UBCO bus ex­change re­vamped for growth

Con­fig­u­ra­tion of new ex­change al­lows for more bus stops

The Daily Courier - - CITY - By AN­DREA PEA­COCK

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.

GARY NY­LAN­DER/ The Daily Courier

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.

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