BC Transit’s vision is to connect people and communities to a more sustainable future.
Public transit is part of a land use and transportation community plan. In partnership with communities across the province, we promote walking, cycling and using transit.
The Road Already Travelled
We’re proud of our leadership role in testing and implementing new lower-carbon vehicles and technologies.
- 1992: First low-floor buses in North America
- 2000: First low-floor double-decker buses in North America (Victoria)
- 2005: First production hybrid buses in Canada (Kelowna)
- 2010-15: World's largest single-location hydrogen fuel cell fleet implemented in regular service as a five-year demonstration project started during Winter Olympics (Whistler). Pilot project concludes in 2015.
- 2011: First hybrid double-decker bus in North America
- 2014-15: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered fleets introduced in the Regional District of Nanaimo and Kamloops Transit System
- 2018 – Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered fleet of buses introduced in the Whistler Transit System
In 2008, B.C. introduced a regulation requiring all government, including BC Transit as a Crown Agency, to be carbon neutral. We measure and report our greenhouse gas emissions and offset required emissions. Our annual Carbon Neutral Action Report details carbon emissions and reports on our green initiatives.
The Road We’re On
We’re constantly striving for a cleaner, greener fleet — it's one of our goals in creating sustainable communities and reducing our global footprint.
BC Transit is continually monitoring the market for ways improve fuel efficiency and/or reduce emissions on older buses. Wherever economically feasible, older buses are retrofitted with new technology as its available and proven in the industry. We use roughly 23 million litres of fuel every year. A one percent savings in fuel would translate into 230,000 litres which has both a positive environmental and financial outcome.
Hybrid Diesel Electric Bus
As well as reducing emissions, these buses have lower fuel costs. Our fleet includes seven hybrid electric buses, including the first hybrid double-deck bus in North America.
Fleet Innovation: the Vicinity Bus
BC Transit was the first company in North America to test and purchase medium-duty Vicinity buses which offer substantial advances in fuel efficiency and long-term cost savings when compared to conventional buses.
In 2013, BC Transit participated in an Electric Vehicle Suitability Study of our light-duty Non-Revenue fleet in Victoria Regional Transit System. This study included pool cars and parts and maintenance vehicles. The results of the study will help guide the future procurement of non-revenue vehicles based on duty requirements and reduced GHG impacts.
Hybrid Transit Supervisor Vehicles
In 2009, BC Transit purchased six hybrid vehicles for Transit Supervisors in the Victoria Regional Transit System. From 2010 through 2012, this hybrid fleet has avoided more than 110 Tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases in comparison to former incumbent vehicles
Fuels and Engines
BC Transit is now acquiring vehicles that meet or exceed 2010 EPA certification, including acquiring the first double-decker in North America certified to this level.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
A fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses is now operating in the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) and the City of Kamloops.
In 2013, BC Transit and the Regional District of Nanaimo began building a new Compressed Natural Gas fuelling station at the Nanaimo Transit Centre.
As of 2007, we use a renewable biodiesel blended with ultra-low sulphur diesel. Biodiesel is a natural choice in the migration from fossil fuels to clean sources of energy. BC Transit’s leadership in blending biodiesel was recognized by the Standards Council of Canada. Since 2010 B.C. legislation requires that all diesel sold in the province has a percentage of biodiesel.
B.C. Air Action Plan
Over 180 older diesel-powered buses were retrofitted to receive filters and catalysts reducing particulate matter emissions by 50 per cent, hydrocarbons by 16 tonnes a year and carbon monoxide by 222 tonnes a year.
All new BC Transit facilities are being designed utilizing best practises, and sustainable and energy-efficient materials where practical and feasible.
Recent buildings were opened in Kamloops, Vernon and Whistler. Kamloops’ new Transit Centre has a bus wash which recycles 80 per cent of the water used.
It's all about choice. Our Green Programs help connect people and communities with a network of integrated and sustainable transportation.
Park & Ride
Commuters can drive to a convenient location and take transit the rest of the way. Across B.C., we are linking our transit networks to other modes of travel.
Bike & Ride
We emphasize cycling connections by providing Bike & Ride services in communities across B.C. Most buses are equipped with bike racks, and there is no extra charge to bring your bike on board. Instructions are posted right on the racks.
The fewer empty seats in your vehicle, the more you’re doing to reduce emissions. Ridesharing is more fuel-efficient and economical than commuting alone. Learn more about how you can rideshare.
No Idling Policy
BC Transit has an anti-idling policy and for transit operators. They also take part in a Smart Driving training program that refreshes drivers on why we all should drive in a fuel efficient and environmentally sound manner.
BC SCRAP-IT Program
BC Transit and BC Scrap-It provides incentives to help British Columbians replace higher polluting vehicles with cleaner forms of transportation like transit and cycling. In Victoria, you can trade in your car for up to nine months of free transit. More details are available at www.scrapit.ca.
How much could you save by taking transit instead of your vehicle? Use our Commuter Calculator and find out!
The Road Ahead
Over the next five years, we will be replacing up to 45 per cent of our provincial fleet. We’re actively pursuing new innovations, and we’re exploring various technologies and fuels: compressed natural gas, fully electric buses and new electric hybrid systems.
The decades ahead present opportunities to transform our communities into healthier and more livable places. Building sustainable transportation networks that integrate and promote walking, cycling and transit will be key in realizing our vision.
We promote the advantages of transit, walking and cycling as financially, socially and environmentally wise transportation choices.