A fresh push is on to include Sicamous in the Shuswap’s BC Transit routes. (BC Transit photo)

Lack of public transit limiting access to medical care

Sicamous resident wants BC Transit option available to community

Marcia Nauss wants to see Sicamous connected to the other parts of the Shuswap by BC Transit.

Nauss, a 71-year-old lifelong Sicamous resident, noted past efforts to bring transit service to Sicamous have been unsuccessful. Now she is faced with the agonizing decision of whether or not to move to Salmon Arm in order to have easier access to medical care if she finds herself unable to drive.

“I shouldn’t have to be in that position because I’ve lived here my whole life, but I have to make the decision because there’s no transportation,” she said.

“You used to be able to take the Greyhound in to Salmon Arm if you had a doctor’s appointment.”

Read More: New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Read More: Shuswap shocked by Greyhound decision

She noted there is an Interior Health-funded health connections bus which runs between Revelstoke and either Kamloops or Kelowna, depending on the day, but it’s infrequent schedule makes it unsuitable for some people.

Nauss compared the transit situation in Sicamous to that in Nakusp, where she owns a cabin, and noted many small communities in the Kootenays are connected with BC Transit buses.

She plans to send a letter to Sicamous council requesting they take action to bring transit to the area.

A representative of BC Transit said they are willing to discuss the expansion of the transit system with any community that does not have transit and wants to look into it. They stated that in cases where neighbouring communities already have BC Transit service, expansion of the current system to connect with the new community is an option to be considered.

BC Transit funds 46.69 per cent of conventional fixed-route transit systems. The rest of the operating costs are funded by local governments through property taxes and revenue from fares.

Malcolm Makayev, the Sicamous councillor charged with the transportation portfolio, said a bus service for the area would have to be heavily subsidized in order to operate.

Read More: Electric car helps Shuswap volunteer group help others

Read More: Volunteer drivers giving Sicamous a lift

He agreed the health connections bus did not entirely meet the needs of seniors as it only runs two days a week and passengers are dropped off for appointments early in the morning and have to wait until the late afternoon to be picked up if they are only riding to Salmon Arm.

“We haven’t had any talks with BC Transit about increasing the number of routes between Revelstoke and Kelowna or Revelstoke and Kamloops,” he said.

Makayev is also the executive director of an organization called Eagle Valley Transportation which provides free rides for Sicamous-area residents in need, primarily for medical appointments. The transportation society’s volunteer drivers provide door-to-door transportation by appointment. Makayev said transportation services that operate on a schedule are bound to encounter low ridership due to the sparse population in the area.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Plaques provide historical view of Salmon Arm landmarks

City heritage plaques added to Fletcher Park, Mount Ida Cemetery and Fairgrounds

In photos: Parade kicks off Girls Only Soccer Camp World Cup fun tournament

Players split into 11 countries for music and dance-filled parade, followed by tourney

South Shuswap residents kick waste collection concept to the curb

Area C residents prefer existing depot system, suggest more enforcement

Province attempting to ease concerns over caribou management

CSRD receives letter promising more consultation while chambers of commerce meet with minister

High-flying ‘Canadian Sasquatch’ spotted in Salmon Arm

Bruce Jones enjoys showing champion belt while volunteering at community events

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry supply

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Donkeys await your hugs and scritches at anniversary event

Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge invites public to help celebrate 20 years of care.

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pled guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Development gives Kelowna community garden the boot

Glen Valley residents given a few days to break it down before land development

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Most Read