Transit in the South Okanagan is doing away with the age-based rates for travel and replacing it with local and regional rates, along with a fare hike on BC Transit buses.
Penticton city council approved the hike on Tuesday, with other municipalities in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen also signing their support for the fare changes, which are expected to bring a 13 per cent – $41,940 yearly – bump in transit revenues to Penticton.
Council first supported a change in the bus fare framework in February, with the intention of providing a "consolidated Regional Riders Guide," which brought consistent fares for transit locally, regionally and beyond.
The last fare changes came to the city in 2014, with single fares going for $2 for adults and $1.75 for seniors and students. On a day pass, those rates were $4 and $3.50 respectively, with books of 10 passes going for $15 and $12.50.
Monthly passes ranged from $27 and $32 per month for high school students and seniors up to $45 for adults on the previous fare structure.
However, BC Transit is doing away with that structure, bringing in a local rate and a regional rate. A single fare in a local trip will be going for $2.25, while regional fares will go for $4, while a day pass will be $4.50 and $8 respectively.
Books of 10 passes are seeing the highest increase, going up to $20.25 for local travel and up to $36 for regional travel.
Only monthly passes will continue to have senior and student fares – regular passes will go for $45 locally and $60 regionally, with discounted rates at $35 and $40 for seniors and students.
When the proposed changes came to council this week, there was no discussion on the matter, and council unanimously approved the motion.
The changes will take place on July 1.