The recent announcement that Summerland’s scheduled transit service will soon begin is welcome news.
For years, the need for such a service has been evident.
We have many commuters who travel from Summerland to Penticton for work each day.
Others need medical services, access to government offices or access to specialized businesses and services which are not available locally.
And Summerland also offers some businesses and services which are not available in Penticton.
Not all are able to make the trip between the two communities by car.
Details of the service have yet to be finalized, but it will begin with four trips a day, Monday to Friday. Later, if the demand is shown, evening and weekend service may be added.
While the transit service is a good start, the hours are limited. The need for transportation between Summerland and Penticton does not end in the early evening.
Eventually, the transit service must be expanded to provide evening and weekend service.
Additional hours will help those who need to travel between the two communities after business hours or on a Saturday or Sunday, for any reason.
However, the service will not be able to expand to this level unless riders use the initial bus service. If buses are mostly empty during the day, then it is not likely that we will see additional hours of service.
The initial work has been done and a scheduled bus service will soon be in place in Summerland.
What happens next is up to the public. If there is a solid ridership base, the service will grow and expand with the community. If it is not used, the best we could expect is a limited service.