Planning Context and Process

The UBC Okanagan Transportation Plan will guide the planning, design and delivery of transportation services, programs and infrastructure for the next decade. The actions identified in this Plan are a crucial part of UBC’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and response to the climate emergency.

Campus Planning has developed this Plan over 18 months by engaging with campus stakeholders – staff, faculty and students – and collaborating with regional stakeholders, including the City of Kelowna. We have worked together to create a Draft Transportation Plan that will serve as a high-level roadmap for meeting the transportation needs of the UBC Okanagan community through 2040 by establishing objectives, targets, strategies, and actions.

Why do we need a Transportation Plan?

  • We are in the midst of a climate crisis. UBC is committed to taking action in the fight against climate change. Given that commuting accounts for the largest share of the University’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), a dramatic shift in travel behaviour towards sustainable modes of transportation is needed. Reducing emissions from commuting is also a central theme of UBC’s emerging Climate Action Plan 2030 (CAP 2030) that is being finalized in parallel with the Transportation Plan.
  • We need to plan for growth. To support the University’s Strategic Plan, Shaping UBC’s Next Century, and the academic mission through the UBC Okanagan Outlook 2040, UBC Okanagan is anticipated to nearly double in size by 2040. With a projected daytime population of more than 17,000 students, faculty and staff and as much as 1 million additional square feet of building space, there will be increasing pressure put on the transportation system, including roads, parking and public transit. Parking lots on campus are already oversubscribed, and many will be replaced by new academic buildings over time. New parking can be built, but at considerable cost in terms of both capital investment and land allocation.
  • We need better sustainable transportation options. The campus community has expressed interest and support (through Phase 1 of the UBC Okanagan Transportation Plan consultation in November 2020, as well as the CAP 2030 and Climate Emergency engagement processes), for improved active and sustainable transportation options, especially transit, and there is an expectation that the University take action.
  • We cannot do it alone. Responding to these challenges will require related investments and action by the City of Kelowna, BC Transit, private partners, and other levels of government. The Transportation Plan will help ensure UBC Okanagan is actively participating in and accelerating a broader regional transition towards a more just and sustainable transportation future.

What We Heard from Public Consultation Phase 1

The first phase of public consultation was held in November 2020. Over 500 campus community members participated through an online survey and virtual public open house.  Feedback was collected on the draft vision and objectives. Information was also collected on participants’ experience and perceptions of current commuting options and remote learning/working, including challenges and opportunities.

We heard:

  • Very strong support for public transit improvements and improving convenience and access to the local public transit network.
  • A need for cycling infrastructure improvements to better connect the campus to the surrounding region.
  • Interest in making more information available about sustainable transportation options on campus.
  • Issues around equity and climate justice are key in ensuring the UBC Okanagan community has the tools, resources and support they need to make changes to the way they commute to and from campus.

This feedback along with technical analysis of the key challenges was used to shape the strategies proposed in the draft Plan.

View the full public engagement summary report here.