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SomeIslandKid

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  1. Similar to the wild 15, I saw a bus saying "EXTRA BUS" coupled with a "NOT IN SERVICE" today lol. Also a drop off only double decker front door wide open making a turn from Douglas northbound onto Finlayson headed east for some whatever reason. Looked like a maintenance worker driving it, maybe he needed to get back to the depot without making any left hand turns lol. The Rapidbus thing isn't new, it's been planned for a while. Even the current "rapidbus" term vs general rapid transit had a timeline shown somewhere that I can't find now. That announcement fits in with the timeline from what I remember of it. If you look through Commission meeting documents from before ye old pandemic there's mentions of it too. Langford's OCP plan also makes mention of a future BRT system down Goldstream, though the planning for that can probably be traced back to like 2008 when the Douglas busway plans got scrapped because oh no some left turns won't exist and without cars businesses (somehow) go broke, the horror oh no! I'm salty it took over a decade to get curbside lanes in to Uptown in both directions when the original Douglas BRT proposal would've been done in 2010 (or like 2014 because it's the CRD lamo) and been higher quality :< Still 9 minute frequencies would be awesome and I want to see it happen quite rapidly 😜
  2. Oh well I guess that's an unexpected goodbye to the Darts. I'm not even sure when the last time I rode one was. Oh well my feelings on them are a bit mixed since I didn't get to ride them that much. I liked the interior more than the Vincinities, but they kinda seemed like they're falling apart. Whatever one they ran on the Triangle Mountain loop had the rear route sign constantly flickering on and off with every bump in the road. Had a simplistic charm to it, that I might be the only to appreciate lol. Now for the Arbocs, finally! The only good thing I can say about them as a passenger is that the radio was cool. But they were brutal running full along Happy Valley rd and probably a source of a lot of lost ridership that won't be recovered without service expansion. Standing on them wasn't really a good time either, which some drivers did despite it being illegal. One guy was like "crouch so the police don't see" and yeah I have no positive feelings towards them. Also they always smelled weird when I first regularly started taking transit in fall 2017. That got fixed, but ugh. And finally the lack of night time bike racks wasn't great especially if say someone gets a flat tire or doesn't have lights. Also with the Westshore having poor or non-existent bike infrastructure, night bike racks help people's mobility. I guess the other plus side was that the Arbocs made talking to the driver relatively easy, though it's not too difficult on the Vincinties nor 40fters, at least without COVID restrictions. The protective barriers will be interesting to see, but oh well safety first.
  3. I hope I get one last chance to ride a D40LF before they're all retired. Haven't been going out much cause COVID, but I always liked the 90s charm to them. The interior at night hits some retro-future big city vibes for me while the Nova's hit some less exciting 2000s vibes. The one time I got on an XN40 it just felt modern, which can feed into a newer sci-fi feel, but it's different. In a similar vein the Vicinities also hit some more modern sci-fi feel at times, but it's not the nostalgic charm of the Darts. Modern emissions standards and lower maintenance requirements are for the best in both cases however.
  4. For speed the answer's memory mainly, it was from the November 2019 meeting so it wasn't that long ago. I usually look at every document, though tend to quickly skim the financial reports lol. They actually run a modified version of the 75 for the Saanich Fair in addition to the normal one that takes Stelly's Cross Road instead of Wallace downtown. Or at least I think they do, I tried catching it last year but the one we wanted never showed up so me and my friend ended up walking to Wallace/Stelly's Cross and a normal 75-31 showed up first so who knows maybe the other came slightly after, maybe it didn't, but whatever I got to have fun people watching on the way back so all's well that ends well. Might've made for a worse transfer to the 50 though, but eh I made it eventually. Personal antidote aside, the difference between Wallace and Stelly's Cross road seems minimal with how the service is set up. Both roads are primarily flanked by farmland, with Stelly's being in the middle and serviced equally well by both. It looks like Stelly's has a paved possibly lit path mitigating some of the problems walking between the 2. The last houses before the fairgrounds along Stelly's Cross road are within a 10 minute walk of the nearest southbound stop and Wallace shorter to Northbound ones. It's a wild service pattern, but also it seems like it kinda just somehow works so it doesn't seem like it's the highest regional priority to fix aside from maybe running northbound service through the Brentwood Loop again, but that requires Brentwood to update some road designs. Not to open that can too far, but does the 85 actually run 40ft buses? Or is it just community shuttles and 30 or 35fters? It also seems like the the kink in the road at Clarke might present problems having a bus whip around it. Also I uh can't find a route that travels down Cromar, the 85 is a street over on both Downey and Wain, which appear wider and with more defined lanes than both Cromar and Hagan. Fair enough mistake to make, but Cromar isn't a sign of any inconsistency re road sizes acceptable for a BC Transit bus.
  5. Some of the problems with the 75 stem from some very poor road design it seems.
  6. Certainly running less service is another valid option. My thoughts on subsidies more aim for how small towns across Canada and the US are losing transportation access and the current model appears to be increasing unsustainable when funded fully with fares. Kinda like what happened to urban transit systems in the post-war era. Rural areas are more prone to poverty than urban ones and it's important access remains across the province for residents and visitors alike, so however those critical connections are provided doesn't matter as long as they exist kinda deal.
  7. Tofino bus is applying to end service north of Campbell river. There was a total of 4068 riders last year making for 5-6 per round-trip. 4068 is a lot of trips that'll be made impossible if this goes through, which is awful for those relying on it. The route isn't subsidized as of now though, and with how many private operators have struggled recently, it might be needed for a lot of small town and rural services to allow intercity mobility in BC for those unable or unwilling to drive. Like the current system is supposed to make the profitable routes subsidize the unprofitable ones, but there's a point there's not enough money and the cost to use the major routes just goes up.
  8. Is it possible the LED display is an accessibility feature? I'm not sure how HandyDART service works mind you, but the current signs aren't very visible especially in the dark
  9. On June 1st BC Transit plans to reinstate front door boarding and fare payments province wide. Buses without the driver door already installed will have a temporary vinyl panels. Copied is their full statement
  10. It's a McKenzie express, skipping the same stops as the 16. Also in fairness the stops along Island Highway/Sooke rd up to Kelly are for the most part spaced closer to express stopping patterns than a local one. There's a few that are closer, but not nearly as close as what the coverage loops have. Plus the highway segment is closer to an express/semi rapid transit than local service, a quality all the highway buses share during those legs of their trips. The 50 between Uptown and the Colwood exchange is probably the closest thing to rapid or semi-rapid transit the region has with both higher speeds and high (enough) frequency. Then it feels like hitting a wall on Douglas and Goldstream with many more stops. As for the 57x, it became the 47 in January 2015 as cited in the 2015 Westshore Local Area Transit Plan. The only difference was the number, done to differentiate with local service. The 48 was started at the same time extending commuter trips of the 52 to Latoria and Happy Valley (This route sign makes sense to me now). Later when the Westhills exchange opened (Sept 2017?) is when the 47 began using it as a terminus. I think that happened in tandem with the 39 terminus being moved to Westhills, and the 46 starting service. I think it's more just the close stop spacing, but it was confusing at first trying to get why arrows were where they were, and dots otherwise. Made sense after looking at Google Maps and seeing that it's intersection stop pairs and there's more random single side stops than I thought. Also for the transfer route colourization, this is a problem I have with all BC Transit maps, but there's no clear difference between limited service routes such as the 51 and especially 17, and almost frequent routes running 7 days a week like the 7 or 11. I do like showing the transfers, it's a good idea! Also sidenote but it's a little weird that different parts of Gordon Head get express service in the morning and afternoon. Also speaking of maps, has anyone else ever noticed there's errors in the system overview maps? For the Westshore one, that's displayed at both the Langford and Colwood exchanges, they call Veteran's Fulton and forget that the 48 runs up it (though tbf there's no stops on that portion). Fulton never intersects with Latoria, and Veteran's only changes name once to Millstream north of the highway, not again to the South of Sooke rd They also choose to showcase the school routing for the 52 and 59/60 which is pretty misleading for almost all cases. Unless they permanently move the 52 to the Royal Bay routing, again the Westshore local area plan mentions that. Though it shows a full Veteran's routing for both the permanent move and the school trips, but the school trips take Wishart instead so it's likely the permanent routing choice. But still unless it was planned for January 2021 with those Westshore hours it's still far off in the future so did they just mess up? There's also a weird bit of grey implying a bus route along Gordon Head rd to McKenzie though that's less problematic. The Westshore Local Area Plan also mentions a new Happy Valley route servicing Jenkins, Happy Valley, and Latoria aka a shortened 54. It's what I was thinking @Matt Dunlop when I mentioned that the 54 needs something up to Royal Bay, because yeah the rural areas further out are less busy. The problem with the 54 is that it's a rural route servicing relatively dense suburban areas, so alone it's overcrowded and frankly horrible service levels for an area as built up as Happy Valley is, even if the same service is fine for Metchosin. Though even just running literally anything but a community bus is enough to patch the overcrowding short term. On another note, I wonder with COVID and everything when the I wonder when the South Island Transportation Plan will be released. A year ago the province said Urban System was selected and they'd have a year to make it. I guess there's probably some approval stage without the added inconvenience of a global pandemic, but I wanna see it! I'm especially interested in what it has to say on rail, though I'm not holding high hopes. Bus based transit probably won't be radically different than what's seen in BC Transit's plans (50 routing with less stops = future BRT or LRT, Admirals/Mckenzie route, etc), though I also wonder if there's actual merit to a commuter ferry between downtown and Royal Bay. It always seemed like improvements to the highway 1 corridor would do better cost-benefit wise since there's still problems getting people to Royal Bay especially without decent local routes, and trips to the Peninsula or UVic are hampered. But at the same time population growth might make it worth it. Also curious for cycling improvements, but I expect those to be "build more bike lanes, finish the E&N rail trail, make a proper fully protected bike path/trail to UVic"
  11. Honestly I just want the local routes to have a better span of service. Just an extra trip or 2 on all local routes to put the last bus a little after 11pm to allow fast food workers, Walmart employees, UVic students writing a 7-10pm final exam and anyone else the chance to actually get home with transit. Maybe an extra earlier trip in the morning for some of them. I missed out on a job in high school because the local buses don't run past 10 at best (Except the 52, which is sorta becoming more of a Westshore only crosstown service than just a connector) and fast food often wants people till 11. My parents could have given me rides but I was too proud to accept them, not everyone has that option. A friend who worked at Walmart until recently was complaining about how a new hire kept asking her for ride home since transit stopped running too early. It shouldn't add much demand to the 50 since the infrequency still scares off most people, and generally the 50 isn't at high risk of pass ups later in the evening (except 50-61s). Span of service isn't just a means of generating ridership and reducing traffic, it's also critical for equity and economic mobility. Although the 54 needs something for the Happy Valley rd up to Latoria portion since it's also passing people up when it runs a community bus. 30ft Vicinitys work ok though so just that switch would hold it for a while. Weekend service should be hourly instead of every 2 though, it causes spikes in 50 demand too. I also wish that the local buses didn't line up with the 50-61s. They're always busy with people going to Sooke and are oftentimes later than a normal 50 with the extra load. Logistically it could be hard, but doing that would transfer local route transfers off of competing with Sooke ones. I feel bad possibly making people going to Sooke miss it, but what choice do I have on a weekend when the 50's dropped to 30 minute service? Just so long as the last bus is not moved earlier. I also tend to get pushed towards taking the 50 instead of the 51 since the routes to my house seem designed with a minute extra 20-30 minute wait if I want to transfer. It's also part of my issue with the morning 48s travelling down Sooke right after the 51. I get a longer trip transferring at Uptown instead of JDF and add to overcrowding on both Westshore-downtown trips, and Mckenzie trips. Minor (from a rider's perspective) changes like those shouldn't create a large spike in new demand on busy 50 trips, but might let people push back buying a car for a few months. Though you're absolutely right that the 50 is prone to overcrowding and better local routes could easily make it worse. I just want some relatively minor improvements for local service and I'll be satisfied with local service even if it remains hourly and indirect. It's just that 10pm is too early for the last bus, and adding an extra trip around 11:10pm or 11:30pm shouldn't create much new 50 demand. I actually respect Colwood far more than Langford for this reason. Colwood is stepping up to add sidewalks and bike lanes to streets built in 20th century sprawl. Latoria alone becomes far more walkable in Colwood than it is in Langford. More comfortable to bike too though the Verterans/Latoria intersection is becoming too busy to be comfortable. Not at all perfect, but in contrast Langford has some incredibility stupid road designs that feel like a f*** you to non drivers. There's dedicated left and right turn lanes on Luxton at Happy Valley/Luxton that comes at the expensive of any space for pedestrians. The existing property has a massive hedge there too so someone on foot has to literally walk into traffic to even see if a car is coming. You have to walk on the road to turn the corner. Like who thought this was in anyway ok?!? I don't understand, even a dirt patch to walk on would suffice. The subdivision behind it even put sidewalks on the dead end road sideroad but not Luxton which obviously will be busier. Latoria's also been getting a lot busier with new development, but only one of Langford's new subdivisions even bothered to have sidewalks, while all of Colwood's included them. Langford city planners are frankly incompetent. It's a shame since starting from Latoria Happy Valley is the flattest route meaning it could be a decent bike route, but nope somehow Veterans is for having shoulder bike lanes. Wishart almost is good, but that massive hill at the end of it is surprisingly steep. Langford's trash road design means there's a bus stop in an intersection at Latoria/Klahanie and it used to be on a decent sized shoulder. Past images on Google Street show pedestrian accommodations have actually decreased. They also put up a concreate barrier to prevent cars from crashing. Good idea, except the bike lane is on the same side as the car, and the other side is too narrow to walk so get f*** wheelchair uses and strollers, Langford doesn't want you. Have a bike for scale. It's a bad design. Just move the barrier over and call what's left a mixed use walking/biking path and bam inclusive design. Not like the current design prevents bike/pedestrian conflict either since the bike lane is the only realistic place to walk I also think there needs to be some form of pedestrian crossing over highway 1. There used to be a surface crossing when Spencer road had lights, but the province failed to keep a pedestrian connection when the Leigh Road Interchange was built. Not sure if a crossing at Spencer road to from the corner or Brock/Matson would be a better placement. Spencer road appears to have more space and would help Spencer Middle School students, but Brock/Matson would provide better access to Ruth King and Langford's major commercial areas of Goldstream Ave and Westshore Town Centre. I want both built but either would be great and allow so many trips to be done on foot that currently can't. Could also allow more people to take transit as a 30-40 minute walk to the 50, 46, and 39 becomes 10 -15 for people living near the crossing. Wouldn't help the overcrowding sure, but whatever it helps make the case for better transit priority and the eventual implementation of a higher capacity transit mode say rail, especially as the Westshore is supposed to grow to over 100,000 people by 2050. Not sure buses will be able to keep up forever with how funnelled. Also walkability alone is important so the effects on overcrowding shouldn't prevent it. Should I stop writing essays on here?
  12. It won't be on Monday, as I'm talking about the service change. The first 60 will leave at 10:20am starting Monday. Also, I take it you've never been on a UVic route during busy times, less buses would mean more pass ups. They're often full despite the 5-10min service, when UVic and Camosun are in session. They always have worse service in the summer, and it's further reduced for COVID. The majority of Greater Victoria residents live between Saanich, The City of Victoria, and Esquilmalt, these routes are used by far more people than just UVic/Camosun staff and students. The 12 is the only route that is near exclusively useful to UVic trips, everything else hits many key destinations and just terminate at UVic. Langford has about 40,000 people Colwood has about 16,000 people Metchosin about 5000 people Therefore Westshore totals to roughly 60,000 people Saanich has over 100,000 people City of Victoria, over 80,000 people It's natural for the Westshore to have less service especially with the low density car dependant design (Much of Langford is horrible for pedestrians. Colwood does a bit better). Westshore service expansions have not kept up to population growth, but that does not mean elsewhere is over-serviced. There's lots of expansions in core areas that should happen, as there is in the Westshore. That does not mean equal priority should be given to each expansion of course. Good news though: Westshore local routes are slated for a 5500 annual service hour expansion in January, pending COVID. See 2020/21 Annual Service Plan from the February 25 Transit Commission Meeting (PreCOVID). That's about 15 hours a day more service, which admittly isn't great, but it depends on how it's used. More concrete details should be given in the documents for either the June 16th, or August 11th Transit Commission meeting, depending what happens with them again because again COVID. I say this as someone who lives in the Westshore and relies an hourly indirect poor span of service route. They're bad and need expansion, but they're not the only lacklustre part of Victoria's transit system. Before COVID closed UVic, I took 3 buses one way, everyday. I've seen that the entire system has problems. Westshore expansions would certainly help me more than other expansions and I have pushed politicians on them, but I understand everything is a trade off.
  13. But isn't that the point of gutting some routes for the time being? It's unexpected that the expansion happened still, but in contrast the 6:40am 60 no longer exists shorting span of service on Triangle Mountain, and the combined 59/60 frequency is now every 2 hours in the morning after rush hour. I haven't checked many specifics, but I'm sure most routes have experienced additional cuts on top of the normal seasonal UVic and Camosun route cuts. Without COVID the addition of 2 buses running to the Westshore would be more than offset by the elimination of the 16, downtown only 14s, service every 10 or 15 minutes instead of every 5 on the 4, etc. The reduction this summer is far more significant than normal due to COVID so hopefully there will be enough drivers able to work
  14. For the expansions targeted to address crowding and pass ups on UVIC focused routes it's likely. For the 1500 hour expansion to peak hour 50 trips, it depends since some of the peak ridership is UVic and especially Camosun Landsdowne students. However for the 5500 hours of Westshore local routes it appears likely to proceed as planned in January since the extra 47 and 48 trips appeared on the new schedule despite service reductions elsewhere. Both have an extra evening trip leaving downtown after 5pm, and an extra morning trip. The span of service has increased for both the morning and evening periods. The 48 still has the issue of trips reaching the Colwood exchange a minute after a 51 though, ugh. Hope that changes before UVic resumes session since going to Uptown for a 16/26 is slower. The 51 is the greatest route I never catch since transfers to local routes are almost always timed abysmally. Now my curiosity shifts to what the plan on reinstating service is if social distancing starts to be lifted right after a service change. Some routes are extremely gutted which makes sense now, but what if things improve in late August after the fall service change has been internally confirmed? Some hourly routes are now bi hourly or worse and waiting for the Holidays or January would be quite painful for anyone relying on them if things are mostly normal by September. Though I imagine that's what will happen, infrequent service until the next scheduled service change regardless of how much ridership returns.
  15. You know I'm getting curious what's gonna happen with the summer service change. Will they still add the extra 47 and 48 trips? Then long term, will the September and January expansions happen? Those last two are definitely dependant on COVID so I'm guessing that's a big pile of IDK on BC Transit's part as with everything for everyone. I just hope Westshore routes aren't further delayed in hopefully getting a much needed service span extension since many start too late and end too early to hit a lot of low skill jobs. The last 53 leaving the Langford exchange is at 7:30pm weekdays which is insanely early especially since Walmart is open till 11pm. The 52 is the only that runs late enough to even have a chance at getting the closing shift home. Weekends are worse, not even the 52 operates with an adequate span for it. Also for stores that start shifts at 7am many local routes fail to reach central Langford early enough, which further erodes the social equity portion of the transit system and forces people to buy cars they may not be perfectly able to afford. Frequency for all the local routes is also important and lacking, but I still personally find the limitations of span a bit more concerning since bar overcrowding it is possible to plan around. It sucks and I know living it, but the lack of span just closes doors entirely without access to a car. IDK there's supposed to be 5500 expansion hours for Westshore local routes, we'll see what they do with them eventually hopefully. Obviously dealing with COVID is more important. I just have time to think being stuck at home everyday
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