(Victoria Buzz)

To mark Earth Day, Victoria residents will soon be able to hop aboard public transit for free in a push to have fewer cars on local roads.

On Friday, April 22nd, BC Transit and the Greater Victoria Transit Commission (GVTC) will offer complimentary rides on both conventional routes and HandyDART services.

Earth Day came to be in 1970 and highlights the importance of sustainability, encouraging people to make choices that reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and help protect the environment.

“Taking public transit is one way to make a difference,” BC Transit said Wednesday.

The company points to its goal of having a zero-emission fleet by 2040 through its Low Carbon Fleet Program, supporting provincial targets for GHG emissions and aligning with CleanBC.

“The current province-wide fleet has more than 240 Compressed Natural Gas buses, and the first battery-electric buses will be coming to Victoria,” added BC Transit.

Free rides on Earth Day come as a staff shortage plagues BC Transit, prompting some service reductions to roll out earlier this month along local routes.

SEE ALSO: BC Transit labour shortage prompts service changes in Victoria

On April 4th, the company said it was actively recruiting transit operators in several systems across the province and working to hire more drivers.

BC Transit says it will increase capacity as more operators are hired, and encourages transit-goers to visit its website for a detailed look at bus schedules, routes and service alerts.

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