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South Okanagan shuttle service ready to start picking up passengers soon for connection to Kelowna International Airport
Better late than never.
That’s the motto for supporters of the new South Okanagan shuttle service that will officially begin transporting people from Kelowna International Airport to Osoyoos – and all points in between – the second week of August.
Proponents of the shuttle service have been involved in contract negotiations with a service provider for several weeks and a deal has been signed with full service scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 11, said Robert Linttell, transportation chair with the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce (SOCC).
The SOCC has led the charge to establish a regular shuttle service in the South Okanagan for more than a year.
While there has been a delay in establishing the service – the tentative date of June 1 could not be reached – all proponents are thrilled a deal has been completed and the service will begin very soon, said Linttell.
“It has been a large undertaking with a lot of work put in by many supporters, but the plan has always been to make sure we came up with a service that could be successful and we feel we have that in place,” said Linttell.
All stakeholders involved in putting together the South Okanagan shuttle service will gather at Nk’Mip Cellars Winery in Osoyoos on Friday, Aug. 8 to officially reveal all of the details relating to the service, said Linttell.
“Mayors and councillors from all of the municipalities from across the South Okanagan, management from Kelowna International Airport, tourism service providers and numerous other dignitaries have been sent notices to join us for what we believe will be an announcement that will provide a significant economic boost to businesses across the region,” said Linttell.
The shuttle service will provide daily bus transportation to and from Kelowna International Airport in the north all the way south to Osoyoos.
The shuttle buses will pick up and drop off passengers in every community between Kelowna and Osoyoos, including Oliver, Okanagan Falls, Penticton, Summerland, Peachland and West Kelowna.
The original concept called for four shuttle buses to operate daily during peak tourist season and on a reduced schedule between October and early May.
Route details and pricing are expected to be unveiled during the announcement on August 8.
Linttell said it has taken a lot of effort from numerous stakeholders to bring this shuttle service from a concept to reality.
“It has taken a lot of work, but we feel this is a service that will provide great benefit to business owners and communities across the South Okanagan,” he said.