Bus riders deserve better

In my opinion the politicians responsible for providing regional transit services in our area have dropped the ball

In my opinion the politicians responsible for providing regional transit services in our area have dropped the ball. The No. 90 North Okanagan Connector between Vernon and UBC is regularly over capacity on at least two of its runs – the 7 a.m. out of Vernon and the 4 p.m. from the UBC campus back to Vernon. Often the 8 a.m. bus is also full to overflowing.

These crowded conditions also existed last year during the academic year.

On Sept. 15, after operating the service for seven days with what was apparently an unsafe number of passengers, the authorities decided it was time to take action.  At the Okanagan College stop two transit workers got off the bus and informed a half-dozen people it was unsafe to board due to overcrowding.

I assume the issue is overall weight since there was sufficient room to accommodate everyone. They were told they would have to wait an hour for the 8 o’clock bus.

On the trip to UBC our driver was not permitted to pick up additional passengers. One lucky woman was allowed to board in Oyama because someone got off the stop before her.

A man in Winfield wasn’t so fortunate but at least Lake Country has a bus that serves the area.

On Sept. 16 a young boy was left at a bus stop by the side of the highway just past Oyama because the 7 a.m. bus was “at capacity.”

He weighs all of 30 kilograms and I doubt that letting him board the bus would have put any of us in peril.

Unless the people in charge have been asleep for a year they should have seen this problem coming.

With the overcrowding on bus runs last academic year, the increase in enrolment at both UBC and Okanagan College and what appears to be a general uptake in ridership it should have been a top priority to make appropriate scheduling changes and commit additional resources to this route before the start of this academic year.

Authorities had an entire year to come up with a solution. Are they suggesting the best they can do is to leave passengers stranded at the bus stop?

And while I’m at it we could use more bike racks around the district.

Linda Conrad

Vernon