Vernon Transit enjoys stellar year

Ridership up over tier average, says BC Transit representative

People in Vernon are hopping on the buses.

Vernon council was given data by BC Transit senior manager of government relations Chris Fudge Monday morning that shows transit ridership in Greater Vernon is doing well.

“Ridership shows a very positive trend line in terms of performance,” said Fudge, who said in the 2018-19 data year there was a 7.6 per cent increase in ridership over the previous year with more than 500,000 rides in the fixed routes and conventional sides. The tier average in similar sized systems in the province is 414,000, so Vernon is well above that average.

It’s also up on the provincial increase of six per cent ridership growth.

See: BC Transit incorporates North Okanagan changes

In April 2018, 7,000 additional service hours were added to Vernon Transit and a new high frequency route – Route 9, North End – was introduced which has proven very popular with bus riders. It has the third-highest rider frequency in the Vernon system.

Also helping the numbers were extended service hours on select routes, adding two new buses to the fleet and simplifying the fare structure.

Fudge said some recommended changes to Route 7 Okanagan Landing and Route 8 Bella Vista Road did not move forward due to mixed reaction from the public.

“We are continuing to gather data on the performance of those routes and we will looked at making revised recommendations in the near future,” he said.

Revenue generated in Vernon in 2018-19 increased by $100,000, which is $15,000 higher than BC Transit’s budget estimate, and the revenue helps offset the local share of costs.

The UBCO Connector service, provided through the Regional District of North Okanagan, and which allows North Okanagan students and work commuters the chance to take the bus, continues to be a great success story.

See: Vernon Transit to see new routes, fares, buses

Fudge said last year 123,000 people were serviced by the route, up 25 per cent in ridership from the previous year.

“We are now looking at expansion options for that route,” said Fudge, including kicking about the ideas of adding Sunday service, removing seasonal service reduction and increasing Saturday service.

A recent delegation to Vernon council asked that the city push for electric buses, and Fudge said his company has lots of interest in terms of electric bus service, and that more information will be coming from BC Transit shortly.

“We are looking at the pathway to electrification,” he said. “It starts with research and trials, then looking at smaller fleet deployment and then full transition down the road. These are all things we’re looking at in terms of our future strategy.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon-based company nominated for B.C. small business award

Summit Tiny Homes is one of five finalists for the small business award

Rain in the forecast for Vernon over the next few days

According to Environment Canada, there is a 40 per cent chance of flurries or rain showers today

Hudson’s Bay spotlights old Vernon store

Old downtown department store remembered fondly

Vernon’s history in pictures

Chinatown destroyed by blaze

Writer helps Vernon residents pen their memoirs

Free workshop at Caetani Cultural Centre with Janelle Hardy

Behind the scenes: The ‘unsung heroes’ of the South Okanagan Events Centre

Large numbers of local workers benefit from the big productions that come to Penticton each year.

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Summerland’s proposed budget requires $16,382,355

2020 budget is nearly half a million higher than the 2019 municipal budget of $15,905,410

UBC Okanagan art students to improve the environment one project at a time

The Ecosine Art Group uses non-purchased, recyclable mediums for 50 per cent of their art

Disability proves no barrier for 12-year-old Kelowna sit skier

Samuel is a 12-year-old double leg amputee who independently sit-skis

West Kelowna man charged with attempted murder of 79-year-old mother back in court

Kevin Lee Barrett was charged in April 2019 after allegedly beating his mother, leaving her stranded

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Highway 1 closed near Golden

DriveBC estimates the road to reopen at 1 p.m.

Most Read