On top of their annual reduction in service brought on by the end of the school term in April, BC Transit is announcing further reductions in light of reduced demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on recent observations, BC Transit has reported 70% less ridership due to the closure of schools, post secondary institutions, and a large number of businesses and government agencies.
Therefore on top of the annual spring seasonal service change, the transit company will be reducing service levels on a few other routes to “provide more schedule certainty”.
In Victoria, this includes:
- A temporary discontinuation of late night service on Friday and Saturday nights (coming into effect Friday, April 3)
- Frequency reductions on multiple routes throughout the Victoria Regional Transit System
In their statement, BC Transit assures the public that these reductions will still allow for physical distancing for those who travel on buses in Greater Victoria.
Media spokesperson Jonathon Dyck also confirmed to Victoria Buzz that the company will not be blocking out seats to indicate which seats can be used by passengers to best follow physical distancing directives – a measure that has been adopted by TransLink in Metro Vancouver.
Dyck says this measure will not be adopted as they want to “allow families and those living in the same household to still be together on the bus.”
So far, BC Transit has also implemented the following measures:
- Rear door loading, except for those with accessible needs
- Not collecting fares
- Enhancing the red line for customers to remain behind to provide physical distance from the operator
- Promoting good etiquette on transit for physical distance including providing space for other customers and checking passenger loads before traveling.
More information about specific schedule changes can be found on the BC Transit website.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 927,986.
Over 46,400 people have died from the illness and 193,474 have made a full recovery.