The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is planning to implement transit service in the West Bench area in September, 2021. (Black Press file photo)

Regional district to bring transit service to West Bench in 2021

Residents of area near Penticton will be consulted before plans are finalized

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is planning to have transit service in Electoral Area F in September 2021.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, B.C. Transit is deferring all transit system expansions throughout the province until next year.

READ ALSO: Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

READ ALSO: BC Transit installing protective driver doors in South Okanagan

Taxes collected in 2020 for the operation of the new Greater West Bench transit service will go toward improving bus stop infrastructure such as benches and schedule holders.

The work is expected to begin during the summer of 2021. Funds will also support any future expansion of service hours.

In May, the regional district conducted an online survey to gather feedback on transit service options for Greater West Bench.

“The survey results will help determine scheduling and routing options,” Riley Gettens, director for Electoral Area F. “This will ensure the RDOS and B.C. Transit can provide the highest level of service to the community.”

Beginning in 2021, the regional district, in partnership with B.C. Transit, will develop routing options based on data collected from prior surveys. Options for the new service will be presented to residents for further consultation before service plans are finalized.

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