New charging station part of South Shuswap Transportation Society roadmap

New charging station part of South Shuswap Transportation Society roadmap

Director’s Notes by CSRD Electoral Area E Director Paul Demenok

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Shuswap Transportation Society (SSTS) has continued efforts to deliver a new door-to-door transportation service for residents of the South Shuswap.

We are pleased to report that by time this article goes to press, we expect to have in place the first and only electric vehicle charging station in the South Shuswap installed at the Tirecraft facility in Sorrento.

The charging station was funded under a Community Works Fund grant through the CSRD, and will be available to all electric vehicles for a small charge to cover electricity costs.

In addition to obtaining funding for the charging station, the SSTS was successful in obtaining grants to partially fund the purchase of an electric vehicle. We have taken delivery of a 2020 Chevy Bolt and will now start implementing our pre-operational plans. Going forward, the short-term plans of the SSTS are to:

• Outfit the vehicle with sponsors’ logos to highlight their financial support;

• Recruit volunteers to act as drivers and dispatchers for this service;

• Finalize all relevant policies and procedures in regards to operations, including a COVID-19 driver and passenger safety procedure;

• Conduct mandatory driver safety training for all volunteer drivers;

• Initiate a marketing program to inform residents about this service, our safety precautions and operations, and to enable bookings for riders.

Given these plans, it will be several months before the SSTS is up and operational as a service, so please watch for future announcements.

In the interim, the current COVID-19 pandemic requires implementation of a safe operational plan. We are currently finalizing the details of this so that drivers and passengers can be confident in using this service.

READ MORE: Column: Good progress with South Shuswap housing, transportation non-profits

READ MORE: Column: Volunteer groups step up for transportation and housing

This transportation service is planned to operate during weekdays and business hours only. It will require riders to book 24-48 hours in advance over the phone on a first-come, first-served basis. All riders are encouraged to become SSTS members for a small fee. The service will preferentially provide local trips within the South Shuswap, in order to support local businesses, as well as travel to Salmon Arm for shopping and appointments. Medical appointments in Kamloops and Vernon will also be possible, with sufficient notice and availability.

While this service will be operated by volunteers, there are operational costs to cover on an ongoing basis, including driver safety training, insurance, car payments, recharging, marketing communications and overheads. Riders will be asked to provide donations to help cover these costs according to a suggested donation policy; however, in hardship cases, we will not be turning any riders away.

A key part of this program will be participation of volunteer drivers. A call for volunteer drivers will occur in the near future. If you are interested, however, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email at pdemenok@csrd.bc.ca. I would be very pleased to answer your questions in the interim. Please note that passing the driver safety training program is required for all drivers. The professional driving instructor tells me this program will significantly improve your driving skills, your safety as a driver, and will markedly reduce your gasoline consumption, so there will be a number of benefits for volunteers while providing this service to your community.

We believe that this new transportation service will be a significant benefit for the South Shuswap community. Individuals who cannot drive, who do not have a driver’s license or who cannot afford a vehicle will have their independence restored. Seniors and those with disabilities can stay in this community for longer. Unemployed people can participate in job training and employment programs. And people in the South Shuswap needing a ride for whatever reason can get one – finally!

-Paul Demenok is the Area C Director for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An air ambulance carrying a suspected injured longboarder takes off from a Spallumcheen property near Otter Lake Road Saturday, April 17. (Richard Breaks photo)
Suspected longboard crash in Spallumcheen sends individual to hospital via air ambulance

Accident involved a North Okanagan man in his late 20s on Otter Lake Road in the township

Vernon Vipers forward Ryan Shostak (centre) fends off a check from Salmon Arm defenceman to get a close-in scoring attempt on Silverbacks goalie Owen Say during Vernon’s 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play shootout victory Saturday, April 17, at Kal Tire Place. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers photography)
Vernon Vipers use shootout to subdue Salmon Arm

Snakes score 3-2 B.C. Hockey League pod play win at Kal Tire Place

A GoFundMe page has been launched for a Vernon man whose BX orchard property home off Pleasant Valley Road near Stickle Road was totally destroyed in a fire Saturday, April 17. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Fundraising campaign launched for Vernon man who lost home to fire

A GoFundMe page has been started by family; man taken to hospital with injuries from fire

Armaan Dhaliwal hands a cheque for $500 to Shuswap Hospital Foundation president Angie Spencer as his proud grandparents Gordie and Nancy Dhaliwal watch on Friday, April 16. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm boy’s samosa sales benefit hospital foundation

Armaan Dhaliwal was able to give the Shuswap Hospital Foundation a $500 donation

School District 83 trustees are expected to be discussing the current Long Range Facilities Plan options at the April 20 school board meeting. (File photo)
Letter: Let the people have their say on Salmon Arm school options

Parent encourages School District 83 board to hold off on making a decision

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A North Okanagan man in his late 20s was flown to hospital by air ambulance Saturday, April 17, shortly after 6:30 p.m. after allegedly crashing on his longboard on a Spallumcheen roadway. (File photo)
Suspected longboard crash in Okanagan sends individual to hospital via air ambulance

Accident involved a North Okanagan man in his late 20s on Otter Lake Road in Spallumcheen

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)
Kelowna Pride, RCMP continue to work on ‘Safe Place Program’

A new committee has been formed to refine the ‘Safe Place Program’ created by the Kelowna RCMP

Coldstream Fire Department crews stationed at Kal Lake Provincial Park parking lot on Cosens Bay Road on Sunday, April 18, after a car went over a cliff in the area. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Driver escapes after car goes over North Okanagan cliff

The driver has been transported to hospital with unspecified injuries

A strange odour at a West Kelowna apartment building prompted the evacuation of 150 residents on Sunday morning, April 18. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Strange smell at West Kelowna apartment prompts evacuation of 150 residents, pets

150 residents ordered evacuated from a West Kelowna apartment building early Sunday morning

This is what’s left of a truck that caught fire at Pyramid Provincial Park off Highway 97 near Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Photo Gallery: Truck gutted by fire at popular Okanagan park, trees saved

Just a metal shell of what once was a pick up truck is left at the scene

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Most Read