Public Engagement Process

The Transportation Plan was shaped by two phases of public engagement in November 2020 and September/October 2021. Read more about the community feedback that we heard below.

Public Engagement – Phase 1

The first phase of engagement for the UBC Okanagan Transportation Plan was held in November 2020. Over 500 campus community members participated through an online survey and virtual public open house. Two stakeholder workshops were also held.

Download Phase 1 Public Engagement Summary Report

What We Heard

Through the online survey and virtual open house, students, faculty and staff provided feedback on their commuting experiences, perceptions of remote working and learning, and the Transportation Plan draft vision and objectives. It is important to note that the survey was framed in terms of understanding travel behaviours before the COVID-19 pandemic, which was defined as a typical work or school week prior to March 2020.


Challenges with Public Transit: Obstacles to public transit was the most common topic of feedback across all survey questions regardless of specific travel mode. We heard that:

  • Infrequent bus trips make it very difficult to align with people’s work and school schedules.
  • Multiple bus transfers are a significant barrier to taking public transit because of the extra time they add to commuting time.
  • There are not extensive enough bus routes to reach all the neighbourhoods where commuters live.

Driving is More Convenient: We heard that people choose to drive alone to save time, to run errands before and after work, and because of accessibility and convenience challenges with public transit.

Improvements to Carpooling: We heard that the main barrier to organizing a carpool is the effort it takes to coordinate drivers and passengers, and that respondents do not know who lives in their area.

Remote Working and Learning:

Across faculty, staff and students, there is interest in continuing some level of remote work / learning moving forward with varying degrees of support amongst the three groups:

  • Staff were most enthusiastic about continuing to work from home, with the majority of respondents preferring to work from home 3-5 days per week.
  • Faculty preferred to work from home 2-4 days per week.
  • Students had the most barriers to remaining in a virtual learning space, and would prefer to learn online 0-2 days per week.

Transportation Plan Vision and Objectives

Finally, we heard broad support for the Transportation Plan Vision and seven accompanying Objectives. To learn more about the Vision and Objectives, please read the Transportation Plan.

How Feedback Was Used

Feedback from Phase 1 of public engagement on the draft Vision and Objectives, in combination with further technical work, informed the future phases of the Transportation Plan development. This included confirming the Plan strategies and actions, developing targets and producing a draft version of the Plan.

Public Engagement – Phase 2

Phase 2 of public engagement was an important step in finalizing UBC Okanagan’s Transportation Plan. Feedback was collected from over 500 members of the UBC Okanagan campus community through an online survey and a virtual public open house held over Zoom. Four pop-up events were also held to raise awareness about the engagement process.

Download Phase 2 Public Engagement Summary Report

Download Appendix IV – Verbatim Survey Responses

What We Heard

Through our online survey and virtual open house, we collected feedback from participants about the Plan’s ten high-impact strategies, as well as additional ideas for how the University can support the community in shifting to more sustainable transportation options. Participants were also encouraged to submit any other insights on the draft Transportation Plan.

Ten High-Impact Strategies

Survey respondents were asked to rank the ten high-impact strategies from the Transportation Plan in order to better understand the levels of support behind each strategy. “Advocate for Improved Public Transit” was the top strategy across all survey participants.

  • Top Three Strategies for Students:
    • (1) Advocate for Improved Transit Service
    • (2) Establish a Funding Mechanism for Sustainable Transportation Programs and Initiatives
    • (3) Update Parking Pricing Model
  • Top Three Strategies for Staff:
    • (1) Advocate for Improved Transit Service
    • (2) Offer a Staff and Faculty Transit Pass
    • (3) Strengthen Support for Remote Working
  • Top Three Strategies for Faculty:
    • (1) Advocate for Improved Transit Service
    • (2) Enable and Incentivize Active Transportation and Transit
    • (3) Offer a Staff and Faculty Transit Pass

When asked why they chose their top three strategies, survey respondents stated that the following themes were behind their choices:

  • Advocating for improved public transit to avoid long wait times and low frequency and overcrowding of buses
  • Incentivize more people to take the bus and stop driving alone
  • Sustainability and sustainable transportation are important to them
  • Parking is currently too expensive
  • Desire for discounts and incentives for individuals
  • Need additional cycling infrastructure for convenience and safety
  • Remote working and learning are a simple way to reduce emissions and crowding on buses

Additional University Support

Participants also submitted their thoughts and ideas about how the University could support the community in shifting towards sustainable transportation options in addition to the ten high-impact strategies. We heard the following top themes in response to this question:

  • More frequent and direct bus routes was the top theme heard by a very large margin. We heard very strong support for improving the regional public transit network in order to help folks transition away from driving alone, in addition to convenience, ease and safety.
  • The second top theme was about creating incentives for using sustainable transportation options, notably in relation to carpooling, ride share programs, bike rental programs, bike discounts, and cheaper public transit fees and passes.
  • The theme of safety was heard in relation to cycling and walking infrastructure, such as protected bike paths on Glenmore Road or lighting on the Pine Trail to the Quail Ridge neighbourhood.
  • Additional biking and pedestrian infrastructure was heard as a top theme, specifically around secure bike parking, and adding additional biking and walking trails on campus and connecting campus to Kelowna.
  • A final theme heard from survey respondents was about offering resources and support to educate the UBC Okanagan community about the sustainable transportation options available. Ideas for how to do this included creating transit plans for different surrounding neighborhoods and social media campaigns about how to load your bike onto the bus.

How Feedback Was Used

Feedback from Phase 2 of public engagement on the Draft UBC Okanagan Transportation Plan, in combination with further technical work, informed the final Transportation Plan that was presented to UBC leadership in October 2021. Leadership endorsed the Plan, which has now moved into the implementation phase.

Engaged Stakeholder Groups

The following groups were engaged in the planning process:

Internal UBC Stakeholders:

  • Athletics & Recreation
  • Campus Operations & Risk Management
  • Disability Resource Centre
  • Faculty from Management, Science and Engineering
  • Food Services
  • Health & Wellness
  • Infrastructure Development
  • Residence Life
  • Student Housing & Hospitality Services
  • UBC Students’ Union Okanagan
  • UBCycles

External Stakeholders:

  • City of Kelowna Policy and Planning
  • City of Kelowna Integrated Transportation


  • Urban Systems
  • Nelson Nygaard