Enderby pushes transit

Officials want to know the costs for extending bus service to Salmon Arm

There is growing demand to enhance transit service for Enderby residents.

City council voted Monday to ask the Regional District of North Okanagan to lobby B.C. Transit to consider adjusting the service level for the route between Enderby and Salmon Arm.

“Three-quarters of our social services are in Salmon Arm and one-quarter are in Vernon but all of our transit goes to Vernon,” said Mayor Greg McCune.

Currently, there are four bus trips daily to Vernon weekdays, while the bus only goes to Salmon Arm first thing Wednesday morning and returns late afternoon that same day.

Because there aren’t multiple return trips Wednesday, residents can be stranded in Salmon Arm for hours.

“If you are heading up there to hand in your Employment Insurance card, it’s inconvenient,” said  McCune.

Concerns about transit were raised during a recent meeting between the city and providers of community services.

“The limited availability of public transit poses an access barrier for many residents,” said Tate Bengtson, Enderby’s chief administrative officer, in a report.

B.C. Transit is being urged to provide a cost estimate and ridership expectations for the various frequencies of service.

“Everyone sees the need and I’m not sure if cost is a factor because the need is so great,” said McCune.

Beyond social services, many Enderby residents travel to Salmon Arm for shopping, work and medical appointments.