Zeb King says it’s taken a decade, but there’s additional bus service coming to the Brentwood-Verdier loop in Central Saanich.
King, a Central Saanich District councillor, said BC Transit has confirmed there will be an additional Route 75 peak trip service added as of July 2, 2018. That gives people who work downtown Victoria a fourth option to get back home.
Prior to 2004, King said the route offered more options to transit users who live in “lower Brentwood Bay” (Brentwood Drive, Verdier Road, Marchant Drive). However, BC Transit changed the service levels on Route 75 around that time, reducing the number of buses that left downtown Victoria for that specific loop to three.
People looking to get home on the Route 75 bus were able to catch the bus from Government and Superior streets at 4:05, 4:25 and 4:40 p.m.
A fourth departure at 5 p.m. comes into effect this summer.
James Wadsworth, Planning Manager for BC Transit, confirmed the change. The Route 75 bus, on an existing route, will leave the Legislative buildings in downtown Victoria at 5 p.m. and make its way into Brentwood Bay. As well, BC Transit has already made some service changes to bus routes to and from Butchart Gardens in Central Saanich.
Those changes, Wadsworth said, came about after public engagement on the Saanich Peninsula this spring at Panorama Recreation Centre.
“We heard from residents that they wanted improvements to Route 75,” he explained, adding extending that route — as well as trips to Butchart Gardens — helps workers and tourists alike.
BC Transit has also confirmed changes will be coming to other routes on the Peninsula.
Starting in September, additional service will be added to the Victoria International Airport and into the Dean Park area in North Saanich.
“These changes have already been approved by the Transit Commission,” Wadsworth said, adding BC Transit s now finalizing the schedule and other details.
An official announcement of the route changes is expected by the summer.
King said he and council have been lobbying BC Transit over the years, to bring more service back to that route and said he’s glad the additional service will be added. He said it will give transit users in his community another option to get home after work — and could be the toe hold Central Saanich needs to see a return to traditional bus service levels. He said the District is sending a letter of thanks to BC Transit and at the same time will ask them to reinstate previous service levels on the Brentwood Bay loop.