BC Transit will implement new enhancements in September 2019. (File photo)

BC Transit will implement new enhancements in September 2019. (File photo)

Catch last call and a cheap ride home: Late night buses coming to Victoria in 2019

New plan will extend service on weekends with last trip leaving downtown at 3 a.m.

Victoria will soon have late night bus service that will allow people to catch last call at the bar and a cheap ride home.

The Victoria Regional Transit Commission met Tuesday and approved in principle three transit service enhancement priorities for 2019/2020 – including extending late night service by one hour on Fridays and Saturdays, improving summer transit service on ferry-oriented routes and increasing frequency and span on crosstown routes.

The enhancements will reflect an additional 20,000 hours of service annually.

RELATED: BC Transit tests second electric bus on Victoria streets

Late night service has been identified as a priority through Local Area Transit Planning activities as well as several advocacy and service associations.

Currently, on Fridays, Saturdays and select holidays the last bus out of downtown Victoria is between 1:30 and 1:45 a.m. – not ideal when last call at the bar is 2 a.m.

The new plan will extend late night service by one hour on Fridays, Saturdays and select holidays with three additional trips, the last scheduled trips leaving downtown Victoria between 2:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.

“Bar and nightclub patrons empty on to the streets with only one transportation option, an overwhelmed taxi service. My colleagues that manage hotels on or near the bar zones can attest to the challenges they have with dispersing crowds of people every Friday and Saturday night,” wrote Reid James, chair of the Hotel Association of Greater Victoria, in a letter to the commission expressing support for extending the night time service.

RELATED: BC Transit spends over $600,000 on new Victoria buses

Another letter of support came from Paul Gandall, president of the Victoria Downtown Residents Association.

“This would significantly reduce noise, disruption and safety concerns for downtown residents after bars and other venues close, by offering both patrons and workers an affordable means of quickly exiting the core area,” wrote Gandall.

The second priority, to increase the frequency and span of crosstown routes, provides critical connections to areas outside of downtown Victoria. The Transit Future Plan recommends a frequency of 15-minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

A number of crosstown routes don’t meet this standard and are experiencing challenges with on-time performance and peak capacity. Additional service hours will improve transit service levels and address capacity issues.

The third priority is additional service to ferry-oriented routes. There has been a significant increase in demand on routes servicing the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. As a result, ferry-oriented transit routes are experiencing bus crowding and pass ups. Additional summer service on ferry-oriented routes will help meet the recent increase in demand.

While the commission meeting Tuesday didn’t meet quorum, there was unanimous approval from those there, and the agreement will be ratified by email by all commissioners in the coming days.

“I have no concerns,” said Susan Brice, chair of Victoria Regional Transit Commission. “We made a consensus decision and we want to make sure we have a quorum vote on the record.”

The funds for the enhancements will be finalized in the February budget with implementation in September 2019.

For more information on the planned enhancements see bctransit.com


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Transit

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read