The Victoria Regional Transit System serves 312,000 persons
in a 400-square-kilometre area with a peak fleet in operation
of 178 buses operating on 36 conventional routes and 40 vans
providing custom door-to-door service for people with disabilities.
Ridership in 2000/02 is estimated to reach 19.2 Million passengers.
Recent achievements of the system include:
Introduction of U-PASS at University of Victoria and Camosun
The most significant change in Victoria's transit environment
was the introduction of the U-PASS at the University of Victoria
and Camosun College. In March 1999, students voted to pay a
mandatory fee toward transit so that all students could enjoy
the convenience of transit during their study terms and at the
same time help cut down on automobile congestion, parking demand
and other environmental impacts at the campuses.
On August 23, more than 21,000 students were able to use their
semester bus passes, and in September more bus service was provided
to all campuses. In January 2000, a new transit route connecting
both Camosun campuses was introduced. Transit ridership is up
on all routes heading to UVic and Camosun, and preliminary studies
show bus occupancy for arrival at the University increased approximately
25 per cent.
Introduction of Finlayson Crosstown Route
In January, a new crosstown bus route, the #8 Finlayson, was
introduced, running from south Oak Bay to Camosun's Interurban
campus. The route goes through three municipalities and includes
three large malls, the two Camosun campuses, Royal Jubilee Hospital,
and Oak Bay Village. The Victoria Regional Transit Commission
held public meetings and information sessions over the course
of a year before the route design was finalized.
Increased Use of Langford Transit Centre
Activity increased at Langford Transit Centre (LTC), with approximately
30 buses operating daily from this site. Buses are fueled and
cleaned and fareboxes cleared at the centre but the site continued
to operate as a satellite with no administration staff regularly
assigned to work there. Facilities include a number of improvements
which reduce environmental impact including treatment of water
from site runoff and state-of-the-art light and heating systems.
Increased fleet and additional functions will be added as service
levels in the region expand over the next several years.
Increased Commitment to Customer Service
BC Transit has implemented a database to track feedback from
operators in Victoria. Customer feedback is an essential element
in designing transit services, and much of the feedback from
customers comes in the form of remarks to transit operators,
who in turn provide input to operations supervisors. The database
means that all input from customers and operators is recorded,
and planning, scheduling and other issues are addressed as soon
Ticket Assistance Program Increased
A total of 10,000 bus tickets were distributed through the
Ticket Assistance Program in 1999/2000. The program, started
by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission in 1997, in partnership
with the Victoria Community Social Planning Council, provides
free tickets to agencies whose clients are individuals with
low income. In March, 2000, at the request of the Council, the
Commission agreed to increase the donation of free tickets to
15,000 for the year 2000/2001. The agencies involved in the
program must purchase at the regular price at least as many
tickets for their clients as they receive for free.
handyDART service was expanded during the year with four more
vans and a 7% increase in service hours. There was also an increase
in the TaxiSaver program, allowing clients to purchase up to
$120 worth of coupons for $60 every two months (each book costing
$30), re-instituting the program to the level funded prior to
Travel Options TM Program for Employers
BC Transit, with funding from Environment Canada, developed
a Travel Options TM program to help companies reduce the number
of single occupancy vehicles travelling to their worksites.
The program consists of both training sessions and an information
website at www.bctransit.com
Training sessions were held in Victoria, Central Fraser Valley,
the Kelowna Region, the Nanaimo Region, Nelson and Whistler.
The website will continue to expand in 2000/01, with plans to
further develop information on individual systems and interactive
schedules. This grown-in-B.C. program will also be extended
to 10 communities across Canada.
Off-Ramp Program in Secondary Schools
The Off-Ramp program was created to provide education on transportation
issues for secondary students. The training program was developed
to fit into existing curriculum in secondary schools, raising
students' recognition of the link between personal driving habits
and environmental impacts such as traffic congestion, air quality
and climate change.
Funding partners include BC Transit, Better Environmentally
Sound Transportation, Climate Change Public Outreach Fund, Insurance
Corporation of BC and VanCity Credit Union. The first phase
was launched by identifying seven schools to participate, two
in Victoria and five in the Lower Mainland. A manual was developed
to provide students with a step-by-step guide to achieve desired
results in their schools by June 2000.
Environmental Upgrading at Victoria Transit Facility
Over the past year, environmental upgrading at the Gorge Road
Victoria Transit Centre, built in the 1940s, has focussed on
four areas: storage of hazardous materials, completion of the
yard drainage intercept system, completion of the installation
of the oily water treatment equipment, and completion of an
environmental protection manual and related staff training.
Bike Racks Installed on all Low Floor Buses in Victoria
In 1997, bike racks were installed on 61 low floor buses serving
Victoria's suburban routes. In 1999, an agreement was reached
with Obie Media, the company handling advertising sales for
the Victoria Regional Transit System, to provide a $20,000 contribution
to cover half the cost of the purchase and installation of bike
racks on the remaining 44 low floor buses. Bike racks will be
installed on all buses delivered in the future.
Performance & Financial Summary