Maria Lockley

Transit ridership increases

Passengers continue to use Summerland’s scheduled transit service, according to statistics from B.C. Transit.

  • Jul. 23, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Passengers continue to use Summerland’s scheduled transit service, according to statistics from B.C. Transit.

The statistics show a ridership increase of 33.4 per cent over last year.

The transit service was introduced Oct. 28, 2013 with service in Summerland and to Penticton.

“Since local transit service was introduced in the District of Summerland last October, residents have shown that it’s a service they appreciate,” said Dan Ashton, MLA for the riding of Penticton. “A 33 per cent increase in ridership in less than a year is an impressive uptake.”

Meribeth Burton, a corporate representative of B.C. Transit, said the increase in use is significant.

“This is a system that’s performing like a mature system,” she said, explaining that the amount of use is similar to transit systems which have been in place much longer.

“What we’ve introduced is extremely popular,” she said.

On Tuesday morning, B.C. Transit officials had the Transit Future Bus in Summerland during the country market in an attempt to draw feedback from the community.

B.C. Transit officials will later make recommendations to the municipality for possible service enhancements.

Local governments are responsible for transit routes, schedules and fares.

When the transit service was introduced last year, the cost to the municipality was estimated at between $48,000 and $54,000 a year.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the municipality will evaluate the service later this year, after the scheduled bus service has been in operation for a full year.

Depending on the evaluation, service enhancements may be introduced.

The initial service has service to and from Penticton four times a day, Monday to Friday. The scheduled bus service does not operate on weekends or on statutory holidays.

If the service expands, the expansion could include longer hours of service, additional routes or more buses.

“We’d all like to expand,” Perrino said. “There are lots of options for growth we would all like to see.”

While the service has been embraced, she said some have complained that the schedule at present cannot meet their specific needs.

 

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