Summerland bus service rolling along nicely

Summerland’s new bus service to Penticton is far exceeding expectations after its first year.

A man who gave his name as Ron wheels away his bike after catching a ride into Penticton on a bus from Summerland. The route has been in service now for one year and is exceeding expectations.

A man who gave his name as Ron wheels away his bike after catching a ride into Penticton on a bus from Summerland. The route has been in service now for one year and is exceeding expectations.

Summerland’s new bus service to Penticton is far exceeding expectations after its first year of operation, according to the president of B.C. Transit.

Manuel Achadinha said the service, which makes four daily round-trips Monday to Friday, is moving an average of 5.2 passengers per hour, a rate he described as “really impressive for a startup.”

According to B.C. Transit-supplied statistics for the eight months ending August 2014, passengers had taken a total of 6,925 trips on the service, a volume Achadinha didn’t expect to see until the fifth year.

“We’re on a very good pace to look at the opportunity of going to council and saying, ‘Hey, look, there might be potential opportunities to increase the service or expand the service or introduce new routes,” he said.

The cost of providing the service in the first year was pegged at approximately $100,000, with the District of Summerland and B.C. Transit splitting the bill.

Coun. Peter Waterman, who represented the district on a special anniversary trip Friday, was unable to provide figures, but said the $2 one-way fares are nearly covering Summerland taxpayers’ share now.

“It’s essentially costing very little at this point,” he said.

Waterman said ridership has exceeded council’s expectations also.

“I put it down to the fact that we desperately needed the service, and I’m looking forward to increasing the schedule,” he said, adding that he’d like to see new evening and Saturday service.

“Summerland really needs this. Employers need it. Employees need it, for sure, and students and seniors will make tremendous use of it.”

Among the riders on the bus Friday with local dignitaries was a man who only wanted to be identified as Ron, he said he had no complaints after five trips to visit a friend in Penticton.

“My car broke down, so I’ve been using the bus,” he said.

“It’s quite convenient.”

Achadinha is convinced the Summerland experience is proof that transit can work nearly anywhere.

“We’re seeing that when you provide the right type of service, people will take it,” he said.

The service begins at the Summerland library, makes two other stops in town and another in Trout Creek, then hits Okanagan College and Penticton Regional Hospital, before terminating at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, from which it leaves again on the same route in reverse.

Each trip takes about 40 minutes and buses leave Summerland at 8:05 a.m., 11;15 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. to Penticton.

Just Posted

James Miller, the managing editor at the Penticton Herald, has been voted in for Jake Kimberley’s vacated council seat. (Submitted)
James Miller elected as Penticton city councillor

Penticton also voted yes to allowing up to 25 years for a Skaha Marina contract

The Eyes of the Tigers on the 2021 Beer Run on June 19. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Beer Runners take trip around local beaches and brews

Over 160 people signed up to come back after the 2020 run was cancelled

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read