B.C. Transit is revamping routes to try and curb pass ups this fall

Transit fine-tunes bus routes to UVic

More buses en route to busiest routes starting in September

Madeline Keller-MacLeod says she’s lucky to ride the No. 26 and 27 bus routes to Camosun and the University of Victoria on weekdays.

They’re not what the external affairs executive at the Camosun College Student Society calls the most “ridiculous routes,” and so, unlike some of her peers, she always gets on the bus.

But she’s still bracing for the tight ride students have come to expect each September when classes resume – a seasonal problem B.C. Transit is hoping to dramatically reduce following a revamp of service to UVic and Camosun.

When service levels were reviewed, trips with low ridership were reduced and the service was re-allocated to the busiest routes. The majority of new trips are now added in the morning peak period to UVic. As well, 5,000 service hours on UVic and/or Camosun-bound routes that came into effect last spring and will continue through the fall.

“That might help us a bit in terms of pass ups, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be enough,” Keller-MacLeod said. “In September we see people trying to get on the buses, then after a few weeks of missing classes, or being late for classes, they do try to do something different, and often it’s driving, unfortunately.”

Between Sept. 1, 2011 and Jan. 31, 2012, transit drivers reported a total of 29,296 pass ups, with the vast majority of that number (20,448) on routes servicing Camosun College and UVic.

“Our efforts cannot eliminate pass ups entirely, but they will go a long way to address the high demand for transit service during the peak fall season,” said B.C. Transit president and CEO Manuel Achadinha in a prepared statement. “We ask our customers to be patient as our operations team makes the best possible use of our resources.”

The Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC) has also requested B.C. Transit order two additional buses for 2013-14 and will be presented with the associated service hour options as part of a service review and three year budget process this fall.

Keller-MacLeod and Lucia Orser, chairperson of the UVic Students’ Society, applauded the restoration of the hours earmarked for routes No. 4, 14, 16, 21 and 26 when the latest transit budget was released in April, but their goals reach beyond service hours.

Last week the student representatives began a media campaign urging Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom to abolish the VRTC and turn authority for transit planning over to the Capital Regional District.

While their focused efforts to rally support for changes to transit governance are relatively new, it’s all a part of the student groups’ long-standing mandate to ramp up student political engagement. Their efforts will be measured next spring during the provincial election.

“We want students to know that there’s an election happening,” Orser said, “to go out and find out what party has the best platform on post secondary education and go out and vote.”

nnorth@saanichnews.com

En route to UVic

Average passengers per week day, fall 2011 (September to December)

Dockyard/UVic (No. 26): 4,627

UVic Downtown via Hillside (No. 4): 6,465

Tillicum Mall/UVic (No. 11): 6,519

Vic General/UVic via Richmond (No.14): 8,993

Royal Oak Exchange/Esquimalt (No. 6): 10,969

 

 

Just Posted

Father of Saanich murder victim Lindsay Buziak set to appear on Dr. Phil show Friday

Jeff Buziak says he has not seen the show and does not know what to expect

Premier John Horgan visits his old Saanich high school to announce rise in robot funding

Horgan, a Reynolds grad, used the occasion to play catch with the school’s robot

Keep a distance when fawning over baby deer, reminds conservation officer

West Shore conservation officer advises deer can forage on their own and don’t need human help

Songbirds return to their roost in the West Shore

Tips, such as keeping roaming cats from ruffling any feathers, can attract more birds

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

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

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read