BC Transit celebrates accomplishments in ridership, infrastructure development and technology

Sep 3, 2019
Transit System: Global

CORPORATE – BC Transit is releasing its 2018/19 annual report. This year’s achievements include increases in ridership, implementation of key infrastructure projects, and service expansions across the province.

Province-wide, BC Transit enjoyed a six per cent increase in ridership with 57 million annual passenger trips, which is the highest growth since 2008/09.

Approximately 58,000 annualized service hours, an increase of almost four per cent, were added by implementing 23 service expansion across 17 transit systems. Service expansions across the province also included the introduction of new transit routes, improved frequency, extended hours of operation, and investments in custom handyDART service.

Transit services in northern B.C. were also enhanced in support of the Province’s efforts to enable residents of First Nations communities and local governments to travel safely in the region via the launch of BC Bus North. 

In 2018/19 BC Transit placed a focus on improving the customer experience through technology including the roll out of its real-time bus location technology, NextRide, in six communities. Allowing customers to track their bus using their mobile devices. NextRide also reduces barriers for the visually impaired by enabling automatic next stop announcements, and provides passenger information displays on-board buses and at selected bus stops to assist those with hearing impairments.

Over the last reporting year, BC Transit continued the implementation of key infrastructure projects supported by the Federal Government’s Public Transit Infrastructure Fund Program and introduced the Investing in Canadian Infrastructure projects fund. These projects included and expanded transit operations facilities in Victoria, Campbell River, Cowichan Valley and the Central Fraser Valley.

BC Transit also continued to leverage its fleet replacement program to reduce the increasing maintenance costs of an aging fleet, while supporting the Province’s greenhouse gas reduction targets by implementing more fuel-efficient and green technology. Battery-Electric Bus (BEB) pilots were also conducted in Victoria to help determine the state of readiness and operational capabilities of this type of technology and how BEBs may factor into moving to a low carbon fleet. This included the first in-service trial of a battery electric bus for three months in Victoria.

Additionally, BC Transit initiated the development of a new Strategic Plan to set the framework and performance objectives for the next five to ten years, and to refresh the focus of the organization, in order to meet the ever-changing transportation landscape.

Additional 2018/19 Major Accomplishments

  • Advanced Fare Technology Strategy approved
  • 600 buses across the province were equipped with closed circuit television
  • 23 service expansions in 17 transit systems and implemented 69 service changes
  • Launched Douglas and Highway 1 Bus Lanes
  • Completion of Colwood/View Royal Rapid Transit Study and launch of Westshore Action Plan
  • Custom Transit feasibility studies launched in Whistler, Pemberton and Dawson Creek
  • Expanded CNG fleet across the province
  • Began development of a new Strategic Plan

To view the 2018/19 Annual Report and learn more about BC Transit, please visit our website at bctransit.com

Quotes

“It’s great to see more and more people choosing transit in B.C. Public transit helps make B.C. communities more affordable and inclusive, while cutting congestion and lowering our carbon footprint.”

Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

“I am proud of the results we achieved in 2018/2019 in partnership with our staff and local government partners. I look forward to continue improving the customer experience through service expansions, new fleet upgrades, and implementation of new fare, accessibility and bus technologies across the province.”

Erinn Pinkerton, President and Chief Executive Officer of BC Transit