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Shuttle bus deal signed as Victoria’s cruise-ship season starts

The first cruise ship of the 2015 season arrives this morning at Ogden Point and, just in time, a new deal has been signed to provide shuttle service for passengers from the terminal to the downtown.
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The large cruise ship Celebrity Solstice ties up to the mooring dolphin at Ogden Point in May 2013. The 2015 seasons starts today.

The first cruise ship of the 2015 season arrives this morning at Ogden Point and, just in time, a new deal has been signed to provide shuttle service for passengers from the terminal to the downtown.

Wilson’s Transportation has signed a two-year deal with the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to operate the bus service, which is used by more than 100,000 cruise ship passengers each year.

Wilson’s will use leased B.C. Transit buses for the service and will work with the Harbour Authority to develop a program that will include hiring and training members of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.

The deal, which expires at the end of the 2016 season, is renewable for up to three additional cruise seasons up until the end of the 2019 season. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

This year marks the first time B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board will allow people to stand on B.C. Transit buses used for the shuttle service, reducing the number of buses required and shortening lines.

Ogden Point expects 229 ship visits this year bringing at least 513,000 passengers to the city.