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Articulated

BC Transit - Tofino-Ucluelet

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Was browsing around the BC Transit website, and noticed they now have a page up for a future Tofino-Ucluelet system.

After a feasibility study was done last year, three open houses were held in Tofino and Ucluelet earlier this month. While I can't find BC Transit's information online at the moment, a local news article indicates they are looking at 3 trips per direction between Tofino and Ucluelet (one morning, one midday, one evening).

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On 4/28/2019 at 2:50 PM, Articulated said:

Was browsing around the BC Transit website, and noticed they now have a page up for a future Tofino-Ucluelet system.

After a feasibility study was done last year, three open houses were held in Tofino and Ucluelet earlier this month. While I can't find BC Transit's information online at the moment, a local news article indicates they are looking at 3 trips per direction between Tofino and Ucluelet (one morning, one midday, one evening).

Update on Tofino-Ucluelet's potential new system...

Building on the Transit Feasibility Study that was completed by BC Transit and the ACRD last year, a number of rounds of public engagement were conducted in Spring 2019 to determine whether there was sufficient public support for a transit system and the required tax increase.

Alongside it, an addendum to the TFS more recently released shows the proposed service plans. It looks like they are looking at a 2 bus network during the summer with 70 minute frequency (60 minute trip time + 10 minute recovery) operating 7 days a week. The winter season would operate with only 1 bus, generating about 6 round trips per day. Another option being looked at is extending some trips to the Hitacu First Nations community; this diversion would add approximately 30 minutes to the trip time.

ACRD passed a by-law in September 2019 to establish a transit service area for the purposes of collecting revenue to fund the system. The by-law was passed under an Alternative Approvals Process; last Friday (November 29th) was the deadline to submit opposition to the by-law, so it's too early to tell if the by-law will be successful.

More details on the proposed service, and the reports, presentation and studies are available on the ACRD's website.

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Well, it happened, so I feel it deserves its own thread. BC Transit and ACRD approved plans for the Tofino-Ucluelet Transit System, though to be fair it's not much of a "system." Original plans had it running once an hour or something similar to that, which would have been excellent for drawing tourists onto the bus for hour-long stops at roadside attractions if BC Transit planned on having stops at those locations. Unfortunately, the approved plan includes only three times daily service between Tofino and Ucluelet. I'll be surprised if the service sees great ridership - as always, convenience and frequency play a big part in whether people are willing to use a system. I'm really hoping I've misunderstood the news article and both of the two buses are making three round-trips daily, meaning six round-trips daily, which certainly lends itself to usability by visitors as well as residents. Lots of nimbyism from residents (sometimes literally). I'll be trying to use this system as soon as it sets off.

In true 21st century fashion, a two-bus, one route transit system is going to take until 2021 to start running.

https://www.westerlynews.ca/news/acrd-approves-bc-transit-plan-for-tofino-ucluelet/

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Another small step forward: BC Transit borrowed Vicinity 4046 from Port Alberni to do route and stop testing yesterday. Somewhat surprised they're considering using Vicinity buses for this system, and not Arbocs, unless they're just testing for a "worst case" type scenario.

 

 

Edited by Articulated
Embedding Facebook post directly into post, rather than linking
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Its really not that surprising. BC Transit as a whole seems to be moving away from using Arbocs for smaller systems/routes. Salmon Arm for example is planning on replacing their fleet of Arbocs with Vicinitys. 

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1 hour ago, Iron said:

Its really not that surprising. BC Transit as a whole seems to be moving away from using Arbocs for smaller systems/routes. Salmon Arm for example is planning on replacing their fleet of Arbocs with Vicinitys. 

I'm wondering if this is because their capacity is less finite - and that is a serious concern with a system that only operates a couple of times a day. You really don't want people left at the curb. @Articulated where do you get your hands on this knowledge? The Pacific Rim system is something I'm really interested in, particularly in following how well it does over the years so I'd like to be able to know what's going on with it. Any word on where all the stop are yet? Will there be stops at park attractions or only within the communities?

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2 hours ago, Iron said:

Its really not that surprising. BC Transit as a whole seems to be moving away from using Arbocs for smaller systems/routes. Salmon Arm for example is planning on replacing their fleet of Arbocs with Vicinitys. 

I hope that means that the smaller systems will get Vicinitys, such as Saltspring Island, Bulkley-Nechako, Salmon Arm, etc. The short 30-foot Vicinity costs about 40% more than an Arboc but is a 10-year vehicle. Arboc is supposed to be a 5-year vehicle. 

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Also Grande West is a BC based company, while Arboc is American. Well New Flyer bought them, but still. It might have some impact on the order choice on top of the Vicinitys being just a better bus with it's standees, night time bike racks, and as Matt said likely cheaper long term costs. Also they actually look like buses, and not a glorified van, though how much that matters will depend on who you ask. I may be jaded from seen a few too many full Arbocs

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5 hours ago, SomeIslandKid said:

Also Grande West is a BC based company, while Arboc is American. Well New Flyer bought them, but still. It might have some impact on the order choice on top of the Vicinitys being just a better bus with it's standees, night time bike racks, and as Matt said likely cheaper long term costs. Also they actually look like buses, and not a glorified van, though how much that matters will depend on who you ask. I may be jaded from seen a few too many full Arbocs

Also I thought I read somewhere that Grande West is building a parts facility in the USA. Could mean that getting parts would be alot easier, because right now alot of parts come from China. 

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18 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

@Articulated where do you get your hands on this knowledge?

I quoted my source directly in my post... now that I'm on a desktop, will edit the Facebook post directly into my original post. Note that nowhere in my post did I say it was confirmed to get Vicinity buses; I used the words "considering" and "testing for a worst-case scenario" which really should indicate that I have no proof as to what type of vehicle they were to run.

Considering they are testing the routing with 30' Vicinity buses however, makes it seem more likely than I would have thought that they go with those type of buses. Just thought it was interesting enough to post it here though.

20 hours ago, Iron said:

Its really not that surprising. BC Transit as a whole seems to be moving away from using Arbocs for smaller systems/routes. Salmon Arm for example is planning on replacing their fleet of Arbocs with Vicinitys. 

Getting off-topic, but glad to see Salmon Arm is finally upgrading to full(er)-size buses. I was surprised that a system their size with as many routes as they operated has continued to operate Arbocs.

I do not think that BC Transit will convert every system over from Arbocs to Vicinity buses though. A number of smaller 2-3 bus systems have received gas-powered Arbocs in the past 1-2.5 years, and of course there will still be a need for cutaway-style vehicles for paratransit service. Still though, more larger buses in the system can only be a positive.

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6 hours ago, Articulated said:

there will still be a need for cutaway-style vehicles for paratransit service.

I was really impressed when I was in Kamloops that they used low-floor sprinters with bus-style front doors rather than cutaways, and I am genuinely curious why these aren't more widely used for paratransit when I have never once in my life seen a HandyDart with more than four people onboard. I feel like they are far more efficient and easier to drive.

EDIT man was I wrong about those sprinters

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58 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

I was really impressed when I was in Kamloops that they used low-floor sprinters with bus-style front doors rather than cutaways, and I am genuinely curious why these aren't more widely used for paratransit when I have never once in my life seen a HandyDart with more than four people onboard. I feel like they are far more efficient and easier to drive.

As far as I know, those Sprinter vans only have 8 seats, and they use a wheelchair lift instead of a ramp. BC Transit moved to ARBOC because they use a ramp making it easier to load wheelchairs. Also I may be wrong but the Sprinter is high-floor. 

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There's currently a private service being operated in the area with a single 24-passenger (seated and standing) shuttle. This should be interesting.

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1 hour ago, Community Shuttle said:

There's currently a private service being operated in the area with a single 24-passenger (seated and standing) shuttle. This should be interesting.

Are you talking about the Tofino Free Shuttle operated by the town? It only runs summers, and only serves as far south as Cox Bay. What would really be nice is to see BC Transit operate this route for consolidated scheduling... though that's never going to happen, and I'm curious whether the shuttle will even operate at all this year. If you're talking about something else, can you provide a link? I try to take pride in being exceptionally familiar with intercity services in BC and I've never heard of a local service between Tofino and Ucluelet other than the now Wilson's-owned (and thus not-operating) Tofino Bus.

Edit: Are you talking about TikiBus? It operates more on a HandyDart model and could be loosely considered "rural transit" as it's not really scheduled at all. Rural transit generally suggests that stops can be requested within a set area at an approximate time along a pre-existing route with detours as necessary, not "anywhere, anytime."

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3 hours ago, InfiNorth said:

Are you talking about the Tofino Free Shuttle operated by the town? It only runs summers, and only serves as far south as Cox Bay. What would really be nice is to see BC Transit operate this route for consolidated scheduling... though that's never going to happen, and I'm curious whether the shuttle will even operate at all this year. If you're talking about something else, can you provide a link? I try to take pride in being exceptionally familiar with intercity services in BC and I've never heard of a local service between Tofino and Ucluelet other than the now Wilson's-owned (and thus not-operating) Tofino Bus.

Edit: Are you talking about TikiBus? It operates more on a HandyDart model and could be loosely considered "rural transit" as it's not really scheduled at all. Rural transit generally suggests that stops can be requested within a set area at an approximate time along a pre-existing route with detours as necessary, not "anywhere, anytime."

I was talking about TikiBus. I see them advertising themselves as "rural transit" and "community shuttle" but I haven't really looked into how they actually operate. They've posted pics of their bus showing several destinations like "Nanaimo" and "Lil' Ronnie's BBQ" so I thought they had routes. I guess it's just a dial-a-ride with occasional A-B runs if it operates on that model.

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