Seven buses from BC Transit’s provincial fleet are on temporary loan to Greater Victoria to avoid future cancellations and delays. The buses will be here until 80 new vehicles are added to the regional fleet in 2020. (File Photo)

BC Transit borrows buses from Interior to avoid trip cancellations in Greater Victoria

80 new buses arriving in Victoria in 2020

BC Transit has borrowed buses from the province’s interior to help with trip cancellations across Greater Victoria.

BC Transit communications manager Jonathon Dyck confirmed seven additional buses have been introduced to Greater Victoria as an interim measure to prevent the delays and route cancellations experienced by riders in September and October.

On Sept. 25, 20 routes were impacted by cancellations, which BC Transit chalked up to a shortage of vehicles.

READ ALSO: Riders up in arms after 20 transit routes affected by cancellations

“What we saw in September was that a lot of the trip cancellations were due to vehicles not being available,” Dyck says. “We do apologize to customers that that has had an impact on them, we know it does impact their ability to get to work or get to school.”

Traffic, crashes, construction and driver illness or unavailability also impacts routes but Dyck says that despite the cancellations, 99 per cent of BC Transit services have been in full operation in the region, with over 3,200 trips completed each week day.

“But we recognize that those statistics are meaningless if its your bus that is cancelled,” he says. “So we have been working hard to implement operational changes.”

The seven buses were brought in from Kelowna and the Central Fraser Valley to take pressure of the 304-bus fleet already operating in the region. The borrowed vehicles are two-year-old, standard 40-foot buses.

Dyck says they are temporary and will operate in Greater Victoria only until new vehicles arrive – 80 buses are being brought into Victoria in 2020, some of which will be compressed natural gas models. But only eight of the 2020 buses are add-ons to the region’s 304. The other 72 will be replacing older models.

“Our system right now has an average age of 12 years, by next year that should drop down to six,” Dyck says.

READ ALSO: BC Transit launches GPS bus tracking system across Greater Victoria

Even with a vehicle shortage, ridership has increased in Victoria. September 2019 saw 10 per cent more riders than September 2018. Dyck says bus lanes and service programs like the app NextRide might be to thank for the growing number of transit users.

“There has been improvements to the system and I think that’s what customers are seeing,” he says. “One of the big pieces is we want to be as on time as possible and that’s something we’re working to improve.”

BC Transit encourages riders use the NextRide app or sign up for alerts to stay on top of any changes to their route.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

South Vancouver Island B.C. Hydro Customers without power

Due to high winds nearly 3,900 B.C. Hydro customer will be out of power

Sidney signs off on 2020 budget with 1.79 per cent tax increase

Budget also includes additional funding for Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Search begins for two missing scouts near Sooke

Crews headed to Jordan River area after receiving call just after 2 p.m.

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read