Coalmont Transit System

Fare Information: Between Princeton and Coalmont – $3.00

Is that for real? Almost, but not quite. Well . . . sort of. You can find the Princeton and Area Transit System on the net and see the “Welcome Aboard!” message and “Everything you need to know about using the public transit in Princeton and Area”. Navigate to fares and there it is: Cash Fare: One Way – Princeton to Coalmont – $3.00.

You can get transit information by calling 250.295.6666. As of this writing, a schedule was not available, but we will publish it here as soon as it arrives.

Funding for the service is cost shared among the Town of Princeton, the Village of Keremeos, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and BC Transit. Decisions about fares, routes and service levels are made by the Town of Princeton based on information and planning provided by BC Transit. The transit system is operated by Princeton & District Community Services.

As one would expect for such a thinly populated area, the service is quite limited. In fact, you have to call ahead and make an appointment. The real kicker in our situation is that they will not come out here unless there is a minimum of two people. That generally makes it impossible to use for doctor’s appointments though it would work for someone in a wheelchair who travels with a companion. There is nobody like that in Coalmont at the moment, but it could happen.

The fact is that it is really a non-service, and for BC Transit to claim that there is a bus to Coalmont is confusing at best, and perhaps a little misleading.

It is possible that this could change. BC Transit is currently running a program to determine what they can do to meet the future. The Transit Future Plan is guided by a working group consisting of BC Transit staff, local government staff from the municipalities of Penticton, Osoyoos, Princeton, Summerland, Keremeos, from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, and also representatives from the operating companies that run buses within the region.

The South Okanagan Transit Future Plan is designed to forecast people’s needs, consider planned changes and growth in towns, and also human and environmental health. With this information the plan envisions what a community’s transit network should look like 25 years from now. BC Transit wants to reconfirm with its customers and stakeholders before making planning recommendations to the elected officials who set routes, schedules and service hours.

At this point in time, it seems hard to imagine Coalmontians using a bus. After all, people like their freedom, and their cars. It’s the historical situation, although not all are so well off here. Also, the population is aging. Here is how the Transit Future people see it:

The coming decades will present environmental, economic and social challenges. They also present an opportunity to transform our communities into places that are even healthier and more livable. Building sustainable transportation networks that integrate and promote walking, cycling and transit will be key in realizing that vision.

An automobile trip to Princeton and back currently costs something like $10 to $15 in gas, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation. Not to mention that an SUV/4wd would leave a carbon footprint of about 37 pounds. Some people do that drive once a day, sometimes even twice, and in 20 years from now that could be an unaffordable luxury. It does look like perhaps one day there might be a bus to Coalmont.

(Visit The South Okanagan Transit Future Plan web page for more information.)

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