Queensway Transit Exchange
Queensway Avenue and transit exchange upgrades are being undertaken in Downtown Kelowna as part of BC Transit’s RapidBus Phase Two and Three Project.
A $5.6 million investment to improve transit infrastructure and amenities will be made by the Government of Canada, Province of B.C. and the City of Kelowna and in collaboration with BC Transit, the District of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation. The improvements will provide ease of transfer with support services and amenities to provide a comfortable and convenient environment for transit patrons, transit operators and security personnel with completion scheduled for 2014.
A number of long-range planning initiatives, including the recently adopted Downtown Plan, the 2030 Official Community Plan and the Transit Future Plan, form the basis of the preliminary design for this area.
Features of the new exchange
- New permanent structure for bus operator facilities and security office
- Improved lighting for increased visibility and safety
- Passenger information display on shelters
- New streetscaping and landscaping
- Added public space and pedestrian walkways
Centrally located downtown, the Queensway exchange serves as an important destination and transit hub in Kelowna. The project is part of BC Transit’s Kelowna RapidBus Project, which includes creating and upgrading transit facilities throughout the Central Okanagan.
- November 2013 to January 2014: Urban design planning
- December 2013 to April 2014: RapidBus improvements detail design and tendering
- January 2014: Public information session for preliminary design reveal
- May 2014 to August 2014: Projected construction start and completion
The current exchange requires operational improvements to ensure reliability of improved transit services through reconfigured intersections, a new parking layout and RapidBus high-platform stops on Queensway Avenue.
Planning for a new all-weather structure on the existing island is underway with an overall urban plan to create a comfortable public space with emphasis on pedestrian linkages and security.
The planning phase underway will also determine stop configuration, transfer points, routes and route schedules. Areas of conflict between pedestrians and automobiles will be identified, and steps taken to improve safety.
The Queensway exchange was originally constructed in 1998, is restricted to bus-only traffic between Pandosy and Ellis streets and was designed to accommodate a future building. Key considerations for the building include attractive landscape treatments, decorative and functional transit amenities to enhance user comfort and security, wide pedestrian sidewalks, re-configured parking layout and intersection improvements and controls.
Projected increases in transit ridership as a result of the RapidBus extension to West Kelowna and growth in Kelowna’s central business district area also warrants further investment in transit infrastructure and amenities.
Greater emphasis on walkability, cycling and improving transit service are highest priorities as well as investments in pedestrian/cycle networks, transit and road infrastructure and supportive amenities to provide a balance of mobility options for today and well into the future.