Some Kelowna city council members had positive experiences riding the bus following a challenge by a local transit lobby group.

Councillors Luke Stack and Gord Lovegrove both expressed satisfaction with Kelowna's transit system during a council meeting yesterday, Feb. 6, after taking on Okanagan Transit Alliance's challenge for municipal politicians to ride the bus for one week. 

The transit alliance said while issuing the challenge that transit workers are underpaid and that in turn was causing service cuts due to staffing problems.

By extending this challenge to local government, the lobby group hoped that both the successes and failures of the system would become evident.

READ MORE: Transit lobby group challenges to Okanagan city councils to take the bus for one week

Stack said he took on the challenge because he wanted to get "first hand experience riding the bus."

He rode the number five bus alongside councillor Rick Webber.

Stack said the buses were clean and riders were polite.

"I know it's not always the case but our overall experience was very positive," he said. 

READ MORE: iN TRANSIT: Riders have their take on Kelowna's bus system

The councillor's experience was seemingly smooth and enjoyable, with no mention of problems or kinks in the system.

"It was emphasized to me through that experience just what a fantastic service BC Transit, in partnership with us, offers to our community and it was very educational to use the new transit app for me, which I hadn't done before," Stack said.

"So, overall a very positive experience. So, if anyone else is interested in trying transit out I would say give it a whirl because it's very enjoyable and, in our case, was a very efficient way to get to downtown and back." 

Lovegrove seconded Stack's high praise and described Kelowna's bus service as being driven by friendly drivers and thankful passengers.

Although he did note that there's room for improvement. 

"Instead of taking a parking pass at city hall I actually decided that I would rather have a bus pass, a monthly bus pass," he said. "So, I gave up my free parking at city hall so that I can get my bus pass and I ride it twelve months a year."

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