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All aboard the South Okanagan Express

South Okangan shuttle is planned to start running this summer.
March 07, 2014 - 3:17 PM

PENTICTON -- Brightly coloured buses will hit the highway this summer when the South Okanagan Express transportation service begins.

Over the last several months, the South Okanagan Ground Transportation Authority Committee has been creating a plan for shuttle service between Kelowna and Osoyoos, with stops at the Penticton and Kelowna airports.

Stops will also be made in West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos. The shuttle will service 100,000 people in the South Okanagan area.

It’s a “use it or lose it” service, said Robert Linttell, the committee’s acting chair. The public needs to use it if they want it to stick around.

Two shuttles will depart from Osoyoos and Kelowna each morning, totalling eight round trips a day. Fares will vary depending on distance travelled. A cost of $30 to $40 has been discussed for a full distance trip. Linttell said, there will be discounts for round trips and occasional promotions available.

The committee is currently accepting bids from transportation companies that can provide services, buses and drivers. The committee is reaching out to the included cities for funding -- as much as is appropriate for their size. The start-up money will be given to the successful applicant after a contract has been signed. The funding model is meant to be a cushion and won’t be an annual expense, said Linttell.

Linttell said, there are already some promising applicants after the first week of submissions. If all continues to stay on track, the shuttle should be ready to launch June 2, 2014.

The service is designed to be for the South Okanagan interior communities, and also provide transportation to the Penticton and Kelowna airports.

To contact the reporter for this story, e-mail Meaghan Archer at, or call 250-488-3065.

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