Highway 97 near Bennett Bridge could be expanded to include bus lanes | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Highway 97 near Bennett Bridge could be expanded to include bus lanes

A concept design to add bus lanes to Highway 97 will be presented to West Kelowna council next week.
Image Credit: City of West Kelowna

Shoulders along West Kelowna’s side of the W.R. Bennett Bridge could be extended for buses, according to a report going to city council.

“Traffic congestion continues to grow at the William R. Bennett Bridge crossing into downtown Kelowna, and in West Kelowna,” according to the staff report that will be presented to council Aug. 23.

To improve bus service and speed, the shoulders of Highway 97 could be expanded into bus lanes, according to city staff.

READ MORE: Bennett bridge far ahead of capacity, way behind in planning for second crossing

“Such a measure could grow the number of transit trips on Route 97 from West Kelowna to Kelowna and reduce traffic congestion in the region by enabling both local and interregional routes to use the bus lanes.”

Transit queue jump lanes could also be considered at congestion pinch points on bus routes in the community, according to staff.

Construction, subject to provincial funding, could be started as early as two years after the initial concept design, according to city staff.

A digital on-demand transit system is also something being reviewed. Rather than follow designated routes, bus drivers could alter their routes and schedules based on demand.

B.C. Transit will consult councillors in 2023 for a review of the transit system.

READ MORE: Why the Okanagan Lake bridge has to float

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