In addition to the following updates, BC Transit will be turning attention to transit to and from Sooke this fall. In conversation with SPN, BC Transit representative Lindsay Taylor said BC Transit will be seeking input from Sooke residents in a year long public consultation process starting this fall. Route options will be determined in the spring of 2019 and will go before the Transit Commission in the fall of 2019. Following are the route improvements for this year.
-BC Transit (Victoria)
This fall, transit users in Greater Victoria will benefit from the addition of 10,000 new service hours and four new buses to the Victoria Regional Transit System, making it possible to introduce two new routes—one to improve transit options for post-secondary students, and the other to provide better, more frequent connections to the Victoria International Airport.
All changes will be effective Tuesday, September 4, and are possible thanks to funding from the Province of British Columbia and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC).
“People who live, study and visit Victoria will benefit tremendously from these service expansions that will enhance the transit experience by getting people to where they need to go,” said Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South, on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena. “Our government is working hard to improve the services people rely on, and establishing these bus routes is a step in the right direction.”
A key change involves substantial service improvements to the airport through a new route, 87 Sidney/Dean Park via Airport, and through adjustments to route 88 Airport/Sidney.
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 Victoria Regional Transit Commission is pleased to continue improving service for our customers,” said Susan Brice, VRTC Chair. “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.”
In response to increasing numbers of students registered at Camosun College Interurban Campus, BC Transit is introducing a new crosstown route, 9 UVic/Royal Oak via Gorge/Hillside. This new route will connect UVic with both Camosun College campuses, offering trips designed to match class start times.
“Victoria has experienced substantial change and growth over the past few years,” said Erinn Pinkerton, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of BC Transit. “BC Transit is pleased to work with the Province and the VRTC to improve our transit network so that it better meets the evolving needs of Greater Victoria residents.”
Other changes include:
- 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
- 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
In addition to this expansion, routes serving high schools and post-secondary institutions will resume full service levels to match the higher demand for transit service when schools are back in session.
Routes resuming regular service levels on September 4 are:
2 South Oak Bay/Downtown
8 Interuban/Tillicum Mall/Oak Bay
11 UVic/Tillicum Mall
12 UVic/University Heights
14 Vic General/UVic
17 Cedar Hill
22 Vic General/Hillside Mall
25 Maplewood/Admirals Walk
27 Gordon Head/Downtown
52 Colwood/Bear Mountain
59 Triangle Mountain
72 Swartz Bay/Downtown
76 Swartz Bay/UVic
For information, including schedules and routes in Greater Victoria, please visit bctransit.com/victoria or call 250-382-6161.