After years of waiting and planning, Summerland’s scheduled transit service began quietly on Monday morning.
A total of 14 people, including members of municipal council, commuters and those interested in the new service, were on the 20-passenger bus.
The bus left Summerland Library at 7:15 a.m. and followed a loop through town with a stop in Trout Creek. It arrived at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre in Penticton by 8 a.m.
“This is a big move forward for Summerland,” said Mayor Janice Perrino.
“It will really assist people who live in Summerland but need to commute to activities.”
She said youths, commuters and seniors, especially those with medical appointments, will be among the first regular users of the service.
Perrino campaigned for a transit service in Summerland when she ran for municipal council in 1999.
When the road upgrades on Rosedale Avenue and a portion of Prairie Valley Road were completed early in 2011, the work included bus shelters and pullouts.
Until Monday, the bus shelters on Rosedale Avenue had only been used by Summerland Secondary School students.
The scheduled service provides a bus between Summerland and Penticton four times a day, Monday to Friday.
The first bus leaving Summerland is at 7:15 a.m. and the last one leaves at 4:30 p.m.
From Penticton, the first bus to Summerland leaves Cherry Lane Shopping Centre at 8:05 a.m. and the last one leaves at 5:15 p.m.
The transit stops throughout the community are clearly marked with signs and with red curbs.
There are 10 stops in Summerland, with eight in the core of the community and two in Trout Creek.
Only four of the stops are timed stops.
At a timed stop, the driver will stop at a set time and wait to pick up passengers.
At the untimed stops, the bus will not stop unless there are passengers waiting or unless a passenger has requested to get off.
The timed stops are identified on the rider guide.
Service between Penticton and Summerland is free for the remainder of this year.
In 2014, the fee will be $2 for a trip within Summerland and $4 for a trip to Penticton.
Monthly transit passes and student or senior discounts may be offered when the rates are set in place.
A rider guide, including a route map and schedule, is available at municipal hall, the Summerland Library and other locations around the community.
Transit information is available online at http://www.bctransit.com/regions/sum/schedules/map.cfm?line=1&v=u