Coming soon: service expansion and simplified fare structure
Nanaimo – Effective this September, transit users in the Regional District of Nanaimo will see improvements to bus service across the region, including the addition of two routes in Qualicum Beach, and the introduction of a new, simplified fare structure.
These improvements are possible due to the addition of 5,000 new service hours and two new buses to the system, funded by the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) and the Province of British Columbia.
“This government is committed to investing in public transit throughout the province,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Transit is fundamental to building strong communities and it helps make life more affordable for British Columbians.”
“This investment in transit is good news for people who live and work in Nanaimo and the surrounding area,” said Leonard Krog, MLA for Nanaimo.
“Better transit is vital to our communities and an important part of making Nanaimo accessible for all people, and to help ease congestion,” said Doug Routley MLA for Nanaimo North Cowichan
“Expanding our transit service and offering a new, simplified fare structure will make riding the bus more convenient for riders across the RDN,” said Teunis Westbroek, Chair of the RDN Transit Select Committee. “This meets multiple Board strategic priorities, including delivering efficient, effective and economically-viable services that meet the needs of the region, and protecting our environment by providing a transportation option that reduces our greenhouse gas and energy consumption.”
Starting September 3, the service expansion will introduce routes 97 Eaglecrest and 98 Qualicum Beach within the Town of Qualicum Beach. It will also enhance route 99 Deep Bay, increase the frequency of route 15 VIU Connector and make improvements to route 25 Ferry Shuttle in Nanaimo.
Route 25 will now run seven days a week, connecting the Departure Bay ferry terminal to Prideaux Street, Vancouver Island University and Woodgrove Centre. On the way to Departure Bay, the route will depart from Woodgrove Centre, then follow Highway 19A to Country Club, Brechin Road and Stewart Avenue into the ferry terminal.
To improve efficiency, route 99 Deep Bay will start and finish at Ravensong Aquatic Centre, and will stop outside the Lighthouse Community Centre area, along 19A at Lions Way. The portion of the route between Ravensong Aquatic Centre and Woodgrove Centre will become part of route 91 Intercity Connector.
Other significant expansions include increased service on route 99 Deep Bay, which will now run five days a week (Tuesday through Saturday), and on route 15 VIU Connector, which will now run seven days a week.
“The Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach and Deep Bay areas have experienced significant growth over the past few years,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit Vice President of Business Development. “By working together with our partners at the Province of B.C. and in the Regional District of Nanaimo, we will ensure that we continue to provide effective and efficient transportation that meets the region’s evolving needs.”
Complementing these changes, the new, simplified fare structure will make it more convenient to ride the bus throughout the region.
Starting September 1, bus riders will now be able to purchase the DayPASS right when they board the bus. This will make it easier to ride all day within the Regional District of Nanaimo Transit System, while also eliminating the need for paper transfers. At only $5 for all customers—including students, youth, and seniors—the DayPASS will make it more affordable to use transit in the region.
The new fare structure will also offer the option to pay a one-way cash fare of $2.50 or buy a sheet of 10 tickets for $22.50. Transit users may also purchase a monthly pass for $65 (adults), $50 (post-secondary students) or $40 (seniors and youth). Semester passes for university students will now be available for only $170.
A single, one-way handyDART fare will be the same as a standard cash fare of $2.50.
As part of this fare restructuring, the transit system is expanding the Kids Ride Free program to every day of the week, allowing up to two children 14 and under to ride for free when accompanied by an adult with a valid monthly pass, DayPASS, ProPASS or BC Bus Pass.
For more information about schedules, routes and service changes in Nanaimo, please visit bctransit.com/nanaimo.