B.C. Transit purchasing new buses, launching service review for Greater Victoria

Review will look at ridership, possible expansion options, infrastructure changes

B.C. Transit has the green light to purchase two new conventional buses ahead of plans to review and possibly expand Greater Victoria’s transit service.

The addition to the fleet for 2013-14, approved Tuesday by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, would potentially add 5,000 hours annually to the busing schedule.

The buses will be ordered in July, and will arrive as early as February 2013. Each will cost about $500,000.

Commission members expressed unease about approving the purchase without knowing the full details of future service expansion plans.

But those details won’t be available until information comes back from the upcoming service review, as well as from a three-year service and financial strategy, which will get underway this summer.

Due to the time it takes to acquire a new bus, Mike Davis, B.C. Transit chief operating officer said a delay in purchasing new buses would mean a delay in freeing up buses during rush hour.

The new vehicles could help address the service gap, said commission member, Victoria Coun. Marianne Alto.

“I just can’t imagine that a year from now we’re not going to be in a position to use two buses,” she said.

Through the development of a three-year service and financial strategy, B.C. Transit will look at creating a fare strategy, three-year base budgets, expansion scenarios and related infrastructure investments. A draft report will be presented to the commission in September.

Staff are also starting a 20-month service review that will analyze ridership and ultimately identify improvements to the transit service, potential service expansions and infrastructure options. The Crown corporation hasn’t conducted a service review in 10 years in Greater Victoria.

Approved minor service review recommendations, such as scheduling changes, could come into effect as early as fall 2013.

At Tuesday’s meeting, commission members also had the option of not purchasing any buses, or purchasing four new vehicles that would boost annual service levels by 10,000 hours.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

Tour the historic MV Uchuck III in Victoria’s upper harbour

MV Uchuck open house is Saturday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Point Hope Maritime

VIDEO: 76th annual Swiftsure sets sail Saturday

Longstanding competition takes off from Victoria’s Inner Harbour May 25

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read