes will be available to all road users.
This change will mean that the HOV lanes will be in effect during peak periods when traffic volumes and transit use are at the highest levels. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, the HOV lanes will be used by vehicles with two or more occupants, BC Transit buses, Handy Dart buses, taxis and motorcycles only.
The HOV lanes that run between Water Street, Pandosy Street and Highway 33 were originally implemented in 2009 to support the Rapid Transit project. The lanes help to ensure transit buses using the HOV lanes are able to move safely and efficiently along the highway and allow for more people in fewer vehicles to get where they want to go more quickly, resulting in less congestion and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
As part of these changes, motorists can also expect to see increased enforcement of the HOV lanes as part of the ministry, the City of Kelowna, and the RCMP’s continued commitment to the HOV lanes and their use. The HOV lanes will continue to expand along the Rapid Bus Route toward UBCO as the future six-lane expansion is completed.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has more information on Kelowna’s HOV lanes available online at www.hovkelowna.com. Information is also available by calling 250-712-3660.