A petition is circulating online to keep transit public in the Central Okanagan.
The Kelowna Regional Transit System contract between Swedish company First Transit and BC Transit expires March 31, and BC Transit has to decide to renew the contract or hand it over to another private company.
Fridays for Future Kelowna - a youth-led climate action group - wants something different, a public model of transit being managed by a regional team of city councillors, transit workers, and citizens.
The petition on Change.org reads:
We’re asking for transit in the Okanagan to be managed by local decision makers. It would be more accountable, better funded, and keep the funds right here in our community. We don’t need private companies, who only want higher profits, managing an essential public service. Our local transit network supports tourism, schools, shopping, and daily life in our region.
Several organizations have signed in support to keep the public in public transit, including the B.C. General Employees’ Union, Climate Action Now, Kelowna Area Cycling Coalition, and the Okanagan Climate Hub.
The petition was posted online about three weeks ago and as of March 5, has just under 200 signatures.