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BC Transit cancels nearly 120 trips over weekend due to employee illness

Cancellations come amidst community wide spread of Omicron variant
BC Transit is experiencing labour shortages across Greater Victoria because of illness, resulting in delayed or cancelled bus routes. (Black Press Media file photo)

Illness among employees accounted for recent reductions in BC Transit’s Greater Victoria schedule.

In a statement to Black Press BC Transit said it is experiencing service challenges due to employee illness, much like other customer-facing organizations. While the company did not specify the illness impacting employees, the absences are likely related to the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus causing COVID-19.

While it leads to a milder version of COVID-19 than previous virus variant, it is more infectious and has led to a large spike in the number of cases, with symptoms that are difficult to distinguish from non-COVID-19 respiratory infections.

BC Transit considers the health and safety of riders and drivers its top priority, the statement said, and instructions for drivers to stay home if sick have been in place since the start of the pandemic. This measure co-exists with enhanced bus and facility cleaning and a mandate for all passengers to wear masks.

The recent illnesses led to the suspension of 68 trips across seven routes on Saturday (Jan. 22), including on Routes 6, 7, 11, 14, 15, 21 and 50. The following day, an additional 50 trips were cancelled across 10 routes, including on Routes 4, 7, 11, 14, 15, 21, 26, 27, 28 and 50.

RELATED: BC Transit faces driver shortages in Greater Victoria, service interruptions frustrate riders

RELATED: Greater Victoria Regional Transit has cancelled nearly 60 trips across region

“BC Transit sincerely apologizes to riders for any inconvenience caused by these cancellations,” the company said.

Riders are encouraged to monitor BC Transit’s website, which issues alerts immediately when cancellations are confirmed. Riders may also sign up for direct route-specific alert emails and use the NextRide transit app.

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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