It’s I Love Transit Week! A week where we celebrate our riders, transit enthusiasts and all the things we love about transit. This year’s theme is…Connections: the future of transportation in Metro Vancouver. Our friends at BC Transit are in charge of public transit outside of Metro Vancouver, so we sat down with them to ask why they love transit.
Matthew Boyd is the Acting Director of Corporate and Strategic Planning at BC Transit. He’s worked at BC Transit for six years and previously worked at Coast Mountain Bus Company. He’s a regular transit rider and never misses an opportunity to sit on the top deck of Victoria’s Double-Decker buses. Find him on Twitter: @mtthwbyd
Tell us what BC Transit loves about transit.
The people! First, our customers. Whether you’re someone that takes transit daily to get to work or to go on weekend adventures, our customers are why we provide our service. Of course, we cannot forget the people that get the service on the road: drivers, mechanics, schedulers, transit supervisors, the finance team, and more! We’re proud of the hard work of our team that gets the service going.
What is the service area for BC Transit?
BC Transit operates in over 130 communities serving 1.77 million people across B.C. outside of Metro Vancouver. We have systems in cities with over 100,000 people, such as Kelowna and Victoria, and communities including Kitimat and Trail. In fact, every community in BC with at least 5,000 people has access to public transit! We’re proud of being able to provide service in communities across the province of various sizes and geography!
Taking the bus on the #SunshineCoast? The new schedule goes into effect Oct 9, designed to match the latest BC Ferries schedule! Details: https://t.co/rrluUR1lJW @SunshineCoastRD pic.twitter.com/liQF55ayqV
— BC Transit (@BCTransit) September 26, 2018
How many buses does BC Transit have?
We have over 1000 buses across the province. We have a variety of buses, including Nova, Vicinity, New Flyer, ARBOC, Alexander Dennis, and more! We work hard to match the appropriately-sized bus with the community and route needs. A fun fact: we were the first transit system in North America to start using Double Decker buses! We’re proud to see these buses in other communities in Canada, including in Vancouver. Nanaimo was also the first transit system to employ an entire conventional fleet of Compressed Natural Gas-powered buses.
How many individual transit systems are under BC Transit?
We have 83 transit systems. A list of our systems is available at Bctransit.com .
How many passengers does BC Transit connect per year?
We have over 52 million passenger trips each year. That’s more than the population of Canada (37 million)!
What are the common aspects between BC Transit and TransLink?
TransLink was part of BC Transit (and our preceding organizations such as the Urban Transit Authority and B.C. Hydro) until 1999. Both organizations work hard to connect people and communities in British Columbia. We believe both organizations are focused on our customers, and are always learning from one another. More about our history can be found here.
How does BC Transit connect with TransLink?
BC Transit and TransLink have the Route 66 Fraser Valley Express that connects Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and more, with Metro Vancouver. This is a very popular service and we’re proud to link our customers with the TransLink service. We also work closely to share information about new technology and innovations, and learn from each other’s experiences. A video about the Fraser Valley Express can be found on our YouTube Channel.
Does BC Transit have any plans for more connections with TransLink?
We are always happy to explore more connections with our partners at TransLink! We are actively working together on numerous fleet procurement activities. I think technology will be a big opportunity for us to learn from one another.
What is the future of BC Transit?
We provide people across British Columbia outside of Metro Vancouver with a sustainable transportation option. We know the way people access transportation is changing with customers expecting more information through digital means, and new transportation options becoming available. We need to look at our service, and how we can improve the customer experience by complementing and integrating with various modes of transportation. This will make the service better for all of our customers.
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Only a few days left to enter to win an adventure getaway with #Sunwolf and two 1-year bus passes! Share how you're using BC Transit during these last days of summer by using #ExploreBCbyBus on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter before September 5 to be entered! #explorebc #beautifulbc #transittravel #bctransit #transit #nextstopbc #rideandseekbc #whitewaterrafting #eaglewatching #pnwadventures
Are there any plans on connecting the Sea to Sky with public transit?
In 2017, we conducted consultations on the potential of transit along the Sea to Sky Corridor, and released a report outlining our findings. We know there is interest in this type of service, and now, the local governments and Province of BC are working to determine the feasibility of implementing the service.
Anything else you’d like to add that we’ve missed?
Having safe, affordable, and reliable transportation is an important component of a healthy community, and we take our responsibility very seriously. That is why, we will continue to work to deliver services that meet the needs of British Columbians. If people have feedback about our service, we encourage them to submit details at bctransit.com
Interviewed by Tanushree Pillai