BC Transit introduces new trip planner for the Cowichan Valley. (File photo)

New Victoria bus routes bound for airport, Camosun College

Bus routes and schedules are about to change this fall, and two new routes will serve passengers bound for the airport or Camosun College Interurban.

The first new route, 87 Sidney/Dean Park via Airport, and adjustments to route 88 Airport/Sidney are meant to improve connections to Victoria International Airport. The second, 9 UVic/Royal Oak via Gorge/Hillside, will connect UVic with both Camosun College campuses, offering trips designed to match class start times.

Changes to existing routes will also help airport-bound passengers. According to a press release from BC Transit, customers travelling to the airport from downtown Victoria or Royal Oak Exchange will be able to ride route 72 Swartz Bay/Downtown to McTavish Exchange, then transfer to route 87 or 88 within five minutes of arrival. Between both routes, there will be service to the airport every 30 minutes on weekdays and every hour on weekends.

The new routes are made possible by the purchase of four new buses and money for 10,000 additional service hours provided by the B.C. government and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC).

Susan Brice, VRTC Chair, said in the release that “the new routes and service expansion is based on feedback from our existing and future customers, and we look forward to continuing to improve the system.”

Other changes to existing routes mainly affect Saanich Peninsula routes.

· The new route 87 Sidney/Dean Park via Airport will introduce transit service to the Dean Park neighbourhood and help to improve service to the airport. It will connect Saanichton Exchange, McTavish Exchange, and downtown Sidney.

· Routes 81 Brentwood/Sidney/Swartz Bay and 82 Saanichton/Sidney via Stautw will now travel along Lochside Drive all the way to Sidney

· Route 83 Royal Oak/Sidney will now continue on West Saanich Road, past the airport, and turn onto Mills Road to head towards Sidney

· Route 85 North Saanich will now offer service on weekends

Routes serving high schools and post-secondary institutions will resume full service levels for back-to-school, but seasonal summer service to areas like Thetis Lake and Butchart Gardens will be discontinued.

The changes take effect Tues. September 4. For more information, click here visit bctransit.com/servlet/documents/1403650587190.

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