Mayor Basran says that transit to less-populated areas is likely never to improve.
On November 12 at the Junior Chamber International Kelowna luncheon, many young professionals, including several UBC Okanagan students, were provided the opportunity to ask Mayor Colin Basran about his plans for the future of Kelowna.
A notable issue that was highlighted during the luncheon was about transit, or lack thereof. Romil Jain, the UBCO Student Union president, stated that UBCO students who choose more affordable housing farther from the university, instead of the costly housing apartments near the university, are limited by the lack of transit options available in those areas. Jain was interested in knowing what the city intended to do about this issue.
Mayor Basran was not one to give a vague answer as he responded that this issue will likely never be resolved. He explained that some neighbourhoods have a smaller population density. Therefore, he cannot justify spending money to run a bus for only a few students.
“We’re going to have neighbourhoods where the population density doesn’t justify spending the money to run a partially full or even empty bus for a few students,” stated Mayor Basran.
However, he continued to say that he can justify investing in transit for areas like UBCO or near the airport to improve connectivity between these more urban centres. The other less-populated areas are out of luck.
Transit was clearly one of the main concerns of the many young professionals present. Students are plagued with the choice of deciding between affordable housing or having intercity connectivity. Having access to different areas of Kelowna is crucial for a university student, therefore having a good transit system in place is necessary.