Lake Country councillors gave BC Transit members feedback about a proposed transit plan during a council meeting, Tuesday night.
Currently, there are three routes in the district, the 23 Lake Country, 32 The Lakes and 90 North Okanagan Connector.
BC Transit made several recommendations including: to expand the 90 North Okanagan to include Saturday service, improve 23 Lake Country a.m. peak service and reallocate service from the 32 The Lakes to provide peak-only service to new areas such as Oyama and Lakestone. Transit also talked about expanding service to provide midday and evening service to new areas such as Oyama and Lakestone, to continue to improve service reliability and develop an Oceola transportation hub and consider RapidBus connection to Lake Country.
The plan also suggested service options for the 32 Lakes, where ridership is low, including to reduce service to provide new coverage to other communities, such as Lakestone and Oyama, or to reduce the service to provide better transit to other communities and expand service to middays, evenings and weekends.
Coun. Bill Scarrow said with the 32 Lakes “our residents have told us quite clearly that they want the full day service and the optional routes,” with 89 per cent supporting the second option.
Coun. Penny Gambell asked if BC Transit could connect with Tourism Kelowna to build better ridership in the area.
Gambell also spoke about a proposed route along Lakestone and Oyama.
“It’s my opinion over toward the isthmus and the west side of Oyama you would probably have much more ridership. On the east side, you’re going to find it’s very agricultural,” she said.
Gambell also brought up issues with transportation to Davidson Road Elementary.
“With the Lakestone route, my question is regarding Davidson Road; there’s no bus access for the school for anyone that lives within about three kilometres and that would be a real asset to the area,” she said.
“When you’re doing your planning, I think that school could better served, it’s not being served at all now.”
Coun. Scarrow said transit to schools like Peter Greer Elementary would be beneficial. “All of our schools within our community are actually kind of in their own place for transit to serve.”
The plan is expected to be completed in early 2018.
Early Captial Projects approved:
Lake Country council approved the following capital projects, Tuesday night, to allow expenditure prior to adoption of the 2018 to 2022 financial plan:
• Office Furniture Upgrades $15,000
• Photocopier $14,000
• Website Recruitment $8,500
• Website Geolocation $2,500
• Pelmewash Parkway Construction $2,750,000
• Oceola Roundabout (Phase 3) $1,250,000
• Firehall Predesign $130,000
• SCBA Replacement Units $15,000
• Sewer Pickup Trucks $70,000
• Sewer Service Truck $145,000
According to the report: “we have two projects which were designed in 2017 and will be ready for tendering in 2018, the Pelmewash Parkway Construction and the Oceola Roundabout (Phase 3). The Pelmewash Parkway Construction has the added pressure of the turnover by the province in August 2018.”