Transit service planned for fall

While Summerland still does not have a municipal transit service, the situation should change by next fall.

While Summerland still does not have a municipal transit service, the situation should change by next fall, municipal administrator Tom Day said.

He explained that the province has promised a service for the region by September.

The service will be shared between Summerland and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

The province will pay roughly half the cost of operating the transit.

The rest of the money will be split between the two local governments sharing the service.

For a full year of the service, Summerland’s share would be around $50,000.

A one per cent increase in municipal property taxes would bring in around $60,000.

Day said some of the costs of the transit can be recouped since the user fees will stay in the communities operating the service. However, rider fees alone will not pay the entire cost of a bus service.

Before the service can become a reality, the municipality and regional district must work out the details such as the times, frequency and route for the new transit service.

Day said Summerland is likely the largest municipality in British Columbia without a transit service.

Nelson, with a smaller population, has a system with four bus routes in the city and a fifth route providing a connection to Castlegar.

The Nelson to Castlegar route runs Monday to Friday while the routes within the city run Monday to Saturday.

Revelstoke, also smaller than Summerland, operates four routes within the town, three of them providing Monday to Saturday service.

By comparison, Summerland offers a limited service to Penticton Monday to Friday.

The existing service must be booked in advance.

 

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