West Shore transit service changes timed with schools’ return

Fall adjustments include additional runs to Belmont and Royal Bay

While the wheels on the bus go round and round they won’t be stopping at some summer hot spots any longer. Seasonal adjustments to BC Transit services and routes took effect this week.

Some of these changes include adjustments for the new Royal Bay and Belmont schools. Routes 52, 59, and 60 will change to service Royal Bay, while routes 56 and 57 see scheduling and timing changes to meet Belmont school bell times.

Transit spokesperson Mike Russell confirmed the changes were made to “better serve the students.”

In an attempt to also better serve West Shore residents, the frequency of route 50, which has direct service from Langford to downtown Victoria, has been increased. Russell said a bus should be going by roughly every six minutes during peak service times.

Also helping improve service in and out of the downtown area is the completion of transit priority lanes on Douglas Street that will be in use during the morning and evening rush hours.

The lanes are designed to save time for commuters, many of whom travel to Victoria from the West Shore.

Some other routes will temporarily be discontinued through the fall and winter due to a decline in popularity in those colder months. One is route 53, which will no longer include stops at Thetis Lake.

“Minutes are their currency,” said Russell. He said any time planners can save in one area to service another area more efficiently, they do. This is especially true in the fall when Transit sees more demand due to school scheduling and the weather. “Now we can direct that time to new services.”

BC Transit undergoes seasonal changes in service several times a year in an effort to help provide more comprehensive service. Russell said every year a major adjustment is made in the fall and one in the summer, with smaller seasonal adjustments made throughout the year.

Also new is the addition of the Trekker Breeze Plus automated voice annunciators. Back on Aug. 24, BC Transit began rolling out these devices on 25 of its buses in the Victoria Regional Transit System as a test run. They expect the remaining fleet will be equipped with the devices by the end of October.

These devices are “plug-and-play” and are hard-wired into the buses’ electrical system. They announce stops as buses approach them in an attempt to give consistent customer service to all members of the community.

For more information on fall service changes go to bctransit.com/regions/vic or pick up a new Rider’s Guide on board the bus.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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