• Riley Gettens

When did the 'Greater West Bench' Transit parcel tax get approved?

In 1993, Bylaw 1440 was adopted to authorize transit service to Greater West Bench and Naramata. The Greater West Bench service was later cancelled, while Naramata's service remained active.


Reactivating the Area "F" transit service has long been discussed. Here is a recap:

  • 2006, The community revisited the issue when BC Transit conducted a local Transit Study.

  • 2008, an Area "F" resident survey assessed the residents' willingness to pay for public transit.*

  • 2010 a Regional Citizen Survey was completed.*

  • *Both surveys demonstrated support for public transit service.

  • 2011, BC Transit required a 'Transit Future Plan' for future transit expansions. The RDOS hired a transportation planning consultant to complete a Regional Transit Review.

  • 2015, the 'Transit Future Plan' was completed. Greater West Bench Transit Service was placed in BC Transit's queue for extended services.

  • 2019, Greater West Bench/Sage Mesa made it back to the top of the queue with BC Transit.

  • 2019 (September), a transit service public open house was held at WBE

  • 2019 (October), 68% of residents responded in favour of re-establishing the transit service via an online survey. This was consistent with 2006, 2008, 2010 feedback.

  • 2020 (May/June), a public survey was share looking for feedback on route options (route times, bus stop locations). This survey is still open until Tuesday, June 16.

  • 2020 (September), introductory transit service is scheduled to begin in Greater West Bench.

March, 2020 - BC Transit has paused all-new service implementations due to COVID-19. RDOS staff is advocating to have the Greater West Bench service established in September 2020 as we are not bringing in any new buses or staff.


A bit more about the service:

  • Public engagement sessions were scheduled with BC Transit, however, with COVID we have moved to online surveys.

  • This is an introductory (limited) service that will run Monday - Friday with two runs per day.

  • This is a trial. We are using buses that are on lay-overs (sitting idle). We, at this time, do not have to factor in the cost of leasing a bus or introducing new transit staff.

  • Public transit is not a revenue generator, nor will it ever be 100% user-supported.

  • Pubic transportation is a service that we, as a community, agree to provide to those who need/want it, or we don't.

Relevant Links:


Thank you for reading.

Please contact me with any questions you may have.


Sincerely,

Riley Gettens

Director, Electoral Area "F"

250-488-0246

rgettens@rdos.bc.ca



 

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