One of the items to come out of the city’s 2040 Transportation Master Plan (TMP), adopted by council Jan. 24, is the driving habits of Kelowna residents.
The average commute time in Kelowna is about 18 minutes, which is comparable to other Canadian cities of similar size. Driving is the most common way people in the city get around. On average, four out of five trips are made in a personal vehicle, daily, either as a driver or a passenger.
According to the TMP, the weekday morning peak is a sharp spike dominated by commuters going to work and school. The afternoon peak is more of a gradual wave, with different groups of people travelling for different reasons at overlapping times.
Just over one-third of travellers head to destinations downtown, near Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), or to the Capri-Landmark or Pandosy areas.
Travel behaviour also varies by age, with those under 25 traveling mostly in the morning peak and early afternoon around school bell times. People between 25 and 60 travel the most, likely related to commuting to work and driving children. Older adults tend to avoid peak hours, traveling more in the midday.
Public transit is most popular among young adults 15 to 24-years-old. Driving peaks in middle age and begins to decline for older adults who tend to work less and make fewer trips to pick up and drop off children.
The TMP states Kelowna will be home to another 45,000 residents by 2040, indicating traffic congestion, commute times and emissions will get worse if future residents drive as much as current residents do now.