B.C. Transit is launching its Blink RapidBus service on April 10 with the new Route 95, which will provide more frequent service between downtown Victoria and the West Shore. Route 95 will replace and follow the route of Route 50, but with fewer stops.
Two more RapidBus routes are proposed, connecting areas with the highest travel demands in the region.
“The vision of the new service is to outperform the personal automobile in speed, comfort and reliability,” said Levi Megenbir, senior transit planner for B.C. Transit.
“We will be adding 21 more weekday trips daily, which adds up to a 12 per cent increase over current levels.”
He said that transit riders can expect a bus to arrive every seven to eight minutes during peak travel times and at least every 15 minutes between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Transit riders will start to see temporary branding appear at bus stops beginning next week, with permanent orange signs to follow.
Buses serving on the new line will be drawn from the current fleet and no new equipment was purchased for Route 95.
Orange signage will signify to travellers that they are at a Blink RapidBus stop.
“The new service is possible thanks to investments in infrastructure, such as building priority bus lanes on Douglas Street and the Trans-Canada Highway,” said Megenbir. “That was Phase 1. Phase 2 will see even more improvements in the RapidBus station infrastructure, followed by the launch of the Victoria to Swartz Bay and Uptown to University of Victoria RapidBus lines.”
As a result of the new Blink RapidBus route, some changes were made to Route 61 Sooke. During non-peak travel times customers will be required to transfer to the Route 95 at the Langford Exchange if their destination is downtown Victoria. Customers without monthly passes will need to pay an additional fare for the transfer or use a DayPass.
“Blink RapidBus is not the start and it isn’t the end of our vision to outperform the personal automobile,” said Megenbir.
He said that improvements to infrastructure between Goldstream Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway in Colwood and View Royal are being planned to make the new line even faster.
Signage will start appearing at affected bus stops outlining the changes.
As part of the launch, B.C. Transit is holding a contest for riders.
For more information on the changes and to enter the contest, go to bctransit.com/blink.
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