Transit bylaws raise questions for Spallumcheen

Township has questions over service and establishment bylaws regarding transit, particularly with a bus that goes to UBC Okanagan

The administrator read the bylaws for more than an hour and still needed help with its explanation.

One councillor kept asking if he was reading the bylaws right.

Spallumcheen council and staff were admittedly puzzled over the Regional District of North Okanagan’s request to discuss a UBC Okanagan connector transit service establishment bylaw and a transit service establishment amendment bylaw that have been given first readings.

Bylaw 2544, the service establishment amendment bylaw, is to be referred to all service participants for comments.

Bylaw 2547 is the UBCO connector establishment bylaw. Both pieces of legislation were hard to follow said township administrator Lynda Shykora, a longtime veteran of bylaw procedures.

“I went through the bylaw amendments for about an hour and still had to call the regional district for an explanation,” said Shykora.

“They walked me through the process, and I wanted to make sure I had it right.”

Shykora explained that bylaw 2547 calls for the regional district’s share of the net annual cost of the UBCO connector transit service be apportioned based on ridership.

Changes to the ridership percentages would be made at a minimum every three years based on a two-week on-bus survey.

The report given to council from RDNO shows the township’s ridership percentage for the UBCO bus at 1.2 per cent.

What troubles Coun. Todd York is a section of the proposed bylaw that shows the regional district’s share of net annual costs would be based on fixed and variable fees.

If costs were up to $120,000 a year, Spallumcheen would pay 7.2 per cent of that cost.

The section also states all remaining costs shall be apportioned based on ridership with changes made based on on-bus, two-week surveys a minimum of every three years.

Spallumcheen’s percentage remains at 1.2 per cent.

“I don’t see a saving to township,” said York.

“How many riders do we have, 16? At 7.2 per cent of $120,00, we’ll pay $10,000 or $12,000 for those 16 riders on an all-community bus to get to UBCO.

“We can buy them a nice van for that and let them drive themselves back and forth,” said York.

Council did unanimously vote to support apportioned costs based on ridership percentages, and to review the percentages every three years based on a two-week, on-bus survey.