With the recent landslide and closure to Highway 97, residents in the Okanagan are scrambling to figure out a way to get from one end to the other.
Why shouldn’t we have a water taxi as an alternate option for travelling from Penticton to Kelowna? Or, even Vernon? Sure, it may only be able to accommodate foot passengers, but as of right now, we still don’t have a comprehensive transit system between our communities. BC Transit says there will be a bus to transport people to Kelowna come September, but it’ll only be running Monday through Friday. Here are some of the ways a water taxi could benefit the people who live in our communities:
• Commuting to and from work, bypassing the highway all together.
• Perhaps you want to go to Kelowna on a date and have a few drinks. Instead of driving, you could take a water taxi.
• Tourists would love it! They might be unfamiliar with the area and prefer not to drive.
• People who don’t have a driver’s licence who need to go to Kelowna for a doctor’s appointment or to access a service that is unavailable in our community.
Kelowna is a thriving city and many of us in the neighbouring cities and towns go to Kelowna often, for work, school, fun or necessity. Kelowna is at least as busy as Surrey. From Penticton to Kelowna is as big as from Aldergrove to Vancouver. Why do we not have the public transit system that they do? The infrastructure in the Okanagan isn’t falling behind, it just never caught up.