BC Transit blames lack of available buses for rise in weekday service cancellations

WatchIf you've traded in the car keys for a bus pass recently, you may have encountered a few hiccups getting around town. This morning was a particularly bumpy ride as multiple routes all over the capital region were cancelled or delayed. Julian Kolsut reports.

A number of bus routes in Greater Victoria were hit by delays and cancellations again on Wednesday morning.

A list posted to the BC Transit website shows 20 bus routes were impacted including three cancellations of the busy #50 bus from Langford to downtown Victoria at 7:15 a.m., 7:56 a.m. and 8:17 a.m.

BC Transit is blaming the recent problems with service on what it calls “an unusual number of vehicles” not available for service over the past number of weekdays.

“We are doing everything we can to mitigate the impact to our customers,” reads a statement from BC Transit spokesperson Jonathan Dyck.

“We apologize to our riders and appreciate their patience while we work through these challenges.”

One frequent transit user told CHEK news on Tuesday that the delays and cancellations had been going on for more than a week.

BC Transit says it is looking forward to the arrival of new buses in January and throughout 2020 which it says will “tremendously support our ability to provide safe, reliable service.”

B.C. Transit’s union says it is due to an ongoing issue.

“Unfortunately it’s something we’ve been talking about for a number of years that Victoria does not have its own dedicated fleet,” said Ben Williams, president of the B.C. Transit Union.

“People see buses in Victoria, it says it says B.C. transit, and they assume that bus just lived there its own time… but what happens those buses get moved around the province, and they are used almost as a contingency fleet.”

Back in July a joint announcement from the province and federal government said 118 buses will be coming to the province. Ten dedicated to the city.

But the union says that will not solve the problem completely.

“The maintenance facility in Victoria is pushed right to to the limits, its a real challenge for them to sit there and get through all the pieces of equipment,” Williams added.

By the afternoon, buses appeared to be mostly back on schedule.


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