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Salmon Arm council asked to get on board with BC Transit Challenge

Jan. 29 to Feb. 4 event to help learn ‘what’s working well and what could be improved’
The BC Transit Week Challenge runs Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2024. (File photo)

A public transit-oriented organization is hoping to see elected officials in Salmon Arm and other Okanagan Shuswap communities get on board this week with an initiative to boost awareness around the ins and outs of riding the bus.

Recently, the Okanagan Transit Alliance (OTA), and supporting organizations, invited municipal councillors to take part in its BC Transit Week Challenge, which runs from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4.

Salmon Arm council’s invite was received at its Jan. 22 meeting via a letter from Shuswap Climate Action Society (SCAS) chair Julia Beatty. In the letter, Beatty explains SCAS was invited by OTA to participate in and support the event.

“Therefore, we are asking the public and particularly city councillors to also support the event and register with the challenge,” said Beatty, referring to the sign-up option at “We would like to see as many in the community as possible take the bus for just one week…”

The main goal of the transit challenge, said Beatty, is to gather feedback from participants “to learn and reflect on what’s working well and what could be improved.

“Participants will have an opportunity to interact with other riders in the city, become more familiar with our transit system and share their experiences,” said Beatty. “We understand that folks may not be able to rely on transit 100 per cent, or use transit at all, and that’s okay. We wish to hear from everyone interested in improving transit within and between communities in the Shuswap.”

Mayor Alan Harrison said he couldn’t commit, but he knew how to register and would do his best.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond did commit to registering. Having been a transit user for some time, Wallace Richmond said she’s received comments “that our transit isn’t sufficient, and why isn’t our transit better?”

“My first question is always, ‘Have you taken the bus?’ And the answer is normally ‘no’,” said Wallace Richmond. “So I do not want to hear, I’m sorry to say, from people who are unsatisfied with the transit services who have not had the opportunity or the pleasure to benefit from it.”

Wallace Richmond urged people to give their local transit system a try: “You won’t regret it and it’s totally worth it for $1.50.”

The Shuswap Regional Transit System offers eight routes that, in addition to covering Salmon Arm and Canoe, also extend to Sorrento, Enderby, Pierre’s Point and Eagle Bay. A handyDART service is also available. For more information, visit

One point stressed by Wallace Richmond: “Always thank your bus driver.”

Read more: Metro Vancouver mayors say they want federal billions to grow transit

Read more: Directors support new transit agreement for Shuswap electoral areas

Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market, and Eagle Valley News. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to keep our readers informed and engaged.
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