Busses in Vernon

Busses in Vernon

Postby PocoGirl » Dec 19th, 2017, 6:08 pm

https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#214431

So I’m curious. It seems whenever there’s snowfall in Vernon, it becomes commuter chaos like on the Coast. Over the 11 years, I have lived here, I’ve also wondered why we have these huge buses when there are consistently 0-8 people on any route I have seen even during high commute times. I guess a couple of observations/questions and points of view are welcome because I’m just perplexed :smt045
1. Do the big a** buses need a certain weight in passengers to operate efficiently in adverse conditions such as a few inches of snow or is it a moot question. Just curious.
2. Would busses the size of Handy-Darts fare better in the snow for the seemingly limited numbers that use transit? Of course I’m referring to the routes that don’t need a large bus, if there are any routes like this.
3. Would a mix of Handy-Dart size and big busses be better depending on the route no matter the time of year?
I guess it all comes down to the dollar but it just seems a waste to have these big busses driving around with very few passengers. Ps yes, I’ve ridden transit in bigger cities when it’s more cost effective, efficient and zero stress. In Vernon, it’d take me 1 1/2 hours by bus to do a 13 minute commute by car. I have looked into it and not really very efficient taking the bus for me. Anyway, feel free to enlighten me. Signed Curious PocoGirl

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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby dle » Dec 20th, 2017, 5:27 am

An unexpected snowfall in early November shut down several routes for most of the day and on Tuesday, Vernon Regional Transit Service announced it has temporarily suspended several routes until further notice due to severe weather conditions.

Attention BC'ers (yes this includes all snow removal personnel in BC): First of all, it's Canada. We get snow - lots of it. Yes, we get "severe" weather sometimes. Why would this be "unexpected" and by whom? Certainly it's to be expected in December! Did they just move here from say, Hawaii? November, December, January, February, March - make it easy on yourself - EXPECT SNOW AT ANY TIME IN THOSE MONTHS, the severe kind quite often, and be prepared. Also, if you are heading over the Highway Thru Hell - even expect it could happen in September & June so don't swap out the emergency kits for beach balls quite yet in those months! In town, switch into "winter" mentality the same time snow tires have to go on for the mountain passes - October 31.

Oh Canada!
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby dle » Dec 20th, 2017, 5:34 am

PocoGirl wrote:https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-214431-2-.htm#214431

So I’m curious. It seems whenever there’s snowfall in Vernon, it becomes commuter chaos like on the Coast. Over the 11 years, I have lived here, I’ve also wondered why we have these huge buses when there are consistently 0-8 people on any route I have seen even during high commute times. I guess a couple of observations/questions and points of view are welcome because I’m just perplexed :smt045
1. Do the big a** buses need a certain weight in passengers to operate efficiently in adverse conditions such as a few inches of snow or is it a moot question. Just curious.
2. Would busses the size of Handy-Darts fare better in the snow for the seemingly limited numbers that use transit? Of course I’m referring to the routes that don’t need a large bus, if there are any routes like this.
3. Would a mix of Handy-Dart size and big busses be better depending on the route no matter the time of year?
I guess it all comes down to the dollar but it just seems a waste to have these big busses driving around with very few passengers. Ps yes, I’ve ridden transit in bigger cities when it’s more cost effective, efficient and zero stress. In Vernon, it’d take me 1 1/2 hours by bus to do a 13 minute commute by car. I have looked into it and not really very efficient taking the bus for me. Anyway, feel free to enlighten me. Signed Curious PocoGirl


You are not alone. Transit questions in the Okanagan remain a mystery to most people. The Cities advocate going "green" and leaving those cars at home but they must think we are all retired and have hours to get from point A to point B, maybe stop for a glass on wine enroute. Some of us still actually have to get where we are going in a timely fashion so until someone takes the time to plan out workable routes and schedules then no, taking the bus is not an option for most people (no matter if they are the wee ones or the big (**(^ ones! :up:

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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby Dizzy1 » Dec 20th, 2017, 7:51 am

PocoGirl wrote:https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-214431-2-.htm#214431

So I’m curious. It seems whenever there’s snowfall in Vernon, it becomes commuter chaos like on the Coast. Over the 11 years, I have lived here, I’ve also wondered why we have these huge buses when there are consistently 0-8 people on any route I have seen even during high commute times. I guess a couple of observations/questions and points of view are welcome because I’m just perplexed :smt045
1. Do the big a** buses need a certain weight in passengers to operate efficiently in adverse conditions such as a few inches of snow or is it a moot question. Just curious.
2. Would busses the size of Handy-Darts fare better in the snow for the seemingly limited numbers that use transit? Of course I’m referring to the routes that don’t need a large bus, if there are any routes like this.
3. Would a mix of Handy-Dart size and big busses be better depending on the route no matter the time of year?
I guess it all comes down to the dollar but it just seems a waste to have these big busses driving around with very few passengers. Ps yes, I’ve ridden transit in bigger cities when it’s more cost effective, efficient and zero stress. In Vernon, it’d take me 1 1/2 hours by bus to do a 13 minute commute by car. I have looked into it and not really very efficient taking the bus for me. Anyway, feel free to enlighten me. Signed Curious PocoGirl

Ok, first of all 30ft buses are not “huge” buses, they’re 10 feet smaller than a standard conventional transit bus. As for your 0-8 passengers per bus comment - you see a bus for a couple of minutes here and there - you can’t get an accurate count on that. Vernon Regional Transit transported about 445 000 passengers in 2016, so that’s about 1200 passengers a day. Which is not a massive number of people, but for a city with only 11 scheduled runs that’s above average. The current buses have no real issue in the snow under normal circumstances and there is no passenger weight ratio. Keep in mind, most of the routes are on very hilly terrain which adds to the problem. Having said that, the other year was the first time the system shut down since its beginning in 1981. While there have been the odd route specific schedule disruptions in the past, due to road conditions, the buses, for the most part have not had a problem getting around - so it’s not the buses or the transit system itself that is the problem.

The HandyDart type buses don’t necessarily fare better in the snow.

As for using HandyDary type buses during slower times of the day, that would be extremely costly because you now need 2 buses to do one job. Add to that, the HandyDart type buses can only seat about 20-24 passengers and do not allow standees. Add to that any strollers, walkers, wheelchairs and at least 4 seats need to be flipped up to make room plus the time required to make sure wheelchairs are strapped in. The buses would be constantly behind schedule and would be constantly turning passengers away.
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby dle » Dec 20th, 2017, 8:07 am

Dizzy1 wrote:
PocoGirl wrote:https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-214431-2-.htm#214431

So I’m curious. It seems whenever there’s snowfall in Vernon, it becomes commuter chaos like on the Coast. Over the 11 years, I have lived here, I’ve also wondered why we have these huge buses when there are consistently 0-8 people on any route I have seen even during high commute times. I guess a couple of observations/questions and points of view are welcome because I’m just perplexed :smt045
1. Do the big a** buses need a certain weight in passengers to operate efficiently in adverse conditions such as a few inches of snow or is it a moot question. Just curious.
2. Would busses the size of Handy-Darts fare better in the snow for the seemingly limited numbers that use transit? Of course I’m referring to the routes that don’t need a large bus, if there are any routes like this.
3. Would a mix of Handy-Dart size and big busses be better depending on the route no matter the time of year?
I guess it all comes down to the dollar but it just seems a waste to have these big busses driving around with very few passengers. Ps yes, I’ve ridden transit in bigger cities when it’s more cost effective, efficient and zero stress. In Vernon, it’d take me 1 1/2 hours by bus to do a 13 minute commute by car. I have looked into it and not really very efficient taking the bus for me. Anyway, feel free to enlighten me. Signed Curious PocoGirl

Ok, first of all 30ft buses are not “huge” buses, they’re 10 feet smaller than a standard conventional transit bus. As for your 0-8 passengers per bus comment - you see a bus for a couple of minutes here and there - you can’t get an accurate count on that. Vernon Regional Transit transported about 445 000 passengers in 2016, so that’s about 1200 passengers a day. Which is not a massive number of people, but for a city with only 11 scheduled runs that’s above average. The current buses have no real issue in the snow under normal circumstances and there is no passenger weight ratio. Keep in mind, most of the routes are on very hilly terrain which adds to the problem. Having said that, the other year was the first time the system shut down since its beginning in 1981. While there have been the odd route specific schedule disruptions in the past, due to road conditions, the buses, for the most part have not had a problem getting around - so it’s not the buses or the transit system itself that is the problem.

The HandyDart type buses don’t necessarily fare better in the snow.

As for using HandyDary type buses during slower times of the day, that would be extremely costly because you now need 2 buses to do one job. Add to that, the HandyDart type buses can only seat about 20-24 passengers and do not allow standees. Add to that any strollers, walkers, wheelchairs and at least 4 seats need to be flipped up to make room plus the time required to make sure wheelchairs are strapped in. The buses would be constantly behind schedule and would be constantly turning passengers away.


Ok Dizzy1 - you sound like you have some up-close knowledge of matters to do with bus transit. You say it's not the buses or the transit system itself that is the problem. What do you feel is the problem then? Sounds like you do agree there is a problem.
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby Hassel99 » Dec 20th, 2017, 9:16 am

I was at meeting last week where the city of Vernon unveiled a completely revamped bus route system for Vernon. It should be implemented soon with more logical and reliable and hopefully to timely routes.
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby Eleven » Dec 21st, 2017, 12:56 am

Dizzy has already provided a lot of info, so I'm just going to mention a few things.

Our system is not running buses with 0-8 people inside the bus at all times. Does this happen sometimes? Certainly. Any transit system is going to have times where very few people are on the bus, and times where buses are packed. I invite you to jump on Route 3 in the afternoon, it's packed nearly everyday. It's bad enough where a larger bus is needed. In fact a few of the routes would benefit from a larger bus. Passengers are turned away quite often on Route 3. For this reason a new route servicing the north end is being introduced in the spring.

I'm not going to say our transit system is perfect, it's far from it. However our system does pretty well considering the level of service provided.

By the way, the transit system was not shut down yesterday. Modified routes were put into place to bypass problem areas until the city had a chance to plow and sand the routes. Modified routes were only in place for a few hours.

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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby Chips » Dec 21st, 2017, 7:44 am

Sure would be nice to have a route that goes from Lake Country to Vernon that gets riders there in time for a typical work start time. The earliest I could plan on getting to work is 10am which really doesn't help. I would take transit a lot more if there was better schedules and connections, especially in winter when I don't want to drive that highway.
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby dle » Dec 21st, 2017, 8:41 am

Chips wrote:Sure would be nice to have a route that goes from Lake Country to Vernon that gets riders there in time for a typical work start time. The earliest I could plan on getting to work is 10am which really doesn't help. I would take transit a lot more if there was better schedules and connections, especially in winter when I don't want to drive that highway.


Great except let's not stop in Lake Country - have work time buses from park & rides in Vernon - Kelowna with stops Lake Country, and a couple in Winfield for the highway portion. So many people making that commute nowadays. Evening one could depart at 5:30 p.m., with another one at 6:30 p.m. in case you have to run an errand before heading home. Early morning one gets to each destination at 7:30 a.m., next one at 8:30 a.m. Be worth a try to see if there was any ridership.

I would have loved to have seen the train get going again instead of dumping the tracks for a bike trail- I know the cost was prohibitive - but there are a TON of people now who commute from Vernon & areas to Kelowna, and vise versa. Trains would be super cool! I think they would be packed with people if they could make the cost work. Snooze ya lose - history is history now - gonna be a bike path....
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby dontrump » Dec 22nd, 2017, 9:02 am

Bus systems in Vernon are, have been and most likely will always be a waste of money paid by all tax payers to service but a few ; the liberal left way of doing things;; rob the haves to give to the have not's
The use of the smaller handi dart size/type vehicles of course would have been the wiser choice over all
but when lefty's get in charge of other peoples monies usually you see total inefficiency at its worst
Overall Vernons bus system is a colossal waste of money as it sits :swear:
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby Dizzy1 » Dec 22nd, 2017, 10:31 am

dle wrote:Ok Dizzy1 - you sound like you have some up-close knowledge of matters to do with bus transit. You say it's not the buses or the transit system itself that is the problem. What do you feel is the problem then? Sounds like you do agree there is a problem.

I wouldn't really say that there is a problem per se - snow falls, roads get bad - it happens. But seeing that its happened 3 times in the last couple of years vs not once in a couple of decades previous - and as someone who drives their car around locally for the last 3 decades in this area, I'd say that the quality/speed of snow removal in this area has changed over the last few years which is a big factor.
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby Dizzy1 » Dec 22nd, 2017, 10:33 am

Hassel99 wrote:I was at meeting last week where the city of Vernon unveiled a completely revamped bus route system for Vernon. It should be implemented soon with more logical and reliable and hopefully to timely routes.

This is true, I do believe they are adding a few thousand hours of service in 2018 sometime, including weekend runs to Kelowna.
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby Dizzy1 » Dec 22nd, 2017, 10:34 am

Eleven wrote:Dizzy has already provided a lot of info, so I'm just going to mention a few things.

Our system is not running buses with 0-8 people inside the bus at all times. Does this happen sometimes? Certainly. Any transit system is going to have times where very few people are on the bus, and times where buses are packed. I invite you to jump on Route 3 in the afternoon, it's packed nearly everyday. It's bad enough where a larger bus is needed. In fact a few of the routes would benefit from a larger bus. Passengers are turned away quite often on Route 3. For this reason a new route servicing the north end is being introduced in the spring.

I'm not going to say our transit system is perfect, it's far from it. However our system does pretty well considering the level of service provided.

By the way, the transit system was not shut down yesterday. Modified routes were put into place to bypass problem areas until the city had a chance to plow and sand the routes. Modified routes were only in place for a few hours.

Thanks for the correction that the routes were just modified :up:
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby whitecandle » Dec 22nd, 2017, 10:38 am

Route 90 UBCO Connector schedule effective January 3, 2018

https://bctransit.com/vernon/schedules- ... 3643851858
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Re: Busses in Vernon

Postby Dizzy1 » Dec 22nd, 2017, 11:17 am

dontrump wrote:Bus systems in Vernon are, have been and most likely will always be a waste of money paid by all tax payers to service but a few ; the liberal left way of doing things;; rob the haves to give to the have not's
The use of the smaller handi dart size/type vehicles of course would have been the wiser choice over all
but when lefty's get in charge of other peoples monies usually you see total inefficiency at its worst
Overall Vernons bus system is a colossal waste of money as it sits :swear:

Service a few? LOL!

Everyone can decide to take it or not, its up to personal choice to utilize it or not.

How exactly are the "Liberal Lefts" "robbing" the "haves" and giving to the have nots when all the "haves" are given the same choice to take transit as the "have nots"?

:laugh:

And your comment about using HandyDart style buses would be a wiser choice over all, demonstrates your lack of operational understanding on the topic. Perhaps spending a week with a HandyDart and witnessing the time consuming amount of time it takes to load/unload passengers, flipping up/down seats, strapping down mobility aids and then spend a week on a conventional run and see just how many mobility aids (strollers/walkers/wheelchairs) are brought on to buses on a daily basis and see first hand how flawed your idea is for a system that transports 1200+ people a day.
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