97X Kelowna RapidBus

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Kelowna RapidBus
System Kelowna Regional Transit System
Operator FirstCanada
Garage Hardy
Vehicle Nova Bus LFS 40'
Status Active
Began service 2010
Predecessors 97 Rutland Express
Night-time Friday and Saturday (September through April)
Locale Central Okanagan
Communities served Kelowna, West Kelowna
Start UBC Okanagan Exchange
Via Highway 97
Downtown Queensway
William R. Bennett Bridge
End Westbank Centre Downtown Queensway Transit Exchange (97 Okanagan TO QUEENSWAY)
Length 14 km (Queensway run) 27 km (Westbank run)
Level Daily
Frequency Every 7-30 minutes (September through April)
Every 15-30 minutes (Summer) West Kelowna every 60 minutes (late night)
Weekend frequency

Every 30 minutes

West Kelowna every 60 minutes (late night)
Journey time 20-30 minutes (Queensway Run) 43-52 minutes (Westbank Run)
Operates 6:00 am - 12:00 pm (2am Fri-Sat September through April)

97 Express Kelowna RapidBus or 97 Okanagan is a bus rapid transit line operated by Kelowna Regional Transit System since September 2010 in Central Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada. The service connects UBC Okanagan Exchange, Downtown Kelowna and Westbank Centre. 97X RapidBus offers high speed bus service by utilizing traffic signal priority and HOV lanes on Highway 97.

97 Okanagan RapidBus stops[edit]

97 Okanagan RapidBus connects West Kelowna, downtown Kelowna and UBC Okanagan via HOV lanes on Highway 97 with traffic signal priority with the following limited stops from north to south:[1]


Unenclosed bus shelters are installed at all stops on Highway 97 in Kelowna and West Kelowna. An enclosed weatherproof shelter with on-demand heaters is installed at UBC Okanagan Exchange[2] Bus shelters are planned to be installed in West Kelowna.

All completed RapidBus stops on Highway 97 are raised to match with the height of the bus floors, allowing faster boarding and wheelchair users to enter or exit bus without using ramp. Stops are designed to minimize the gap between bus and curb. Only Nova Buses are compatible with this set-up since double deckers and New Flyers are low-floor and will not be used for liability and practicality purposes. FRP plank is attached to the curve, allowing buses to contact the curb without damaging or scratching the vehicle. Tactile pavings are installed at all raised stops on Highway 97. Digital screens with real-time schedule information are installed at all stops as well.[3] Most 97 Okanagan Nova Buses are equipped with a public announcement system featuring the same familiar voice announcing the Route upon entering the bus, and next stop, final stop announcements inside the bus. Inside the bus there is also an electronic sign that displays the Route when the doors open, then the next stop when the door closes, and will alternate between the next stop, and stop requested once someone requests a stop.


97 Express was originally created to connect Orchard Park Shopping Centre, Rutland and the current UBC Okanagan Exchange via Enterprise Way and Highway 33. In September 2010, the first phase of Kelowna RapidBus service was announced[4] connecting UBC Okanagan Exchange and the Downtown Queensway Exchange in Kelowna via Highway 97, replacing the old 97 Express serving Rutland via Highway 33. The Southbound McCurdy stop did not have a shelter or curb until late 2011.

RapidBus expanded its service to West Kelowna on September 2, 2012, although the Westside stop was the only dedicated RapidBus stop. The route diverted from Highway 97 at several intersections to serve local stops.[3] Infrastructure upgrades started in 2013 to further expand RapidBus service. The Gordon and Richter stops in Kelowna were opened on April 27, 2014 and express service was extended to West Kelowna on August 31, 2014.[5][6]


External links[edit]