Bus

Service expansion, ridership growth fuel BC Transit success

Posted on January 3, 2011

[IMAGE]BC-Transit-bus-to-Whistler-2.jpg[/IMAGE]In 2010, additional service, infrastructure projects, increased public consultation and new fleet technology helped enhance service across the province and overall ridership growth at Victoria, British Columbia's BC Transit.

Through innovative planning and customer service initiatives, BC Transit delivered a five-fold increase in service, expanded its fleet to 300 buses, operated 24 hours a day and served over 1.5 million customers in the Sea to Sky region during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

During the Olympics, BC Transit's capabilities were showcased to thousands of spectators, athletes and visitors. More than 250 drivers from across Canada joined the BC Transit team to become ambassadors for the transit industry, according to the agency.

BC Transit's service, in partnership with TransLink, shared the Canadian Urban Transportation Authority award for "Exceptional Service in 2010."

While the Olympics were a major initiative, BC Transit's efforts in 2010 were also directed to enhancing and expanding service throughout the province.

In Kelowna, BC Transit's first BRT route was introduced to connect UBC Okanagan to downtown Kelowna every 15 minutes during peak periods. In the first three months, ridership increased by more than 10 percent and further expansion of the network is being planned.

While in Victoria, late-night service was introduced on Friday and Saturday nights. Three major routes continue to travel to and from downtown Victoria past 1:30 a.m.

As a way to attract more people to learn and provide more input on the future of their local transit system, BC Transit launched the 'Transit Future' public consultation campaign. The campaign includes a 40-foot bus outfitted as a mobile open house (designed for customers to walk through to learn more about local transit) and an interactive, online game. Over 5,000 residents have been through the bus in the Capital Region and the Central Okanagan. The Road Tour continues in 2011 to other BC Transit systems.

[IMAGE]BC-Transit-Future-Bus-Interior-6.jpg[/IMAGE]Exploring new fleet technology and expanding infrastructure also continued in 2010 as BC Transit began testing the 20-bus hydrogen fuel cell demonstration fleet in Whistler, the Vicinity, a 27-foot community service vehicle, and the announcement of three new operations and maintenance facilities.

Additionally, Whistler's new transit center opened its doors in January, while work is underway for larger and more efficient facilities in Vernon and Kamloops.

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