New UBC Okanagan Transit Exchange improves the customer experience
Kelowna – The Kelowna transit exchange project at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Okanagan campus is now welcoming customers and transit buses.
The UBC Okanagan exchange includes six new bus bays, one drop-off area and four bus layover stations, as well as transit shelters, transit lanes on Alumni Avenue and Transit Way, and bicycle storage lockers. Transit Way was created as part of the project.
“The Government of Canada is proud to support projects geared towards meeting increasing transit needs across the country,” said Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna–Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “With demand growing steadily in Kelowna, and especially on the UBC Okanagan campus, we are very pleased to see this project reach completion. This new addition to the campus will support better daily transit services for students while promoting community development and economic growth for the region.”
Construction for the project began in the summer of 2017. The project cost almost $5 million.
“Expanding transit capacity at UBC Okanagan will immediately benefit students, staff and all those visiting the university’s campus,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Continuing to invest in public transit in order to improve access to services and help make life more affordable is a key priority for our government. This project is a great example of how solid transit service plays an important part in building brighter futures for British Columbians.”
The new transit exchange will be able to better support transit services at UBC Okanagan currently and in the future, and integrates into the Kelowna RapidBus project that was completed in 2014. The Kelowna Regional Transit System has 28 routes and welcomes over 4.9 million passengers annually.
“Kelowna’s transit system continues to grow and develop in order to meet the needs of current and future transit customers, and this new exchange will better support the system,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer. “UBC Okanagan continues to be an important hub to connect people and communities in Kelowna.”
The new transit exchange project is the result of a partnership between the Government of Canada, Province of B.C., UBC Okanagan and the local government partners in the Kelowna Regional Transit System. The new facility is part of the almost $160 million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects that was announced in June 2016. The land for the project was provided by UBC Okanagan. Information about the joint federal-provincial Public Transit Infrastructure Fund is available at http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/ptif-fitc-eng.php.
"As Kelowna grows, so does demand for sustainable transportation options,” said City of Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “With these expansions at UBC Okanagan, we are taking proactive steps towards boosting the capacity of our transit system, getting people out of their automobiles and lessening our carbon footprint.”
“A significant portion of the UBC Okanagan community takes transit to campus, particularly students, many of whom rely on the regional transit system,” said Robert Einarson, Associate Vice-President, Finance and Operations at UBC Okanagan. “This important investment enhances greener transportation options for the campus community and provides students more reliable transit service that complements their world-class education experience at UBC Okanagan.”
Provincial, federal and local funding for Kelowna also means the addition of improved technology, including:
- Real Time capability that will utilize automatic vehicle locators, allowing passengers to know exactly when their bus will arrive.
- Closed-circuit TV (CCTV) to improve the safety of passengers and drivers.
- Automatic passenger counters, which will enable BC Transit to optimize service delivery based on informed data.
*Regional partners include: City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, Westbank First Nation, District of Peachland and the Regional District of Central Okanagan.