Public transit is a safe, economic, and environmentally-friendly method of transportation. It is a viable option to consider, especially as we get older and may no longer be able to drive ourselves. BC Transit offers routes with regular service throughout the Capital Regional District 365 days of the year.
Fares for bus travel can be paid at the time of travel with exact change for each trip or for a day pass. Regular bus riders may choose instead to purchase pre-paid sheets of 10 tickets at a discounted rate or a monthly pass, both of which are available for sale at numerous retail locations. Rates for cash, ticket and pass purchases vary for adults, seniors, youth and college students. Visit BC Transit's Transit Fares section for more information.
Explore the information below for options available for those on a limited income or those with limited mobility as well as information, services and tips for using public transportation.
Subsidized Bus Pass
The bus pass program offers a low-cost annual bus pass, allowing access on any scheduled BC Transit bus. Bus passes are valid in communities serviced by BC Transit or Translink (Vancouver), and are not valid for handyDART services.
Eligibility requirements for a discounted annual bus pass include:
- Receiving Federal Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or receiving Spouse’s Allowance to Old Age Security,
- Being at least 65 years of age – would qualify for OAS and GIS except having less than 10 years residency in Canada,
- Receiving Income Assistance (60 – 64 years of age), or
- Receiving Income Assistance for persons with disabilities (18 – 64 years of age)
A bus pass is issued for an annual fee of $45, expiring on December 31. The fee is not prorated for applicants applying part-way through the year.
For more information, view the Ministry of Social Development’s website or phone 1-866-866-0800.
Victoria Accessible Transit Services
There are several transit options available for people with accessibility issues. Many fixed-route buses utilize low-floor buses that can “kneel” to lower the entry level of the bus, and are also equipped with loading ramps for people who require a wheelchair or motorized scooter. Some smaller buses are also equipped with special lifts to accommodate for wheelchairs and motorized scooters.
BC Transit offers the handyDART program for passengers who cannot use regular public transportation. The handy dart service offers front door pick up and drop off and travel directly to the desired destination for a fee.
As an alternative to handyDART, seniors and those with a disability may be eligible for the BC Transit Taxi-Saver Program. To receive taxi-saver coupons, apply for a handyPass through the handyDART program.
For further information on handyDART or the Taxi-Saver program contact 250-727-7811.
There are several factors to consider when deciding to take the bus. Start with where and when bus travel is required and use the maps, schedules, and route information available online at www.bctransit.com, pick up a printed Rider’s Guide on board a bus or contact BC Transit in Greater Victoria at 250-382-6161. For convenient trip planning, Google Transit is another useful tool that provides relevant BC Transit bus routes and schedules based on the starting and destination addresses.
Here are a few tips to follow when riding the bus:
- Have the correct fare or bus pass ready before boarding.
- Always hold on while the bus is in motion.
- Take the first available seat, particularly if unsteady on your feet.
- Arrive at the bus stop a few minutes early.
- Signal for your bus stop well in advance, to ensure the driver has enough time.
- Never use offensive or abusive language while on the bus.
For more information on bus stops, safety, and tips for riding the bus, visit BC Transit’s “How to Ride” page or call the local BC Transit office 250-382-6161.
Community Travel Training
Residents of Greater Victoria who are unfamiliar with bus travel can take advantage of the free Community Travel Training service. Trainers will help to develop an individual coaching plan, focused on individual travel needs such as work trips, volunteer positions, appointments or general travel. Contact Victoria’s BC Transit office at 250-382-6161 for further information or group sessions.