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Complicating factor for dispatch is restriction of Deckers to certain routes. If out of 40' conventional and next bus out is, say a 6, the only sub is a Dart. If Deckers are short, then any single deck will do.


the 71 trips appear to replace the 70x via Resthaven trips.


Also coming on Dec 29..... several trips on the 11 have been modified to operate in AM as 11 to downtown then 14 UVic, and select PM departures 14 to Downtown then 11 Tillicum. Guess they are figuring out that no amount of promoting the 15x will make up for a shortage of service along Richmond Rd.

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Richmond service is the closest direct bus to UVic for anyone who lives along Shelbourne from Cedar Hill Cross up to McRae (or however close to Hillside you have to be before you'll walk up to catch the 4). I live at Cedar Hill and Cedar Hill Cross, and the 14 was my bus of choice when I was still in school.

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Specific buses are certainly assigned by dispatch to a given paddle on a given day, but that's not the same as a specific run always being assigned the same type of bus. I take the same 72 to work every day, and it will either be a decker or a conventional low floor depending on anticipated demand for the day.

Whoa whoa whoa. Back the truck up.

I cannot believe that BCTransit is rotating their vehicle assignment types based on anticipated demand *for the day.*

How would they forecast the demand *for the day?* Think about that methodology for a minute. Would it be by each individual calendar day? By day of the week? By day of the week per quarter/season (actually a little of this is probably happening with seasonal UVIC changes)?

I would chalk it up to an impossibility.

What is more likely occurring is the following:

Each run has an assigned type of coach. If there is a shortage of one kind, they will look for runs that are flexible (ie, they are not absolutely drop dead required to have a certain kind of coach). A friend of mine was a scheduler at Seattle Metro. For his base, he provided (based on ridership data) a list of trips that could be upgraded from 40ft to artic (in case of a 40ft shortage) and downgraded from artic to 40ft (in case of a 60ft shortage) to the hostler. This way, it was a decision made not solely based on "last bus out" where you could be repeatedly screwing the same group of passengers on a trip that has a full standing load on an artic, but a decision based in data. I suspect a similar situation is happening at BCT-Victoria.

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Perhaps I should have elaborated a bit more than I did. For the most part, we're on the same page here (where you were alluding to UVic related demand). Bearing in mind that my main commute is from my house near UVic to my work in Sidney, any changes that I observe will relate to ferry and student related demands. I certainly did not intend to imply that they would look at the calendar, say "Okay, it's May 5th, the previous four years that May 5th was on a Friday, we had X demand, and the moon is in the second quarter, and I woke up on the left hand side of the bed today, so we'll run a decker instead of a D40LF as we did on the previous Friday." That would be just a little absurd. My observation was more that I would typically see a Nova on one particular paddle, but sometimes leading up to a long weekend (or sometimes for no discernible reason) I would see a decker. Reading what I wrote earlier, my intended meaning was definitely ambiguous. Sorry about that.

The occasional change in equipment due to an anticipated change in demand is something I have noticed, but there is no magic formula for determining demand on a Tuesday as opposed to a Wednesday. Although for a month or two, I did notice them running a conventional bus on Fridays and a decker every other day I rode that trip. Not sure why they were doing that. Maybe that trip was covered by a different paddle that day... No idea.

Whoa whoa whoa. Back the truck up.

I cannot believe that BCTransit is rotating their vehicle assignment types based on anticipated demand *for the day.*

How would they forecast the demand *for the day?* Think about that methodology for a minute. Would it be by each individual calendar day? By day of the week? By day of the week per quarter/season (actually a little of this is probably happening with seasonal UVIC changes)?

I would chalk it up to an impossibility.

What is more likely occurring is the following:

Each run has an assigned type of coach. If there is a shortage of one kind, they will look for runs that are flexible (ie, they are not absolutely drop dead required to have a certain kind of coach). A friend of mine was a scheduler at Seattle Metro. For his base, he provided (based on ridership data) a list of trips that could be upgraded from 40ft to artic (in case of a 40ft shortage) and downgraded from artic to 40ft (in case of a 60ft shortage) to the hostler. This way, it was a decision made not solely based on "last bus out" where you could be repeatedly screwing the same group of passengers on a trip that has a full standing load on an artic, but a decision based in data. I suspect a similar situation is happening at BCT-Victoria.

Edited for spelling and grammar

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BC Transit needs to invest in fleet of 60 ft buses or low height double deckers because some routes in Victoria seem to get to capacity on most trips but the routes cannot take double decker buses such as four. Also this will help reduce costs in the future because they wouldn't need to put more 40 ft buses on the routes that need lower headways between buses.

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BC Transit needs to invest in fleet of 60 ft buses or low height double deckers because some routes in Victoria seem to get to capacity on most trips but the routes cannot take double decker buses such as four. Also this will help reduce costs in the future because they wouldn't need to put more 40 ft buses on the routes that need lower headways between buses.

Cheesehead, the four get's double deckers already

(image removed)

9522_4-DSC_6009 by BusShots, on Flickr

Don't be too hard on him, Chris. He's probably just some thirteen-year old kid who doesn't know WHY BC Transit has failed to invest in high-capacity buses not only in Victoria but in other communities as well.

Being as I'm such a nice guy, I am going to explain some of these reasons.

BC Transit looked at artics in the 1990's and more recently in 2011. In the 1990's they 'borrowed' some D60s from Vancouver Regional Transit System, but due to Victoria's very short blocks they could not fit any more than one artic and one single bus in a stop at a time.

In 2011 BC Transit demonstrated a Wright Streetcar RTV artic from Las Vegas' transit fleet, with proposals for it to be used for the rapid transit scheme that has all-but-since disappeared since 2012. The problem with short city blocks would still exist though, so I guess this is one of the reasons why the rapid transit project has vanished into thin air.

The routes in Victoria that use double deckers are as follows: 4, 14, 16, 21, 26, 50, 51, 61, 70, 71, 72, and 76. If some of these routes were truncated to Uptown only they could possibly use artics for the long distance highway routes (such as Swartz Bay, Sooke and Langford) and use most of the double deck buses on Uptown-Downtown routes. This has been looked at, but whether it will be implemented remains to be seen.

Another thing I'll point out - most of the blame behind the 'running beyond capacity' is not due to a lack of Double Deckers, but more due to a lack of foresight into the bus fleet itself. A majority of services in Downtown Victoria are now run with NovaBus LFS' vehicles, wheras in the past they have been using Flyers and MCI Classics. Both of the latter vehicles had a total capacity of 77 passengers and ridership was somewhat lower in those times. With the MCI Classics now scrapped or sold elsewhere and the Flyers headed the same way, NovaBus LFS with capacity little-to-no better than a Dennis Dart at 62 passengers will run the vast majority of routes in Victoria, with Double Deck buses filling in where they can. This approach is sadly going to result in much more pass-ups and complaints from people unable to get to work or school because they're being crammed into sardine can NovaBus vehicles. Bigger buses are needed, and with BC Transit purchasing yet even MORE Novas with the same dismal capacity as their older siblings, things aren't going to get better.

Anyways enough of my NovaBus ranting before I suggest we all pile money together and take over Victoria ourselves xD

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Route 4 is a decker almost 75% of the time, however I do see the odd Route 4 start at Douglas and Kings and head to UVIC, as opposed to starting Downtown.

BC Transit SHOULD think about artics in Victoria, however of course they're not interested :P

Although ridership has gone way up since 1990 when artics were tested, Victoria just doesn't like artics.

IF and only IF BC Transit tries artics again, only a small handful of routes could handle artics due to the bus stop size. Route 50, 61, 70 could use artics as of right now, all the stops are long enough to facilitate a 60-foot bus.

D40LFs and Novas both fill up fast regardless of how many seats they have. People are too STUPID to move to the rear of the bus. Another big reason for overcrowding is I've noticed a few operators DO NOT adhere to their schedule. Case and point - the last couple weeks, the Rt 50 leaves Langford Exchange 3 minutes early (7:47am) with a decker. Friend of mine drives the 8:00am Rt 50 leaving the exchange. 13 minutes makes a big difference, a Flyer ends up having to pass up. Oddly enough, the Route 51 that goes down Island Highway people don't like to take, I guess they're confused?


There's also a few things I want to talk about that BC Transit has been discussing with media, etc.

1. Stop call-outs. I'm not even sure if that's even happening anymore? I hear only 1/10 drivers actually call out their stops, and those select few are only doing it basically to "save their butts".

2. Dogs on buses. Luckily, the vote was NO! :D

3. Cameras recording. There has been talks about cameras being set-up for video recording on NOVAS only. I've got no idea whether BCT has permission from the privacy commissioner to record stuff yet.

2015-01-11 14.24.19.jpg

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BC Transit looked at artics in the 1990's and more recently in 2011. In the 1990's they 'borrowed' some D60s from Vancouver Regional Transit System, but due to Victoria's very short blocks they could not fit any more than one artic and one single bus in a stop at a time.

In 2011 BC Transit demonstrated a Wright Streetcar RTV artic from Las Vegas' transit fleet, with proposals for it to be used for the rapid transit scheme that has all-but-since disappeared since 2012. The problem with short city blocks would still exist though, so I guess this is one of the reasons why the rapid transit project has vanished into thin air.

Portland has short blocks like Victoria and look how they did the light rail the trains are in pairs of two.

60 ft buses can have three doors, compared to Double decker that can only have two doors. The three doors could help speed up passenger getting off the bus at stops. Also, BC Transit can enforce drivers keeping schedules on routes which is currently is a huge problem in Victoria and bus lanes on major roads to keep buses on time. For Douglas Street modify the route schedule to where the buses will not be at the same stop at the time or introduce skip a stop for routes where certain routes stop at cetrain stops along Douglas Street. For all the other roads move stops to where 60 ft can safely pick up and drop off passengers.

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The routes in Victoria that use double deckers are as follows: 4, 14, 16, 21, 26, 50, 51, 61, 70, 71, 72, and 76. If some of these routes were truncated to Uptown only they could possibly use artics for the long distance highway routes (such as Swartz Bay, Sooke and Langford) and use most of the double deck buses on Uptown-Downtown routes. This has been looked at, but whether it will be implemented remains to be seen.

Another thing I'll point out - most of the blame behind the 'running beyond capacity' is not due to a lack of Double Deckers, but more due to a lack of foresight into the bus fleet itself. A majority of services in Downtown Victoria are now run with NovaBus LFS' vehicles, wheras in the past they have been using Flyers and MCI Classics. Both of the latter vehicles had a total capacity of 77 passengers and ridership was somewhat lower in those times. With the MCI Classics now scrapped or sold elsewhere and the Flyers headed the same way, NovaBus LFS with capacity little-to-no better than a Dennis Dart at 62 passengers will run the vast majority of routes in Victoria, with Double Deck buses filling in where they can. This approach is sadly going to result in much more pass-ups and complaints from people unable to get to work or school because they're being crammed into sardine can NovaBus vehicles. Bigger buses are needed, and with BC Transit purchasing yet even MORE Novas with the same dismal capacity as their older siblings, things aren't going to get better.

Anyways enough of my NovaBus ranting before I suggest we all pile money together and take over Victoria ourselves xD

Deckers are better suited to long distance suburban routes, such as the 61, 70 and 72, as for longer trips it is more important to maximize the number of seats. Artics are more suited for urban services. If we had them right now, some of the first choices would be the 6, 15, 16 and 26. Another problem with Deckers on urban routes with lots of stop and go is increased dwell time at stops due to people having to maneuver through the top deck and stairwell. This affects schedule reliability on said urban routes.

Regarding the Douglas through downtown corridor, there will be the opportunity to revisit this when and if a Douglas rapid transit is implemented, as this would entail removing a number of the existing routes from Douglas. For example, when the new Johnson Street bridge is opened the plan is to reroute the 14 via Tyee and the Bridge, removing service from Bay and Douglas.

It will be a lot easier to put artics on Douglas downtown when there isn't 21 different routes jockeying for real estate in the bus zone.

Also, keep in mind too that if you look at the design standards for the proposed Rapid Transit Network routes, they are to be designed to accommodate artics. (I believe this is still the case).

However, don't expect any artics until there's a third operating depot.

The reduced capacity of a 40 foot bus is the new reality, but I would disagree with your assertion that a Nova is almost as bad as a Dart capacity wise, especially if you account for the comfort factor and the "how will people actually distribute themselves on the bus factor". High floors are no longer an option and the Flyers that are retiring have a nearly identical capacity to the Novas, the main difference being the seated to standing ratio. Also, recall that BCT is hopeful that they can replace 15 of the outgoing 1996 Flyers next year with deckers, so they are trying to rectify the situation.

:)

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Deckers are better suited to long distance suburban routes, such as the 61, 70 and 72, as for longer trips it is more important to maximize the number of seats. Artics are more suited for urban services. If we had them right now, some of the first choices would be the 6, 15, 16 and 26. Another problem with Deckers on urban routes with lots of stop and go is increased dwell time at stops due to people having to maneuver through the top deck and stairwell. This affects schedule reliability on said urban routes.

Regarding the Douglas through downtown corridor, there will be the opportunity to revisit this when and if a Douglas rapid transit is implemented, as this would entail removing a number of the existing routes from Douglas. For example, when the new Johnson Street bridge is opened the plan is to reroute the 14 via Tyee and the Bridge, removing service from Bay and Douglas.

It will be a lot easier to put artics on Douglas downtown when there isn't 21 different routes jockeying for real estate in the bus zone.

Also, keep in mind too that if you look at the design standards for the proposed Rapid Transit Network routes, they are to be designed to accommodate artics. (I believe this is still the case).

However, don't expect any artics until there's a third operating depot.

The reduced capacity of a 40 foot bus is the new reality, but I would disagree with your assertion that a Nova is almost as bad as a Dart capacity wise, especially if you account for the comfort factor and the "how will people actually distribute themselves on the bus factor". High floors are no longer an option and the Flyers that are retiring have a nearly identical capacity to the Novas, the main difference being the seated to standing ratio. Also, recall that BCT is hopeful that they can replace 15 of the outgoing 1996 Flyers next year with deckers, so they are trying to rectify the situation.

:)

When the Uptown exchange is built, I'm sure it would be alot easier to justify using artics. Have deckers going from Uptown Exchange to Swartz Bay, to Sooke, and back, vice-versa. I like what the Route 4 is doing now, starting from Douglas and Kings and going to UVIC. That run could work with an artic.

Speaking of Route 61, I've never understood why BCT tries to combine two routes together. 50 into a 61. Why not have the 61 START at Langford Exchange, head out to Sooke, and return to Langford Exchange in loops? It would allow for better service, plus there's a Route 50 every 10-15 minutes on average during the week. Same could go for Sidney, have the 70/72 start at Uptown, head to Swartz Bay, and return to Uptown in a loop.

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Yeah... like that'll even happen -_-

I do not think that people in the comment section know how the stop announcements work because they need GPS to be able to call out the correct stops. Hopefully BC Transit isn't stupid enough not to get system for people can determine if the buses are late since that comes from GPS system too.

By the way, has Victoira got any new or transfer buses recently?

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I do not think that people in the comment section know how the stop announcements work because they need GPS to be able to call out the correct stops. Hopefully BC Transit isn't stupid enough not to get system for people can determine if the buses are late since that comes from GPS system too.

By the way, has Victoira got any new or transfer buses recently?

From what I recall, the Novas are wired from the factory for GPS. So to put GPS in only the Novas, it would still be a good percentage of the fleet plus it wouldn't cost as much to place GPS in a Nova compared to an E500/Trident III.

The latest arrival of buses in Victoria were the 2014 ARBOC shuttles for the expansion of the 52 route to Bear Mountain / Weekend service of Route 24 and 25.

I'm sure a few new Novas might be transferred over once all the hype over FVX is over.

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From what I recall, the Novas are wired from the factory for GPS. So to put GPS in only the Novas, it would still be a good percentage of the fleet plus it wouldn't cost as much to place GPS in a Nova compared to an E500/Trident III.

I'm sure a few new Novas might be transferred over once all the hype over FVX is over.

I am pretty sure BC Transit will need to install GPS system for automated stop announcements to actually work. If I understand how automated stop announcements work you need to put a GPS system in the bus for the system can called out the correct stops at the correct location for the stop announcements. So the Nova LFS will be the fastest, and cheapest to install the automated stop announcements with GPS wired at the factory. The Nova LFS most likely the test buses for automated stop announcements since they could be wired for GPS system. I feel if the pilot project is a success all the buses in Victoria and maybe bigger system will all get the automated stop announcements installed on all the buses NO MATTER THE MODEL such as the D40LF, Darts, Trident III, E500 and even the community buses.

I believe Victoria will be good system to gave the rest of 2015 Nova LFS to because the 1994 and 1995 D40LF in the fleet could be retired.

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didn't write them down but in the 9450s. They were parked on the east wall.

9455, 9457 and 9458. I believe I saw 9452 as well.

Ok, thank you for this information, I will try to keep my eyes out for those buses when I am in Victoria next weekend.

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