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BC Transit (Victoria Regional Transit System) news and issues


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#81 G-Man

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 07:46 PM

Hey we should think about extended the Propass to every Victorian and not just Ferwoodians. That means everyone could pay the discounted price ;)

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#82 mikedw

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 09:56 PM

Hey we should think about extended the Propass to every Victorian and not just Ferwoodians. That means everyone could pay the discounted price ;)


We all pay for transit now.

BC Hydro tacks on a transit levy. Municipal budgets spill money into BC Transit. In Vancouver, TransLink puts a levy on gas. I think the same happens here, but I am not certain.

A minority of the transit revenue comes from the fare box.

Forcing potential users to pay doesn't guarantee service to those involuntary patrons. When BC Transit looked to trim on its budget, they clipped late night runs up to UVic. People who worked or studied (or drank) upto 11PM, had to dash for an 11:07 bus or they'd be S-O-L. I can see BC Transit's perspective: in collecting U-Pass revenue, they have the riders' money regardless of whether or not they board the bus.

When you're forced to pay regardless of the quality of service, service will go downhill. For example: taxation and government services. The government gets your money regardless so they're free to do whatever they want.

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#83 G-Man

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 07:40 AM

^ While I agree with some elements of what you are saying I will also say that Transit service in Victoria is far better now than it was when I first went to UVic 11 years ago. Buses are more frequent along many routes and also capacity is much higher with the Double Decker buses.

Anyways you could use that argument with health care to and I would disagree strongly with you.

I think that the best thing we could do for transit is to create a regional authority that is just looking out for Victoria, also lobbying a little more with the province might also work. Unfortuneately we have a very unimpressive opposition that tends to only bring up other issues...

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#84 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 05:38 PM

I often hop a bus if I'm going into downtown from Caledonia/Douglas and vice-versa. I always wonder if the guys driving the "suburban" routes like 70, 75, 50, 61 etc, get pissed when guys like me use it to travel just 3 or 4 stops.
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#85 G-Man

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 05:54 PM

^ That is why we need a free downtown circulator bus. It should run South on Douglas and North on Government every five minutes it should go as far south as belleville and as far north as Hillside. I would use it all the time.

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#86 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 06:11 PM

^ absolutely! And it would boost business, too.
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#87 Holden West

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 03:48 PM

Not available in Victoria yet but wouldn't it be nice?

http://www.google.com/transit
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#88 obscurantist

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 11:27 PM

[url=http://www.martlet.ca/view.php?aid=39188:2a866]BC Transit is proposing two new community bus routes to serve UVic and the Cadboro Bay / Gordon Head neighbourhoods. But don't hold your breath....[/url:2a866]

“Coming to the university right now, we’re passing up people, and there’s 100 people on a bus packed in there,” said Mike Davis, BC Transit manager of planning and scheduling. “So is it more important to introduce [new routes], or is it more important to get more service on a place where you’re going to carry 100 people instead of 12 people?”

Because of the budgeting dilemma, Davis said that September 2008 would be the earliest that the service could start. He cautioned that BC Transit has already set priorities for September 2008 that don’t include the proposed routes. ...

The first proposed bus route is the 12 Kenmore. It would head out of the UVic loop onto Finnerty Road, turning left onto Arbutus Road before going down San Juan Avenue and Kenmore Road through Gordon Head. The route would then go down Cedar Hill Road to University Heights Shopping Centre before looping back to the university. ...

In the proposal, BC Transit plans to run 19 loops per weekday and estimates 373 riders daily.

The second loop is the 13 Cadboro Bay and will go through UVic, down Sinclair Hill and out through to Wedgewood Estates, said Smuggler’s Cove Pub and Liquor Store owner Brian Dunn, who helped campaign to get the route considered. The proposal outlines seven trips each weekday and estimates 60 riders per day.

According to Dunn, the route will help the elderly who live at Wedgewood Estates, a housing development in the Ten Mile Point area near the ocean.

“They’re losing their driver’s licence,” said Dunn of the area’s residents. “And they need access to get into the hubs like UVic.”

The route will also make it easier for students to get up and down the hill to Cadboro Bay Village. “It’ll loop around and link up our village a little better with the University of Victoria,” Dunn said. “The hill’s a big geographic barrier.” ...

Davis said he’s not sure that a community bus will be big enough for the Kenmore routing, and he’s also unsure there’s enough demand to operate Cadboro Bay route. ...

BC Transit will be consulting with local businesses and accepting feedback from the public on their website before they make a decision about the routes.

And for anyone nervous about riding a bus numbered 13, Davis said the numbers are flexible.

“I didn’t even think of it. They were just two empty row numbers in a row that we’re not using right now,” he said. “If there’s a great outpour of number 13 phobia, we can move it to something else.”

[url=http://www.busonline.ca/regions/vic/2006_public_consultation/gordon_head_consultation.cfm:2a866]BC Transit - Gordon Head / Cadboro Bay public consultation[/url:2a866]

Does anyone here use community buses? I've never lived anywhere that's been on a community bus route since they started bringing them in several years ago in Vancouver and Victoria. I know they have a couple in downtown Vancouver, although they're used more in the suburbs.

How well do they work? Are enough people aware of the routes being in existence to make them viable, or is there the opposite problem of too much demand for the smaller vehicles to be appropriate?

Of the two routes they're proposing here, I find it hard to imagine that they could make a go of either of them. The 13 doesn't really cover anywhere that isn't within fairly close walking distance of the 11 -- why not make the #11 service more frequent instead? Likewise with the 12 -- couldn't they just alter the #39 route so it doesn't duplicate the #26 routing along Mackenzie between Shelbourne and UVic, and make the #39 service more frequent as well?

#89 G-Man

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 07:34 AM

Well I used to have to take one here and they suck. BC transit puts them in to stop people from being too upset when they axe a route. Perhap they work in some areas. Are these the dial a ride ones or are they scheduled?

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#90 Mike K.

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 10:10 AM

Never used one myself but from what I understand they are scheduled in urban areas. Out in the Highlands and Metchosin the routes can deviate somewhat. I'm pretty sure the drivers are paid less, too.

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#91 rayne_k

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 06:40 PM

I was staying in West Van for a few days this summer (for wuf3) and they have a minibus - same vehicle type as the community shuttles - running along Davie very frequently. I loved the idea - a smaller bus running more frequently. While service in Victoria has improved alot, it's still infrequent enough to turn alot of people off.

I wonder if such an idea might not make sense for really high residential density areas in Victoria that are close to downtown - ie James Bay and Cook Street Village. Both areas have the highest residential density in the city and to me, are analagous to Davie village. Great place to get residents hooked on transit for short local trips.

A side note: a most entertaining experience during wuf3 - walking back one evening finding myself behind a group from somewhere in the southern US who had no idea of Davie's rainbow character. They were scandalized and soo fascinated.

#92 Mike K.

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 09:00 AM

Esquimalt has five or so bus routes running through its municipality. Is Esquimalt's seat at the transit table even necessary?

All areas need say on transit commission
Only a few select communities decide how local B.C. Transit service is delivered.

At the pleasure of the provincial government, representatives from Victoria and Saanich, with two each, as well as Sidney, Oak Bay and Sooke are appointed to the Victoria Regional Transit Commission. They decide on service levels.

The rest of us, including Esquimalt, View Royal, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Central Saanich, Highlands and North Saanich, have no voice and no influence.

This is a flawed model for providing public transportation. Even commission members such as Mayor Frank Leonard of Saanich and Mayor Don Amos of Sooke (the current commission chairman) have acknowledged that the existing method of governance does not adequately serve the public interest.

The answer lies in the creation of a truly connected and independent regional transit authority with representation from all 13 jurisdictions.

Premier Gordon Campbell is now advocating a serious commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Society will need viable alternatives to “car addiction.” Public transit will become the preferred choice of transportation by more and more people.

An autonomous transit authority can be truly responsive to demand, link expanded service to population growth and could contribute to a significant reduction in greenhouse gases.

An independent transit authority will bring ownership of the system closer to the customers and could have a huge positive impact on our response to climate change.

Chris Clement Mayor, Esquimalt.

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#93 G-Man

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 09:20 AM

both the 6 and the 14 run through Esquimalt and those are two of the best served routes. Oh and the 26. What are they complaining about.

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#94 Mike K.

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 09:33 AM

I think Clement's upset because transit wanted to cut the 24 service down significantly. That bus continues to run virtually empty for much of the day because people freaked out on transit for even considering cutbacks.

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#95 Mike K.

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 10:19 AM

This letter makes the case for a unified transit body and amalgamation.

Feb 26, TC:
Transit authority needs overhaul
Re: “All areas need say on transit commission,” Feb. 22.

Transit is a regional issue. How can Oak Bay and Sidney be making decisions on tax and fare increases that effect everyone in the region? There is major growth on the West Shore without representation from local governments there.

The province is not spending enough on transit and until it does, nothing will change. But a regional body like the Capital Regional District or a representative regional authority would have more clout when it comes to securing infrastructure funds from the federal or provincial governments.

Everyone wants a truly regional approach to transit, but nothing is being done.

I really think its about protectionism. Amalgamation is a dirty word among local governments. But to best represent the region you have to think about it as a whole.

The province also has to stop dragging its feet on public transit. It needs to fund it and create a new effective governance model, let the CRD handle transit or amalgamate the region.

If a transportation authority is established, let’s make it an island-wide authority responsible for highways, transit and local roads.

Maybe then we can solve some of our traffic woes, reduce greenhouse gases and solve the Malahat problem. Randy Smith,

Colwood.

=================================

Where do these people come up with the costs? $120 million for overpasses at Tillicum/Mack and Admirals/Mack? The LRT solution will most likely cost $700 million if we follow the advice of the Island Transformation people. $350 million represents the bare minimum the region should invest into a successful system.

And doesn't the West Coast Express lose money every year?

Rail would provide the perfect solution
Re: “All areas need say on transit commission,” Feb. 22.

Mayor Chris Clement’s letter refers to our flawed model for providing public transportation.

An integrated transportation system of ferry, bus and rail would provide a better choice for the travelling public than bus service alone. Railways have historically financed their infrastructure costs from earnings and they pay taxes, part of which goes to highways.

This market imbalance leads to an inefficient system for moving people and goods.

Rail operators provide safer travel, have greater capacity and use less land, yet are penalized under the present tax structure.

Overpasses at Admirals/McKenzie and Tillicum would cost $120 million. The 18-kilometre Victoria-to-Langford streetcar (LRT) is estimated at $350 million, including vehicles. An upgrade of the publicly owned E&N railbed, Victoria to Comox, would be $30 million.

Most of Victoria’s carbon emissions come from vehicles. Hydro Quebec’s figures of emission per passenger per kilometre: SUV 405g; diesel bus, about 40g; electric rail, zero. (Calgary powers its LRT from windmills).

In 2002, the Clean Air Day commuter run from Langford to downtown took 18 minutes. Today, by car, this can take more than 60 minutes. Sonja Young,

Victoria.

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#96 obscurantist

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 01:28 PM

This letter makes the case for a unified transit body and amalgamation.

The region already has a "unified" transit body in the form of the Greater Victoria Transit Commission. I don't see how amalgamation of the cities in Greater Victoria would help to improve transit in particular, although it might do so indirectly through improved land use planning.

If the writer means that there should be more regional control over transit, as opposed to BC Transit and the provincial Minister of Transportation making the critical decisions, then I think he raises an arguable point. However, despite the BC Liberals' 2001 campaign promise to follow the Lower Mainland precedent and create more regional transit authorities, the trend appears to be in the opposite direction, with the Greater Vancouver transit authority soon to lose what little autonomy it had.

[url=http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=2fc99ecd-3918-4190-bfa4-11d6c0b4c612:8091f]Michael Smyth, Vancouver Province (subscription needed)[/url:8091f]

Two weeks ago, Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon received the final "governance review" report on the fate of Greater Vancouver's transit board.

I'm told it sounds the death knell for TransLink. ...

Watch for Falcon to release this report in early March and announce a new transit structure for the Lower Mainland that will include more provincial government control over the bus system, SkyTrain, SeaBus and the WestCoast Express commuter rail.

I guess this represents the application of Colin Powell's "Pottery Barn" rule to regional transit planning: if you break it, you buy it (or take it back in this case). The province broke TransLink by constantly meddling in its affairs right from the start.

Maybe BC isn't ready for regional transportation authorities -- I just don't think it's the fault of "parochialism and petty politics" at the local level as Falcon suggests elsewhere in the article. It's the fault of provincial politicians who claimed to be interested in giving regional politicians more autonomy over regional decisions, while in practice they steamrollered over those regional politicians.

#97 G-Man

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 01:48 PM

Amalgamation is the answer only because outside jurisdictions see Victoria as many little places rather than one or three big places. Are you going to give money to the city with 400 000 people or 80 000 who would have guessed that they could be the same place?

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#98 m0nkyman

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 02:16 PM

Maybe funding rules should be modified to follow StatsCan's CMA rules rather than forcing cities to amalgamate.

#99 Mike K.

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 02:25 PM

That's not a bad idea, actually.

Makes me wonder if the panels that divide up infrastructure funding are being "mean" because they know that the CMA is near 400,000. It's like the yearly meeting of major cities in which Victoria is not represented because The City of Victoria is too small.

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#100 G-Man

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 02:59 PM

Yet in pop terms we are the same size as Halifax... Ridiculous!

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