With a population of nearly 200,000 people, Kelowna had to develop a dependable public transportation system to support local commutes. They created the Kelowna Regional Transit System in response and established routes all across the cityscape.
As they developed their routes, they were the first to put double-decker buses and hybrid-powered buses in their fleets. Although they have since transferred those iconic buses to Victoria, they still go above and beyond in providing their community with reliable transportation every day of the week. To discover what they provide residents, here's a look at public transportation in Kelowna.
Regular Bus Routes
Across Kelowna, residents have their choice of 28 bus routes on the regular schedule. Most of the routes run every 30 minutes and pick up from early morning until late in the evening. Riders typically arrive at their destinations in 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the overall distance between the stops. When traveling across the city, riders only need to transfer to a different bus line once at most.
Covered bus stops are arranged across the city, giving people a place to await the next bus on the schedule. They can check their route and plan their transfers using the map installed on the bus shelter while they wait.
When riding public transportation, residents can select between single and multi-zone passes. The multi-zone pass is only 25 cents more than the single zone, making it a great value for those traveling far across the city. They also have the option to sign up for an all-day pass. Residents may be able to acquire discount passes through their work and school, if the organization is signed up for the applicable programs.
Bus Rapid Transit
Residents of Kelowna can also take the Bus Rapid Transit system, or RapidBus, to select destinations. This ultra-quick bus system travels between downtown Kelowna, Westbank Centre, and the UBC Okanagan Exchange.
Since it receives priority from traffic signals and hops on all available HOV lanes, this bus makes quick work of all trips. To provide this quick service, it also has limited stops, only arriving at a few stations along the way.
The bus stations used for these routes are also streamlined for quick stops and starts. The loading platforms are aligned at the same height as the floors of the bus, allowing everyone to load and unload with ease. Even wheelchair users can get on and off without having to ask for a ramp to be deployed.
Many bus shelters on these lines are equipped with heaters and additional protection from the elements. They are also upgraded with digital maps that show all the routes and any changes on the schedule in real time.
People with disabilities have the option to sign up for the dial-a-ride service offered through the Kelowna Regional Transit System. Also referred to as HandyDART, this Kelowna bus line operates on a door-to-door system, providing people with rides to and from their destinations. This service runs through the daytime hours, Monday through Saturday, but there is no transportation on Sundays.
Residents must register for free before calling for service and pay a single-zone fare for each ride. They can also sign up for a monthly pass if needed.
With so many public transportation options available, getting around Kelowna is relatively quick and easy. Residents can expect further improvements in the coming years as city developers work on expanding the local transportation network.