The Regional District of Okanagan- Similkameen continues to lobby higher levels of government to provide assistance for some form of public transit for the region, a service that has been seen as a much needed one for several years in the two valleys.
There seems to have been little discussion so far as to what the service might consist of, what it will cost and how it will operate.
For ideas, perhaps regional district, federal and provincial transportation authorities should look to the south for a possible public transit solution for the South Okanagan – Similkameen – to a long established system of public transit that works well in Mexico.
Down there, a system of public vans, known as the “colectivo” is a form of transportation that is generally geared towards moving the population up and down the the tourist regions of the Yucatan Peninsula – and beyond. Quite often the colectivo is a mini-van.
The cost is very reasonable – about three dollars per ride- and the rate is fixed so if you only go one km you still pay the full fee.
You can catch a colectivo anywhere on Hwy 307 from Cancun to Tulum.
The system might be something that could be ideally adapted to the needs of this region. Using 12 to 15 passenger minivans would certainly make the system more affordable, as would the system’s simplicity – basically just running down Highway 97, 3A and 3, it could connect provide a basic, much needed service that would tie all the communities of the two valleys together, a service that would benefit locals, transient labour, and tourists alike – much like it does in Mexico.