The first of a series of new double-decker buses is ready to enter service in Victoria and it will offer unique features that no other BC Transit vehicle currently offers its passengers.
A brand new Enviro500 bus will be deployed for limited service in the Victoria Regional Transit System by tomorrow, March 31. It will be the first of 11 new double-decker buses coming to the city with the remaining vehicles to be deployed over the coming weeks.
According to BC Transit, each bus has a capacity to seat 89 passengers with room for an additional 15 standing passengers on the lower level.
As for the unique features, the new buses will offer riders a USB port at each seat to charge mobile devices and a monitor at the bottom of the stairs to view upper-level seating availability.
“For more than 20 years, double-decker buses have had a tremendous impact on our customers and have changed the landscape of public transit in Greater Victoria,” said Erinn Pinkerton, President and CEO of BC Transit. “With new features like the stairwell monitor and USB ports at each seat, these new buses will provide passengers with an even better experience than the great buses they are replacing.”
In addition to the two unique features, the Enviro500 bus series will also include:
- new Q’POD 3-point technology integrated wheelchair securement system
- vinyl seating fabric that is easy to clean and resists dirt and contaminants
- side-mounted ‘docking lights’, which are designed to illuminate the bus stop area and increase safety for boarding and exiting passengers
“The new double-decker buses are an exciting addition to the Victoria Regional Transit fleet. People who live and work in Greater Victoria are already choosing public transit as an affordable and greener mode of transportation,” said B.C.’s Minister of Transportation, Rob Fleming. “The Enviro500s have a high passenger capacity meaning more people can get to where they need to go faster while we reduce congestion at the same time.”
Upon their deployment, each bus will meet all COVID-19 signage requirements and come equipped with a full driver door designed to protect the health and safety of customers and Transit Operators.
The double-decker buses will be replacing the first high-capacity buses that entered service in the Victoria Regional Transit System in 2000.
The investment for these new buses totalled $15.5 million and was funded through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Roughly 40 per cent of the contribution came from the Government of Canada, another 40 per cent came from the Province of BC, and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission funded the approximate remaining 20 percent.
With the upgrades to new buses, including the Enviro500 double-decker buses and the Compressed Natural Gas, BC Transit says the age of its Victoria fleet vehicles has reduced from 12.2 years to 9.9.