New Langford-Victoria RapidBus rolls out with more frequent service, fewer stops

New Langford-Victoria RapidBus rolls out with more frequent service, fewer stops

A new RapidBus service is replacing the 50 route from Langford to downtown Victoria and will have more service and fewer stops, according to BC Transit.

The new bus route, the 95 Blink RapidBus, launched on April 10 with the current 50 route being discontinued the same day.

BC Transit says there is estimated to be some time savings for people using this route, but the main differences will be the frequency of service and more reliability.

Route 95 will go along the same route, but will not stop at every bus stop.

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In Langford, the bus will stop at seven fewer stops, and four fewer in Saanich and Victoria. In removing some stops, BC Transit said it aimed to keep an average of 600 metres between the stops.

During peak times, the bus will be expected to arrive at stops every seven to eight minutes, and every 15 minutes between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

BC Transit says there will be 21 more weekday trips on route 95 than the current route, 11 more on Saturdays, and 20 on Sundays.

Additionally, the new route will come with orange branding on both the buses and the stops.

“One of the biggest hurdles we work to overcome is the perception that taking the bus is slow and inconvenient, so BC Transit’s objective was to develop a new brand identity for this service that would excite, create awareness and combat this perception,” BC Transit says on its Blink RapidBus webpage.

What this means for Route 61

The 50 often turns into the 61 and carries on to Sooke, so this change will also have impacts for service on that route.

BC Transit says there will also be improvements to service frequency and efficiencies will be created. BC Transit says Monday to Saturday service will increase to every 30-45 minutes until 10 p.m. when it will be every 60 minutes. Sunday service will increase to every 45-60 minutes.

During non-peak travel times, customers will have to transfer at the Langford Exchange to the Route 95 to carry on to Downtown Victoria.

RELATED: Tap-and-go payment pilot coming to BC Transit buses in Victoria

Public opinion

Most of those who’ve experienced the Blink RapidBus are happy with the new service. Jeremy Martin chooses to ride the rapid bus despite having a vehicle.

“I have a license I usually drive but with this bus here in Victoria with the way it’s set up I don’t need to drive. I definitely take the bus more than driving” says Martin.

Although there is general positive feedback for the route, others think more should be done to encourage people to take public transit like transit user Cameron Perry.

“I think more needs to be done,” Perry said. “I think the only way you’ll ever convince people to truly use public transportation is by putting more [buses] on the road. Sometimes 10 [or] 15 minutes is to long. Five minutes should be the norm.”

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