The Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) is pleased to announce the release of the BC Southern Interior Regional Ground Transportation Study final report.
ETSI-BC engaged WATT Consulting Group to carry out the study with support from Toop Consulting, overseen by a Working Group from around the region. WATT Consulting carried out consultations and a survey of stakeholder organizations to identify regional ground transportation challenges and opportunities across the Southern Interior. Stakeholders included First Nation communities, Regional District representatives, local governments, academia, tourism and economic development practitioners, transportation providers, and institutions including Passenger Transportation Board, Interior Health, and BC Transit.
We sincerely appreciate the contributions from our 17 Working Group members, 24 Roundtable Meeting participants and 186 Survey Respondents.
Some of the region’s ground passenger transportation challenges identified in the study include: regional connectivity, access to medical services, tourism, access to housing, economic development and other regional challenges
The study identified opportunities to create a service framework visioning tool which identifies inter-regional connections, regional & local connections. Other opportunities include funding programs and the study identifies existing available programs from different levels of government and other agencies.
Recommendations were summarized in four categories: technology & coordination, funding, policy & regulatory frameworks and technical studies.
About the Project
Recognizing the importance of inter-community ground transportation service to the economic and social needs of residents in BC’s Southern Interior, ETSI-BC has commissioned a study to help us gain a broad understanding of local government, First Nations’ and other stakeholder perspectives in our service area pertaining to:
- Current use of existing bus and other ground transportation services in the Southern Interior;
- Challenges and opportunities with existing rural, regional, inter-city passenger transportation;
- Possible roles that local/regional governments and First Nations could play in supporting inter-urban passenger transportation options; and
- Other key factors related to this topic.
A range of inter-community travel options already exists in the Southern Interior, including BC Transit services, Health Connections services co-funded by Interior Health, and some shuttle services operated by private operators and non-profit organizations.
The BC Southern Interior Regional Ground Transportation Study will collect feedback on existing transportation options, and it will gather information on additional transportation priorities that should be considered.
The study will also examine how population changes, economic development and other community health and social initiatives may impact the needs and opportunities for transportation in coming years.
Study Deliverables and Timing
The results of this research and outreach will be presented to key decision-makers at the Province in August 2023, and shared with stakeholders through the ETSI-BC website.