Okanagan Transit Alliance wants Vernon city councillors to ride the bus for a week

Transit challenge issued

The Okanagan Transit Alliance wants to take Vernon city councillors for a ride.

The OTA has challenged civic leaders to rely on public transit to get around for one week. From Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, they will be asked to attempt to use the public transit system for most of their transportation needs, whenever reasonable.

The OTA noted it is not an alternative transportation challenge, but is focussed on using buses and community shuttles as much as possible over the week.

Stephanie Hendy, a former council candidate, is expected to be at Monday's regular council meeting to make a presentation on the challenge.

“The challenge is designed to help city councillors learn about what’s working in their local transit system - and what’s not. City councillors are one set of decision makers in the province’s complex transit structure. As in most communities across BC, Vernon’s routes are planned by BC Transit and plans are approved by local governments, but the daily operations of the service are contracted out to a private company,” the presentation to council states.

“The current contract between BC Transit and TransDev expires around April 2024. Instead of another renewal for more of the same, the Okanagan Transit Alliance would like to see the Regional District of the North Okanagan assume management of the region’s transit. The money that is currently spent inflating the profits of an international corporation could instead be used to create good, local jobs and a strong transit system. Further, a coordinated effort between Regional Districts would allow for better inter-municipality travel within the Okanagan.”

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