August 11, 2018 3:37 pm
Updated: August 15, 2018 9:04 pm

Taxpayer-funded bus route being considered by Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

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With Greyhound slated to close all but one of its Western Canada routes, the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is seriously considering a taxpayer-funded Penticton-to-Kelowna route.

According to the RDOS, the route is identified as a top priority in the district’s Transit Future Plan. The RDOS board says it wishes to seek “electoral approval to establish a service for the purpose of providing a public passenger transportation system as a community transit service within the boundaries in the RDOS.”

The regional district is eyeing two round trips per day on weekdays, with a projected maximum annual cost of $250,000 per year. The regional district said that “the average cost per household will be a few dollars or the price of a cup of coffee.”

READ MORE: Amid Greyhound service cuts, majority backs government-run rural bus service: poll

The RDOS will be hosting three public information sessions regarding the route. They will take place:

Notably, in announcing this concept, it appears the RDOS will be using the alternate approval process — a process that has been panned as being undemocratic. The alternate approval process forces residents to say no instead of having a public yes-or-no vote, which would show how much support any given tax-supported initiative would or would not receive.

READ MORE: Premiers agree Greyhound western pullout needs national response: Notley

A fact sheet created by the RDOS said:

Registering your support: If you support the adoption of the bylaw, no action is required.

Registering your objection: If you object to the adoption of the bylaw, sign an elector response form and submit (with original signature) to the RDOS office before the deadline of August 31, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. If 10 per cent of the of the qualified electors (6,516) object to the adoption of the bylaw, the RDOS board of directors cannot adopt the bylaw without going to referendum.

The provincial government has on its website a page dedicated to the alternative approval process. It can be found here.

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