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VIDEO: The future of transportation in the Central Okanagan

Work is underway on the first ever Regional Transporation Plan for the Central Okanagan and there's a chance for you to have a say. Mariah Van Zerr from the City of Kelowna stopped-by KelownaNow to fill us in.

Never before has the City of Kelowna partnered with neighbouring communities for a plan like this. And with a mandate to look 20 years into the future, it raises some exciting possibilities.

"What we want to hear from people, is what matters to them," said Van Zerr. "What kind of transportation do they want to see in the future in the region. How can we make it easier and more accessible for them to connect to regional destinations?"

Planners hope to engage with members of the public to help form a plan that reflects their interests.

Van Zerr said things are changing fast. "The future of transportation is likely to look very different than it is today," she said. "We see things like shared mobility options coming online. that's things like bike share car share. We see things like more electric and autonomous vehicles."

As for light rail transit, Van Zerr isn't entirely dismissive.

<who> Photo Courtesy: Gord Lovegrove

"We've definitely got that idea on our horizon. It's definitely something that we're taking a look at."

But she said we probably have some growing to do before it becomes a reality.

"Most likely with something as expensive as light rail transit you're likely to need the ridership and the population density."

She said that it's likely in 20 years that our personal smartphones will be more important to how we get around than our personal vehicles. Van Zerr said people will enjoy combining public transit with ride sharing, bike sharing and other modes to fit their needs in the moment. "That ability to mix and match your travel modes on the fly."

The public meeting is a half-day event April 24th at the UBCO campus. For more information go to SmartTRIPS.ca .



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