Transfers open up transit to Summerland and Naramata

Starting Monday, transit users are going to have more options to get where they are going in and around Penticton

Starting Monday, transit users are going to have more options to get where they are going in and around Penticton.

Along with expanding Sunday service to a 9 a.m. start year round, riders will also be able to transfer directly to the Summerland and Naramata buses from the Penticton system and vice versa.

“We are just waiting for the final printing of the new schedules and we will have that coming out right away,” said Mitch Moroziuk, City of Penticton’s director of operations. It’s the achievement of a proposal he brought to city council in February.

B.C. Transit calls the reciprocal transfer system a one-year pilot project, though Moroziuk said it is unlikely to end after the year.

“What we are going to do is we are going to evaluate the usage of who is doing what, but I don’t envision that it would not be continued,” said Moroziuk. “I suppose that is always a possibility, but it is not something we are looking at.”

For Penticton riders travelling to Summerland, a transfer and a $2 top-up fee are required. The same goes for Naramata, though the top up fee is only 25 cents. For travellers coming into Penticton from Naramata and Summerland, a transfer is all that is required. Transfers are good for 90 minutes following time of issue.

Sunday service has always started an hour earlier in the summer months, but B.C. Transit and Penticton have agreed to extend that service and make it year-round. Moroziuk said that is all the transit changes that are being planned in the short term, though there are other recommendations in the 2012 regional transit study.

“Those will probably be discussed in the future. It is just a matter of is there a will to want to do that,” he said, adding that they are starting to get requests for additional transit service to some of the newer residential developments, like Sendero Canyon.

The transit study, he said, doesn’t include recommendations for those areas.

While they were aware of the developments, the progress was much slower at the time of the report.

That, and other areas of the city, Moroziuk explained, will be considered in future development of the transit system.