Four proposed bus route options have been suggested for Summerland. Transit service is expected this fall.

Summerland considers transit options

B.C. Transit presents four route options for proposed scheduled bus service.

While the municipality has discussed a transit service for the community for several years, the latest meeting with B.C. Transit also included specific route options.

Earlier this month, B.C. Transit officials spoke to municipal council about the possibility of a service in the community.

In a report to council, officials from B.C. Transit said there are many details to consider in bringing in the service.

“Questions around serving the tourism areas of Summerland and less

densely populated areas of the town have been raised. In the general development of a transit system, the initial focus is given to establishing links to the key service centres that residents require to maintain a healthy and full lifestyle. Providing access to health, recreational, educational, social, employment and retail opportunities is paramount. Recognition is given to the fact that there is a larger service and employment base in Penticton and as such many residents who choose to live in Summerland are required to access Penticton,” the report said.

Four route options were presented.

The simplest would bring the bus from Rosedale Avenue along Wharton Street, onto Victoria Road South to Main Street and Henry Avenue before returning to Penticton.

The second option includes a limited local service to Lowertown.

The third option brings more service into Summerland, including service to IGA, Nesters Market, the Summerland Library and the Summerland Health Centre.

In addition, a loop at the beginning and end of the route would provide additional service to those living near the core of the community.

The fourth option covers much of the same area but incorporates the bus stop on Rosedale Avenue.

“There is no single correct answer as to where routing should go,” the report said. “The underlying principle is that the route needs to serve the key retail, educational, recreational, service, retail and health centres along with the densest pockets of population.”

Mayor Janice Perrino said there is still much work required before a scheduled transit service becomes a reality.

She said council and municipal staff are working to determine which routes would best serve the community.

While a start date of September has been suggested in the past, Perrino said council is “cautiously optimistic” about bringing in the service by that date.

“They’ve told us over and over that they’re going to work with that time frame,” she said.

She added that the potential change in the provincial government following the upcoming election should not affect the decision to bring in the service.

“It has nothing to do with the change of government, if there is one,” she said.