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

Police investigating after crash on Hillside Avenue

Traffic obstucted while involved vehicles removed from scene

VicPD seize knife, bear spray from youth

Youth issued large fine for weapons

Sentencing delayed for man who attacked VicPD dog

Uno later recovered from his injury and returned to work

Police ask for public’s help in locating Johnny Sam

Sam was last seen on April 17 in Esquimalt

Eco warriors to shut down Douglas Street on Earth Day

Environmentalists to call on banks to divert investments into green infrastructure

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

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

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

B.C. RCMP arrest foreign national in connection to airport thefts

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Most Read