3AM late-night transit services to and from downtown Victoria mulled for 2019
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Published December 14, 2018
Late-night transit services in the Capital Region could be extended to 3AM as part of next year’s Victoria Regional Transit System scheduling improvements, Citified has learned.
On Tuesday, December 18th the Victoria Regional Transit Commission will vote on whether to back three recommendations brought forward by transit planners for the 2019/2020 operational year calling for an additional 20,000 operational hours.
Among them are amendments to Friday, Saturday and select holiday late-night scheduling for routes 4, 6, 14, 15, 27, 28 and 50 that would push last bus departures to between 2:30AM and 3AM for services between downtown Victoria and Esquimalt via routes 14 and 15, View Royal via route 14, Langford’s town centre via route 50, suburban Saanich via routes 6, 27 and 28, and UVic via Camosun College's Lansdowne campus through routes 4, 14 and 15.
Groups in support of the changes include the Victoria Downtown Residents Association (DRA) and the Hotel Association of Greater Victoria (HAGV), two high-profile organizations that recognize the positive impact of late-night transit services.
In a letter submitted by DRA president Paul Gandall to the Commission, the association believes extending services beyond 1:30AM would better serve the community and reduce disturbances experienced by residents of the downtown core.
“As a number of other stakeholders have noted, 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,” Gandall wrote, adding that the DRA would like to see the changes implemented sooner rather than later.
In another letter HAGV’s chairperson Reid James called the prospect of extended late-night departures “logical and civilized” while citing that much of the region’s entertainment, night life and hotel accommodations are concentrated in the downtown core with limited after-hours options for transport to and from.
“Downtown Victoria is a popular destination for our visitors and residents of Greater Victoria. Bar and night club [sic] patrons empty on to the streets at 2AM with only one transportation option, an overwhelmed taxi service,” writes Hill. “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. This causes grief for people that live downtown and for visitors of our city.”
Alongside changes to late-night hours the Commission will consider additional funding for crosstown routes throughout the region and improved summer scheduling to the Swartz Bay BC Ferries terminal.
The 2019/2020 operational year’s primary improvements were selected from a list of 27 priorities outlined by transit planners that were primarily weighed for productivity (uptake by transit riders) and as fixes to existing scheduling conflicts or shortcomings.
The Victoria Regional Transit system carries approximately 27 million passengers per annum with 841,000 service hours for conventional transit operations. The system’s HandyDart and taxi services transport 400,000 passengers over 127,000 hours. C
© Copyright 2018 by Citified.ca. All rights reserved.
You may be interested in:
Affordable rentals and an office complex envisions for Tally-Ho Hotel site