The Cowichan Valley Regional Transit System will introduce a number of service changes as of Oct. 6.
In the Lake Cowichan area, there will be new service to Cowichan Commons and broader coverage with on-request services to Youbou and Honeymoon Bay.
“With the introduction of flexible routing on Routes 20 and 21, we are able to accommodate our customers closer to where they live and deliver them nearer to their destinations,” says Meribeth Burton, BC Transit Corporate Spokesperson.
The routes can service up to two deviations per trip.
There are also improvements to the handyDart service, which include expansion of hours of service, as well as coverage to Ladysmith.
“There will be more hours invested for handyDart customers throughout the service area, including Lake Cowichan, Youbou and Honeymoon Bay,” says Burton.
The changes came after a series of public consultations last fall, and from a desire of CVRD and BC Transit to maximize efficiency and improve service for customers.
“[We asked] our customer base how we can better serve the region,” says Burton. “The changes to our conventional services were cost neutral.”
These changes will be permanent rather than seasonal as long as they remain necessary and useful.
“We will continue to monitor how effective and efficient our customers are finding the new service to see if adjustments are required,” says Burton.
The transit service changes affect routes throughout the Cowichan Valley. Outside of the lake communities, there will be new services added to Duncan, North Cowichan and South Cowichan.
Also important to note is the increase in daily fares across the board to an even $2. A monthly pass for adults is $48 and for students and seniors is $36.