Transit routes under review

A change of cost structures is required to make transit routes from Enderby to Vernon more equitable

Armstrong officials insist a change of cost structures is required to make the popular transit routes from Enderby to Vernon more equitable.

On Monday, Armstrong council requested a formal service review of the cost allocations for routes 60 and 61, which link Enderby and Armstrong with the transit hub in Vernon for the popular UBCO connector.

“The City of Armstrong was a key contributor to the establishment of the regional transit service in North Okanagan and has been a contributing stakeholder for many years now,” said Coun. Steve Drapala.

“Over the years, the city has actively voiced concerns regarding the inequitable apportionment of costs that are allocated to Armstrong.”

Since the inception of this service, there has been little change made to the costs for routes 60 and 61, Coun. Drapala said, adding that the funding basis does not appear to reflect ridership.

“The purpose to this is that Armstrong is continuing to pay more than 28 per cent of the cost of that route, and it goes back to the days of the transit originally being set up,” said Coun. Shirley Fowler. “A lot of things have changed and we just feel that a review of the cost allocation is really prudent to our taxpayers.”

The motion to request a formal service review was passed unanimously.

“We’ve been asking for this for a long time,” Coun. Britton said. “We’ve been paying way more than anybody else for years and years, so I’d like to see this review happen before the UBCO connector happens.”

A recent referral from the Regional District of North Okanagan also seeks to refine the basis of cost allocation for the UBCO connector, which Armstrong council voted to adopt Monday.

“We would like to see something similar done with route 60 and 61,” Coun. Drapala said. “We are going to make a recommendation that council request a review of the basis of cost allocation from the current arbitrary basis to one based on the ridership for the transit service for route 60 and 61.”