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Victoria Regional Transit System


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  • 2 weeks later...

The Mount Newton X Road "Queue Jump" and station is almost done, looking forward to seeing it in action... however, I am extremely (to put it mildly) disappointed by the design. First of all, the queue jump lanes are way too short to have any benefit to buses - I am willing to bet that this queue jump ends up being about as useful as the afterthought queue (getting tired of typing that word) at Sayward. The issue is that even once the bus gets into the lane (far tooclose to the intersection), there are three issues with the lane design:

  1. The lanes are too short. Buses will have to wait until they are already within "one-light-cycle light range" of the intersection to be able to access this "queue jump." Northbound, the lane extends only ~220m, while Southbound it is ~270m, both of which are well within the "one-light-cycle range" of traffic at any time. Unfortunately, this demonstrates that as usual, transit money has been used as an excuse to build more infrastructure for private vehicles - we now have a slightly longer right turn lane.
  2. The stops have bus bulbs instead of in-line platforms. This means that not only will the buses be moving no faster than traffic itself, but they have to wait to merge back into traffic in a "bus lane" that is really just a right-turn lane that was funded with transit money.
  3. There is no transit priority signaling. This is the biggest issue - this project will offer absolutely zero improvement to transit journey time (I am genuinely willing to put money on that) because the bus waits with everyone else, and then has to merge into traffic on the other side of the light. 

Frankly, I'm pretty disgusted by how this has turned out. The big win here is that the Tsawout Nation and the surrounding burgeoning developments have far better transit connectivity, especially into Downtown. However, this project does more to get buses out of traffic and let cars slip by while the bus waits at the platform rather than improving the flow of bus traffic. Once the new stop is open, I'll be spending a day up on the overpass watching the behaviour of traffic and gauging how wrong or right I am about my assessment. I've noticed that bus drivers virtually never use the Sayward "queue jump" unless they are forced to by a passenger, as it (a) forces them to merge back in, which in a double-decker bus can't be all that fun, and (b) does nothing but offer another passing opportunity for cars. Not to mention that you have the dangerous merge conflict on the other side of the intersection where as usual, private car is king and the only protection from a T-Bone collision with some idiot who didn't notice the bus is a set of flashing ambers instead of an actual controlled light.

I'll report back with findings (and data to support them) once the Mt. Newton lane opens for usage, and will gladly admit defeat if I am wrong because if I'm wrong, it means we have better transit. But I can't find a single reason that I would be wrong. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think transit needs to step up and move routes

Example. Run rapidbus as a 4/11 split. 

11 onto blanshard and somehow back to Douglas returning to tillicum

4 usual route to/from Douglas but continue up as a 11 to uvic (big circle)

 

These are just suggestions. I could add more to this

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While Douglas is crowded right now, it's not at the point where things need to get moved out. There's little benefit to the above in any case.

The Uplands portion of the 11 has much less demand than the Gorge portion of the 11 -- it can honestly be cut to 30 minute service and still potentially be considered excessive.

The 4 does not need a parallel express option -- it just needs more service during the UVIC school year running as regular 4's. Take the 15 for instance -- it's well used during the school year, but the express portion of the 15 is dead when UVIC isn't in session. An express 4 isn't going to perform any better when it takes significantly longer than the 15 to get from Downtown to UVIC.

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19 hours ago, ephrex said:

While Douglas is crowded right now, it's not at the point where things need to get moved out. There's little benefit to the above in any case.

The Uplands portion of the 11 has much less demand than the Gorge portion of the 11 -- it can honestly be cut to 30 minute service and still potentially be considered excessive.

I disagree wholeheartedly about the 11. I personally would like to see it rerouted via Cadboro Bay Road (past the Uplands Golf Club) in a bid to improve its speed as winding through the narrow, crowded, parking-infested mess that is Uplands is a massive waste of time. Either that, or same-road running (the split run is stupid and clearly just caters to reduce noise on rich peoples' streets) via Nottingham, Weald, and Upper Terrace. 

At some point, I would argue that we also need a beach drive service, at least in the summer. Fairfield, Beach Drive, Cadboro Bay Road, Arbutus, Finnerty, UVIC Exchange. Provide service that both serves some underserved areas, bolsters other services, and provides a recreational benefit like the bus that now finally goes to Thetis on every run.

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23 minutes ago, XN40G said:

What happened to 9527 in mid February 2021, did it die?

It seems BC Transit was fed up of waiting months for spare parts to arrive for it - and it was an oddball not only in the fleet, but the entire continent.

It was apparently sent for scrap nearly a year ago - not that long after the two red DE40LFs went. The last 3 DE40LFs were retired this month and sent for scrap this week, so there are no more hybrid buses in the provincial fleet.

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10 hours ago, SidneyTransitfan said:

there are no more hybrid buses in the provincial fleet.

Seems like a big environmental step back for BC Transit, especially since their current "environmental" campaign is using CNG (just another fossil fuel). 

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10 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Seems like a big environmental step back for BC Transit, especially since their current "environmental" campaign is using CNG (just another fossil fuel). 

There was talk in 2014-2015 about converting the H40LFRs into diesel-electric hybrids, but ultimately nothing came of it and they sold them instead.

The Nanaimo superintendent made a comment to me about them being convertable into CNG buses like the XN40s being delivered at the time.

 

BC Transit is expecting a fleet of all-electric single deckers next year though, so we'll see how that goes.

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I forgot to mention that last week I saw a decker turning left from Sawyard onto Hwy 17 SB. Not in service. I have never seen a decker in or out of service running through Cordova Bay. Does anyone know why a decker would be out that way?

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/7/2022 at 7:46 PM, InfiNorth said:

I forgot to mention that last week I saw a decker turning left from Sawyard onto Hwy 17 SB. Not in service. I have never seen a decker in or out of service running through Cordova Bay. Does anyone know why a decker would be out that way?

The only reason i can think of is a mechanic deadheading back to garage after changing off a bus elected to turn around via Cordova Bay, fowler and sayward rather than follow a much longer u-turn route via approved roads.....  deckersare very restricted in terms of  the streets they can operate on, either in regualr service, detouring, or deadheading, as there must be sufficient clearance from wires and trees.  Perhaps driver/ mechanic didn't know or didn't care.

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  • 2 months later...

Looks like it's 1162(?) that got written off. It's now sitting in Kamloops transit yard. 

 

That bus that had an accident on way to service. I have a friend in Kamloops who sent some photos to me. The driver went to hospital. Hope he's okay. 

 

I don't see any info to this here so here's a link:

https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/bus-driver-in-hospital-following-crash-on-trans-canada-highway-1.5589598

 

Ps: I'm not in Kamloops nor Victoria so this is all I'm going off on. 

A1210EAE-0F05-4130-8C5B-BFAD2D989904.jpeg

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  • 4 weeks later...

So the last plan looked like RapidBus was the 50's same old route trying to serve two purposes (Colwood and Langford) with the same number of stops. Aside from frequency changes, which is great for sure, is anything else changing? 

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On 2/15/2023 at 11:16 PM, Dane said:

So the last plan looked like RapidBus was the 50's same old route trying to serve two purposes (Colwood and Langford) with the same number of stops. Aside from frequency changes, which is great for sure, is anything else changing? 

An interview on CBC suggested that the buses would be different from the regular ones. Not sure how that would work though.

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On 2/15/2023 at 11:16 PM, Dane said:

So the last plan looked like RapidBus was the 50's same old route trying to serve two purposes (Colwood and Langford) with the same number of stops. Aside from frequency changes, which is great for sure, is anything else changing? 

Nope. All that's changing is branding - sadly, it's a PR stunt. Instead of having a Lanford-downtown via the highway (express routing like the 65) and a Colwood-downtown via Old Island, they've just slapped a new name on the 50 and called it a day. This has pretty much crushed all faith I had in BC Transit to improve our mobility. The fact that they didn't (1) reduce the number of stops between Uptown and downtown and (2) still route via local residential streets in the Westshore tells you everything you need to know. 

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21 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

The fact that they didn't (1) reduce the number of stops between Uptown and downtown

Untrue! The RapidBus probably won’t service the temporary bus stop at Humboldt (Convention Centre/future Telus Ocean). But stops at Discovery, Burnside and Cloverdale for some reason are needed…

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There are changes still to be announced including on stopping policy.

A highway routing from Langford a la 47/65 is useless as it not only avoids where all the ridership is, it's also not faster during peak periods. The real problem is inadequate transit priority, which is solidly outside of BCT's control and entirely under the jurisdiction of MOTI and other municipalities, and completely different from what translink has the ability and authority to achieve.

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11 hours ago, ephrex said:

which is solidly outside of BCT's control and entirely under the jurisdiction of MOTI and other municipalities, and completely different from what translink has the ability and authority to achieve.

...and as we've seen with certain other currently relevant transportation infrastructure decisions, MOTI does not care about public transportation in the least. We need physically separated bus only lanes (none of this "bus only unless you're turning in the next three blocks or if you just turned onto the street or if you have decided you're a bus today or if you are literally a bike going 15km/h" garbage). The lanes between Tillicum and Uptown were a small step in the right direction, but man were they small. I still cannot believe that the McKenzie interchange included neither eastbound transit lanes nor bus lanes at all west of the interchange, which is the the infamously worst part of the crawl as it's the bottleneck.

12 hours ago, ygk said:

Untrue! The RapidBus probably won’t service the temporary bus stop at Humboldt (Convention Centre/future Telus Ocean). But stops at Discovery, Burnside and Cloverdale for some reason are needed…

 I can only hope that this is because that stop will return to the block south of Humboldt. The fact that all the buses zoom by the RBCM, Empress, Crystal Gardens... and stop barely a block and a half from the next bus stop. Remember when the buses stopped right in front of the convention centre driveway and the old spaghetti factory? Back when the 27/28 went to Beacon Hill during the evenings. The Fairfield terminus grinds my gears for all sorts of reasons. Should have (and could have) easily terminated all buses at legislature, but instead they got rid of all the Northbound bays and replaced them with street parking. On that note, why did they do that?

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