Transit service still no closer

Wait continues for better bus service between Summerland and Penticton


Summerland has bus shelters but potential passengers will have a long wait before a scheduled bus service is in place.

Municipal treasurer Ken Ostraat said discussions on a bus service have been in place for years, but no service is in the near future.

At present, Summerland has a HandyDart service.

The present system offers door-to-door service in Summerland and service to Penticton.

The transit service must be booked in advance.

The Penticton service runs once in the morning and once in the afternoon each day from Monday to Friday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, additional service is in place for those who have medical appointments in Penticton.

A taxi scrip program is also in place. Those using this program have coupons for half the cost of a taxi ride.

While Summerland officials have repeatedly asked for the bus service, it has not been approved at present. However, other communities in the Okanagan have transit services in place.

In the Central Okanagan, a regional service is in place, serving Kelowna and outlying communities. This means Lake Country residents and Peachland residents are both able to use transit to get into Kelowna.

If a system were approved under the existing funding arrangements, the municipality would have to pay around $48,000 for the operation of the service.

“That would make the system more convenient for people,” Ostraat said.

A study about a transit system was conducted in 2005 and 2006, with a report presented in 2007.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the bus service has been awaited for several years, but B.C. Transit has not yet approved it.

“I feel it would be a benefit for our people to have transit,” she said. “We just can’t get them to commit.”