Transit service to begin in October

A scheduled transit service for Summerland will be in place before the end of next month.

A scheduled transit service for Summerland will be in place before the end of next month.

Municipal administrator Tom Day said the new service will have its official opening on Monday, Oct. 21.

The first bus will run on Monday, Oct. 28.

The transit service will operate between Summerland and Penticton Monday to Friday with four buses a day.

Evening and weekend service may be added in the future depending on the demand.

The fare for the service will be $2 for a trip within Summerland and $4 for a one-way trip to or from Penticton.

The route will start at the Summerland Library and the bus will stop at Nesters Market, Rosedale Avenue, the Summerland Health Centre, Summerland Seniors’ Village and Summerland IGA.

Twice a day, the bus will also stop in Trout Creek.

Buses will be scheduled for early morning, mid morning, early afternoon and late afternoon or early evening.

Details of the schedule will not be finalized until September.

Meribeth Burton of B.C. Transit said the schedule will be set up to accommodate transportation to and from work or school in Penticton.

“Our big hope is that we attract commuters and post-secondary students,” she said.

Summerland’s present transit service is a paratransit system which operates Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Those using the paratransit service must call ahead, 24 hours in advance, to arrange a ride.

In addition, there is a bus twice a day to the Penticton Regional Hospital.

“We’re adding something new and exciting, which is a fixed schedule,” Burton said. “This is the first time we’ve introduced a fixed route to Summerland. It has to work.”

Mayor Janice Perrino said discussions about bringing a bus service to Summerland have been years in the making.

“We’ve been working with B.C. Transit since 1999,” she said.

While she would like to see the schedule expanded to include evening and weekend service, she said the initial weekday service is a place to start.

“All you need to do is get the bulk of the population taken care of first,” she said.

B.C. Transit will have a bus  at the Summerland Fall Fair later this month.