BC Transit has taken a number of precautions to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus, such as limiting the number of passengers on board, along with installing vinyl barriers in some buses. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

BC Transit has taken a number of precautions to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus, such as limiting the number of passengers on board, along with installing vinyl barriers in some buses. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Greater Victoria bus ridership down 75 per cent amid pandemic

BC Transit shifts to summer service early to balance demand and resources

More than one month into the COVID-19 pandemic, bus ridership in Greater Victoria is down 75 per cent compared to the same time period last year.

Deemed an essential service, BC Transit says it’s working with the province and local governments to “address potential financial uncertainty” as the pandemic continues. The transit service no longer collects bus fare and has moved to summer hours early in order to “balance demand with available resources.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Bus fares waived, back door entry for most as BC Transit ensures social distancing

“We also need to continue providing sufficient service that allows for physical distancing throughout our system, and frequency for those going to jobs in health care or other essential service industries such as at grocery stores,” a BC Transit spokesperson said in an email to Black Press Media.

BC Transit has implemented a number of precautions in response to the pandemic, including enhanced cleaning, rear door loading, limiting passenger capacity and not collecting fares from passengers. Measures that have been extended to May 31.

B.C. premier John Horgan has called on the federal government to help with transit, citing an 83 per cent decline in TransLink ridership and 91 per cent reduction in passengers on BC Ferries.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 transit crisis needs national response, B.C. Premier says



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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