BC Transit reports strong growth on commuter transit routes
Metro Victoria’s burgeoning real-estate prices have pushed many homebuyers north of the Capital Regional District (CRD) to the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD), which includes the communities of Shawnigan Lake, Malahat, Mill Bay and Duncan.
With the population growth in the CVRD and its partial dependence on the CRD for employment, education and amenities, BC Transit (in partnership with the CVRD and Victoria Transit Commission) launched a two-route commuter network in 2008 connecting Duncan and Shawnigan Lake (and multiple communities in between) with downtown Victoria.
The Cowichan Valley Commuter routes, according to newly released numbers by BC Transit, are being hailed as a success with 118% growth in passenger volumes between October 2008 and March 2011.
“I’m encouraged and delighted to hear that more people are choosing to travel by transit,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Blair Lekstrom. “The rising popularity of the Cowichan Valley Commuter is a testament to the high level of service being provided on this route by BC Transit.”
Monthly combined ridership as of March 2011 is just under 6,000 passengers for routes 66 Duncan Connector (not to be confused with route 66 East Sooke) and 99 Shawnigan Connector with two-thirds of surveyed passengers saying the service is “very good” or “excellent.”
Expansion plans for the Cowichan Valley Commuter service, currently offered on six buses heading southbound during the AM rush and northbound during the PM rush, are part of BC Transit’s 25-year Transit Future plan for the CVRD, could one day include expanded service hours and frequency.
“As the Cowichan Valley grows, and continues to realize the benefit to the environment in reducing the number of vehicles on the roads, more residents will see the value of transit service,” said Cowichan Valley Regional District Chair Gerry Giles. “As the service grows, we will require additional transit expansion hours and infrastructure from BC Transit and the Province to sustain the service.”
Funding for the Cowichan Valley Commuter Transit System is cost shared between the Cowichan Valley Regional District, Victoria Regional Transit Commission and BC Transit.
A one-way fare on the commuter service is $7 and monthly passes are priced at $165 for transit travel within the Cowichan Valley and on the Cowichan Valley Commuter, and $200 for a pass valid in both the Cowichan Valley and Victoria regions together with the Cowichan Valley Commuter. VV
To stay up to date on the south Island’s transit issues and news, refer to VibrantVictoria’s Victoria Regional Transit System discussion thread.
© Copyright 2011 by VibrantVictoria.ca. All rights reserved.
Responses to this Headline or Article
The five most recent replies to VibrantVictoria.ca's discussion forum's BC Transit (Victoria Regional Transit System) news and issues thread, the most relevant thread to the above headline or article:
Mike K.May 09, 2013 at 11:08 am
No doubt there are big profits involved.
But then if BC Transit is realizing a profit from leasing the buses that would otherwise sit idle, I'm not sure I see a problem.
VicHockeyFanMay 09, 2013 at 11:14 am
Do taxpayers own the BCT buses?
If they do then why is a private company allowed the use of them at a profit to that company?
Yes, but BCT will say they are turning a profit on the lease, that they can use to reduce fares/increase service, whatever way they want to spin it. I'm unclear why for such a small amount, BCT wants to do this, get their union up in arms etc.
I'm not sure how I feel about it. Did BCT do a open tender, or price list for the lease of the buses? ie., the current cruise operator, CVS Cruise Victoria, did they have equal access as Wilson's to the BCT stock, so they could submit a similar bid? Unlikely. Wilson's already has a maintenance contract of some sort with BCT, and probably had an in.
History BuffMay 09, 2013 at 11:24 am
Quote: Wilson's already has a maintenance contract of some sort with BCT, and probably had an in.
Of course they have an in.
Drive over to their yrad on Glanford across from the Postal Station on any given day and you'll see Bc Transit equipment in various stages of repair and body work on and off the hoists.
Something stinks about this "arrangement" or "contract" or whatever one wants to call it.
Hotel MikeMay 09, 2013 at 3:46 pm
Won't there be fewer buses because of the new Ogden Point dock that can take people downtown by water? Has that been built?
VicHockeyFanMay 09, 2013 at 5:34 pm
Quote: Won't there be fewer buses because of the new Ogden Point dock that can take people downtown by water? Has that been built?
By what means would it take them? There aren't many vessels. A bus whisks away 48 or 56 people, or more each. No boats will make much of an impact.