Kamloops transit: the next 20 years

The "traveling roadshow" bus had almost 200 people walk through it within the first three hours of being on display on Saturday.

Cory Hope, Arts and Entertainment Editor  Ω

A block-long display promoting alternative transportation modes within the city and beyond wrapped up the Great Green Transportation Challenge event on Saturday, Oct.1.

2nd Avenue was lined with booths from St. Paul to Seymour Streets presenting transportation options for people of all financial positions.

A decommissioned city bus had been renovated and turned into what Coleen Lepik, transportation co-ordinator with the City of Kamloops, referred to as a “traveling roadshow.”

The bus was decorated with information about the city’s plans for the next 25 years of public transportation, and there was an opportunity for people to take sticky notes and write down their own ideas about what they believe would improve the city’s transportation system.

Another board invited people to comment on what they thought of the plans that have already been made.

Lepik pointed out the importance of finding out what changes needed to be made to encourage more people to consider public transportation, or at least other options besides “always jump[ing] in the vehicle and head[ing] off.”

Gene Kozowy, a transit operator and trainer in Kamloops, greeted me with a smile as I boarded the renovated bus.

He spoke about how the most frequent requests transit receives are for increased service, especially at night.

“Folks that want to go to the movies can get there okay,” he said, “but they can’t get home.”
They also hear requests for increased service during the day, because, “Even some of the runs we make during the day, we have to leave some people behind, because we can only take so many.”

Kozowy talked about how extending the service by at least an hour on routes could make the difference between people being able to consider using the transit system to get to places like the wildlife park, for example, where the last bus leaves just after 5 p.m.

Public transportation wasn’t the only option being presented at the event.

A series of hybrid vehicles, electric scooters and the Segway — an upright scooter that you stand to use — were also on display.

A group of students from UBC were showing off a solar-powered car they have under development as well.

Many of these alternative modes of transportation have their issues. Some of the hybrid vehicles came with a $30,000 price tag.

The Segway is not legal to operate on the sidewalk, and the scooters have questionable uphill capabilities.

The point of the event was not to sell products, though.

It was to get people to think about more sustainable methods of transportation, in the hopes of reducing traffic and promoting a cleaner Kamloops for the future.