A B.C. Transit feasibility study into a potential system for the Sicamous area may need to be expanded to include Enderby and Vernon.
A community open house was held recently and the feedback was surprising, at least to Carolyn Black, the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District’s deputy manager of corporate administration services.
Black says the thinking behind the feasibility study was that it would explore a connection between the Sicamous area and Salmon Arm. But what she learned at the meeting was that residents are more interested in going elsewhere.
“There were people interested in Salmon Arm, but there seemed to be, at least from those in attendance, more interest in travel between Sicamous and Vernon, linking up with the North Okanagan’s transit system that does an Enderby to Vernon run on a regular basis,” she said.
Janet McLean Senft, with the Eagle Valley Resource Centre, says a diverse transit system would help patients having to travel to larger urban centres for medical needs that can’t be met locally.
“We already have the health connections bus that does two days a week,” she said.
“It goes as far down as Kelowna one day a week and as far down as Kamloops on the next. The amount of money that Interior Health is putting out for those two days of service, to me, would be better off rolled into a transit link that would give people, anybody, the opportunity, to go to those communities.”
McLean Senft says students could also benefit from such a transit system, needing only to get to Enderby to catch the bus to Vernon or Kelowna.
Black says there are no dollar figures being considered at this time, and the goal for now is acquiring feedback.
“It’s information gathering and it’s interesting to note many of the residents were looking for transit to other areas,” said Black.
“So those things will be considered, and B.C. Transit knows what they’re doing. So they’ll take a look at options and let us know what options are available and the associated costs.”