KELOWNA – Local UBC Okanagan students may have already outgrown their new Quail Ridge bus line.
Just introduced last year the Route 13 community bus services a burdgeoning student community nestled in the Quail Ridge area. But with a schedule confined to select morning and evening hours, the 20-seat shuttle is leaving some students in the dust.
David Lacho, a 25-year-old anthropology major, says he counted roughly 25 students lined up at the stop near Via Centrale Road. With a no-standing policy, the bus doors closed on the last five commuters.
“They started scrambling, running down the path to get to school,” he says.
It's got him waking extra early to make it to the stop by 7 a.m.
“I plan around the fact that I may be not getting on the bus,” he says, otherwise “I would miss class.”
Fellow UBCO student Chris Armstrong also knows to beat the rush.
“There's a limited amount of seats so it's first come first serve,” he says. “People usually get turned away from the bus every day.”
Students living near Country Club Drive have waited patiently to get transit service to and from their neighbourhood.
“It's good that we have the bus - it's been a long time coming,” Lacho says.
Over the last four years that area of Quail Ridge has transformed from a retirement community to a hub for 20-somethings working on their college degrees. It offers more affordable apartment rentals than downtown Kelowna, Lacho says.
Part of the rationale for the bus line is to give students a safe ride home after class, sparing them from walking an unlit path to campus known to ice over in the winter.
Unfortunately the new shuttle runs on a strict schedule.
“It stops way too early,” Lacho says, leaving him no time for a grocery run after class. “It's kind of a silly system.”
One solution to solve student bus woes?
“Up the bus size,” Lacho says, “or make a schedule that works around student life.”
That's what he's pitched to B.C. Transit and says they're keen to hear him out.
If you have an experience to share visit the City of Kelowna website to give feedback or make an inquiry.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at email@example.com or call (250)718-0428.
Image Credit: BC Transit