UBCO bus exchange revamped for growth
Configuration of new exchange allows for more bus stops
Taking the bus to and from UBC Okanagan is expected to be a smoother experience from now on following the opening of the new transit exchange.
“The primary reason of course is growth in ridership, and that’s caused by growth in ridership in the system overall and growth in the university population itself,” said Jerry Dombowsky, transit and programs manager for the City of Kelowna.
The new bus exchange loops around a parking lot, replacing the former exchange in which buses travelled in a straight line.
There are now four stops where riders can board one of the seven bus routes that come to and from the university, along with several other stops designated for disembarking the buses to avoid congestion.
Two of the main routes, 97 express and No. 8, have their own designated stops where riders can board those buses.
“This will be a much better system,” said Dombowsky. “It will be less confusing.”
During peak times, 25 buses move through the exchange per hour, and that number is expected to grow to 40 buses per hour in the future, said Dombowsky.
“This new exchange will help us prepare for the future because we know the campus is growing,” he said. “We know transportation is a significant expense for students, and if we can provide a viable transportation option via transit . . . then we’re helping make education more affordable and more accessible.”
The transit exchange was built with money from the federal and provincial governments, UBC and the City of Kelowna.
It was in operation on Sept. 3, and the grand opening is at 11 a.m. today.
Students board the No. 8 bus Thursday at UBC Okanagan’s new transit exchange. The new bus exchange loops around a parking lot, replacing the former exchange in which buses travelled in a straight line.