BC Transit warns of service impacts in Victoria due to snow

BC Transit warns of service impacts in Victoria due to snow
A bus is pictured stuck in James Bay on Jan. 17, 2024.

A second day of snow on Vancouver Island has forced BC Transit to cancel or detour some of its routes in Victoria, the Cowichan Valley and Salt Spring Island on Thursday.

The warning comes after a snowfall alert was issued for Greater Victoria, where up to 10 centimetres of snow is expected to fall by midnight, according to Environment Canada.

Snowfall warnings are also in effect for the Malahat highway, East Vancouver Island and Inland Vancouver Island – as well as a wind warning for North Vancouver Island.

In Greater Victoria, handyDART services are only running on essential service levels, according to BC Transit.

Essential services include medical appointments and other essential trips. Delays are possible for the essential trips, while people with non-essential appointments are being contacted about cancellations.

“Conditions are continuing to deteriorate and further impact BC Transit’s ability to provide safe and reliable service,” said BC Transit in an update around noon. “We anticipate seeing further impacts and route suspensions this afternoon and into the evening.”

On Thursday afternoon, BC Transit said service in the Cowichan Valley Regional Transit System had been cancelled due to weather.

Around 3 p.m., BC Transit also suspended service on Salt Spring Island for the remainder of the day.

In the Cowichan Valley, BC Transit says three routes will continue to run, including the 66, 70, and 99. Routes 66 and 99 returning from Victoria will see service disruptions on Thursday, however.

“Drop off points will be limited to Frayne Park N’ Ride, Valley View Park N’ Ride, Koksilah & Highway 1, and Village Green Mall,” said the bus operator.

“BC Transit thanks you for your patience and apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The following BC Transit routes in Victoria have been cancelled or altered as of noon Thursday. Any routes not included in the list below are operating as usual:

  • R-3 May – Cook; Bypassing Linden Loop
  • R-4 Douglas – Belleville -Blanshard – Fairfield; Not servicing Penwill
  • R-6 Using West Saanich Road; Not servicing Chatterton & Emily Carr
  • R-12 Cedar Hill, Elnido, Shelbourne to Kenmore; Not servicing Kenmore Hill West of Shelbourne
  • R-13 Service currently suspended
  • R-22 Using Helmcken and Wilkinson Rd; not servicing Hastings/Holland
    Burnside, Helmcken & Reverse; not servicing Wilkinson Road
    Victoria General – Watkiss – Helmcken; Not servicing Watkiss Loop
  • R-24 Admirals Rd; Bypassing Parklands Loop
  • R-24 Cook – Finlayson; Bypassing Kwanis Hill
  • R-24 Esquimalt Rd – Admirals; Bypassing Wilson Hill
  • R-32 Will route via Pat Bay to Sayward in one direction only
  • R-35 Service currently suspended
  • R-43 Using Belmont Rd – College Dr – Zealous – Egerton Crescent – Belmont; Not servicing Royal Roads
  • R-49 Not servicing Bear Mountain; Setchfield – Florence Lake, McCallum L-Leigh L-Goldstream R-Jacklin
  • R-52 Will use Millstream roundabout; not servicing Bear Mountain
  • R-53 Goldstream to Colwood Exchange & Reverse; not servicing Strandlund/Selwyn/Atkins/West Goldstream
  • R-54 Metchosin Rd; not servicing Duke Rd
  • R-54 Metchosin to Happy Valley; Turn around Metchosin Firehall not servicing William Head Prison
  • R-55 Metchosin to Happy Valley; Turn around Metchosin Firehall not servicing William Head Prison
  • R-57 Bellamy R-Phelps not servicing Gourman/Goldie Loop
  • R-59 Jacklin, Sooke, VMP to Latoria to Wishart Road; not servicing Triangle Mountain
  • R-60 Stay on Metchosin; Not servicing Lagoon
  • R-63 Service currently suspended
  • R-75 West Saanich – Keating Cross Road & Reverse; Not servicing Benvenuto or Verdier Loop
  • R-83 West Saanich, Interurban & Reverse; not servicing Quail Rd, Beaver, Beaver Lake Rd
  • R-87 Remain on East Saanich; not servicing Dean Park

The latest updates on BC Transit routes can be found on the company’s website.

BC Transit also has several tips for people who are planning to use public transit amid the snow.

People should try to go to their nearest bus stop that is on flat ground instead of a hill, and make sure you wear light or reflective gear. When the bus approaches, flag down your driver in case the visibility is poor, and step back from the curb when it arrives.

Commuters are also asked to wear good footwear with traction, in case the floors of the bus are wet, and to have their fare or pass ready before boarding.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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