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With more snow in the forecast, BC Transit braces for possible delays

Routes with steep roads the first to see detours or cancellations

By Jolene Rudisuela
December 19, 2022
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

With more snow in the forecast, BC Transit braces for possible delays

Routes with steep roads the first to see detours or cancellations

Photo: BC Transit
Photo: BC Transit
Latest News
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

With more snow in the forecast, BC Transit braces for possible delays

Routes with steep roads the first to see detours or cancellations

By Jolene Rudisuela
December 19, 2022
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With more snow in the forecast, BC Transit braces for possible delays

With some snow on the ground and more in the forecast, BC Transit is preparing for the potential of slippery roads, route delays, and cancellations. 

“Our bus drivers are prepared to drive in the snow and our buses are prepared for the snow, but they can really only do what road conditions allow,” said Jamie Weiss, media relations with BC Transit. “And it’s not even only snowfall…when the roads are icy, that’s actually an even bigger concern.”

All BC Transit buses are equipped with winter tires and all bus drivers are trained to drive in winter conditions, but even still sometimes poor conditions force a change in schedule.

Whenever it snows, a team of 12 transit supervisors are out on the roads, monitoring the conditions and making the final calls on route changes or cancellations. They’re also prepared with shovels and sand in case a bus gets stuck.

Some routes have more problems than others in snowy weather—especially those with a lot of elevation change. Weiss points out Bear Mountain and Triangle Mountain on the Westshore, and Dean Park and Tanner Road on the Saanich Peninsula as particularly problematic when road conditions are poor because buses simply can’t get up or down the steep roads safely. They’re typically the first routes to see delays, detours, and cancellations. 

Luckily Victoria hasn’t seen weather like Vancouver in late November when snow and ice trapped commuters on roads for hours. But we still have a full season of winter weather to come. 

This winter is expected to be colder than the 30-year average, and while the fall so far has had far less precipitation than usual, the winter months are expected to bring more moisture to the Island. Whether that all comes in the form of rain or snow is mixed in is to be determined.  

Winter transit tips

In the snow, transit usage becomes essential for many to get around the city. While some just choose to stay indoors when the weather gets cold and snowy, others turn to transit to replace their usual drive, bike, or walk. 

“We do know that we do get new riders or riders that might not typically take transit when it’s snowing,” Weiss said. 

BC Transit always notes route delays, detours, or cancellations on its website, and transit users can also set up email alerts for changes on their usual routes. Customers can alternatively use the NextRide app, or call the transit info line at 250-382-6161 to get updates. 

“We try to spread the most up-to-date information because there’s nothing worse as a customer than going to a bus stop in the cold and the snow and then the bus doesn’t come,” Weiss said. 

Weiss also recommends that customers wave at approaching bus drivers when visibility is poor because it’s sometimes difficult for drivers to see customers. He adds that drivers always appreciate it when customers have their transit pass or money ready so they can close the door quickly and keep the cold air outside.

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