BC Transit

BC Transit is a provincial crown corporation responsible for coordinating the delivery of public transportation within British Columbia, Canada, outside Greater Vancouver. BC Transit is headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia.

BC Transit is the successor to the British Columbia Electric Railway, which started in 1897 and in 1961 became a division of BC Hydro.[1] In 1979, the province separated the transit authority into a separate agency called the Urban Transit Authority which was later restructured into BC Transit in 1983.[2]

BC Transit carries out overall planning and delivery for all of the different municipal transit systems in British Columbia. In 1999, responsibility for the management of transportation in Greater Vancouver, including public transit, was taken over by the newly-formed TransLink. In the future, TransLink's jurisdiction is planned to expand into adjacent regions east and north of Greater Vancouver. (see TransLink 2007 reorganization)

BC Transit
BC Transit logo
Headquarters520 Gorge Road East
Victoria, British Columbia
V8W 9T5
LocaleProvince of British Columbia (except Greater Vancouver)
Service area130 communities
Service typebus service, paratransit, transportation planning
Fleet1052 vehicles


BCTransit Old Logo
Pre-2000 logo

The BC Electric Railway was incorporated in 1897 to take over the property and business of the Consolidated Railway Company. The Consolidated Railway Company had been formed the previous year, taking over ten other companies engaged in electric light systems or tramways in Vancouver, Victoria and New Westminster. Slowly the streetcars and interurban trams were converted to trolley and gas-powered buses. The province formed the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority in 1962, bringing the transit systems under BC Hydro.[1]

BC Transit logo
Logo used from 2000 to 2009; still seen on many buses that were delivered in the red, blue and white paint scheme.

In 1979 the province's Livable Region Plan led to the transfer of transit responsibilities to three agencies: the Greater Vancouver Regional District was to be responsible for transit policy and planning; the Urban Transit Authority, to represent provincial government interests in public transit; and the Metro Transit Operating Company, a separate crown corporation that took over operations from BC Hydro.[3] The new structure was meant to provide local governments with more decision-making power and funding of their local systems.[2]

BC Transit was created when, in 1982, the province merged the UTA and MTOC. The GVRD no longer had a role, and regional transit commissions were created in Vancouver and Victoria. The new regional commissions were tasked with approving local tariffs, planning, and some funding.[3]

In 1999, the responsibility for the transit system in Greater Vancouver was reassigned to TransLink, which had been founded a year earlier. The rest of BC remains under BC Transit.

Transit systems

1964 GMC TDH-4519
BC Hydro markings on a 1964 GMC bus

The Victoria Regional Transit System, in the provincial capital of Victoria, is the only system operated by BC Transit itself. Beyond Victoria, there are regional transit systems.[4] In four locations (Nanaimo, Nelson, Powell River, and the Sunshine Coast) the municipality operates the service, while private operators are contracted to deliver the transit services elsewhere.

Regional transit systems


There are 16 custom accessible transit systems.[4]


  1. ^ a b "British Columbia Electric Railway Company". Archives. City of Vancouver. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "BC Transit - Our History". BCTransit.com. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b BC Transit - Regional Transit System

External links

British Columbia Electric Railway

The British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) was an historic railway which operated in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. Originally the parent company, and later a division, of BC Electric, the BCER assumed control of existing streetcar and interurban lines in southwestern British Columbia in 1897, and operated the electric railway systems in the region until the last interurban service was discontinued in 1958. During and after the streetcar era, BC Electric also ran bus and trolleybus systems in Greater Vancouver and bus service in Greater Victoria; these systems subsequently became part of BC Transit, and the routes in Greater Vancouver eventually came under the control of TransLink. Trolley buses still run in the City of Vancouver and one line extends into Burnaby.

British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

The British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is the British Columbia government ministry responsible for transport infrastructure and law in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is currently led by Claire Trevena.

The ministry is responsible for the planning of transportation networks, providing transportation services and infrastructure, developing and implementing transportation policies, and administering many transportation-related acts and regulations. Its responsibilities include ports, airports, public transit, ferry services, roads and cycling networks. The ministry is also responsible for the following Crown Corporations: BC Transportation Financing Authority, BC Railway Company, BC Transit, the Transportation Investment Corporation, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and the BC Pavilion Corporation.

Campbell River Transit System

Campbell River Transit System provides public transportation to the city of Campbell River, on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Service also extends to Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake, under an agreement with the Strathcona Regional District. Most transit buses are low floor wheelchair accessible and come equipped with bike racks. Transportation for people whose disability prevents them from using conventional bus service is provided by HandyDART service for eligible registered users.

Carvolth Exchange

Carvolth Exchange is a major bus loop and park and ride facility serving the northern portion of the Township of Langley. Opened on December 1, 2012, Carvolth Exchange's primary connections are to Vancouver (via Burnaby), Surrey and Langley City all operated by TransLink.

Since April 6, 2015, BC Transit has operated the Fraser Valley Express to Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

Central Fraser Valley Transit System

Central Fraser Valley Transit System (formerly known as ValleyMAX) is a public transit system which provides bus services in the Central Fraser Valley area of British Columbia, Canada. Funding for the system is provided by the City of Abbotsford, the District of Mission, the University of the Fraser Valley and BC Transit, the agency responsible for planning and management of municipal transit systems throughout the province. Other than planning and managing bus routes, The Central Fraser Valley Transit System contracts out most of its bus services to FirstCanada ULC.

Chilliwack/Agassiz-Harrison Transit System

Chilliwack Transit System operates the public transportation system for the City of Chilliwack in the Upper Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Funding is provided under a partnership between the city and BC Transit, the provincial agency which plans and manages municipal transit systems. handyDART provides door-to-door transportation for people whose disability prevents them from using conventional bus service.

Agassiz-Harrison Transit System, operating on bus route 11, runs from the Chilliwack downtown exchange to Rosedale, Popkum, Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs. Fares on this route are based on a zonal system and passengers can transfer to the Chilliwack Transit System for free while Chilliwack passengers pay the difference in fares when transferring onto the Agassiz-Harrison bus.

Funding for the Chilliwack/Agassiz-Harrison Transit System is cost shared between the District of Kent and BC Transit in partnership with the Fraser Valley Regional District, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs and the City of Chilliwack.

Comox Valley Transit System

Comox Valley Transit System provides public transportation in the Comox Valley area on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Service is provided to the City of Courtenay and the towns of Comox, Royston, Oyster River, Black Creek, and Cumberland. Funding is provided under a partnership between the Comox Valley Regional District and BC Transit, the provincial agency which plans and manages municipal transit systems.

Grande West Transportation Group

Grande West Transportation Group is a Canadian bus manufacturer headquartered in Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada.


HandyDART is an accessible transit service in British Columbia that uses vans or small buses to transport disabled or elderly passengers who cannot use the normal transit system. This service provides door-to-door service and is available in all of the province’s larger centres, as well as in many smaller communities.

Kamloops Transit System

Kamloops Transit operates the public bus transit system in the City of Kamloops in south central British Columbia, Canada. The system consists of 15 regularly scheduled routes, one Sunday route, several school specials and handyDART customized service for persons with a disability. Funding is provided through a partnership between the City and BC Transit, the provincial agency which plans and manages municipal transit systems. Operations are contracted out to FirstCanada ULC.

Kelowna Regional Transit System

Kelowna Regional Transit System is operated by FirstCanada, providing public bus transportation services in part of the central Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada.

Funding for the transit system is shared between the City of Kelowna, Regional District of Central Okanagan, District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation and BC Transit, while the planning and routing decisions are primarily made by Kelowna City Council.

Kelowna Regional Transit was one of the first public transit systems in Canada to have double-decker buses, and the first in Canada to have hybrid buses on regular routes. The hybrid and double deckers buses have since been relocated to Victoria.

Nanaimo Regional Transit System

Regional District of Nanaimo Transit System provides both conventional bus service and special needs paratransit services within the Regional District of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada. The system, operated by the Regional Transportation Services Department, is jointly funded by BC Transit, the provincial agency responsible for transit services outside Metro Vancouver.

Penticton Transit System

Penticton Transit provides local public transportation services in the City of Penticton in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada, with a fleet of fully accessible low floor transit buses. The system consists of eight scheduled routes serving the city, which includes a night route; a connecting service by Okanagan-Similkameen Transit to the community of Naramata; a summer lake-to-lake route; and a HandyDART service for people who are unable to use regular transit.Funding is provided for the relevant services under a partnership between Penticton or the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, and BC Transit, the agency which plans and manages municipal transit systems within the province. The Berry & Smith subsidiary Penticton Transit Service Ltd is the operator.

Prince George Transit System

Prince George Transit System, or PG Transit, is the main public transit provider in Prince George, British Columbia. PG Transit is funded in conjunction with the City of Prince George and BC Transit (The provincial Crown corporation responsible for transit services outside Greater Vancouver), and operated by Prince George Transit Ltd., a subsidiary of Pacific Western Transportation.

Saanich Commonwealth Place

Saanich Commonwealth Place is a recreation centre located west of the Patricia Bay Highway and north of Royal Oak Drive in Saanich, British Columbia in Canada. It was originally constructed in 1993 for the August 1994 Commonwealth Games, and is currently a prominent facility in the community. In 2002, the original weightroom was completely renovated and it re-opened for operation in 2004. Among the centre's other features are a full-size gymnasium (7000 square feet), 50 metre competition pool, 4.5 meter deep dive tank with 1-, 3-, 5-, 7.5-, and 10-metre boards, and the Bruce Hutchison Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library. The building's construction is unique; it features a red dome in the shape of a slightly flattened square pyramid over the main pool area. The inside of the dome boasts dozens of large, intricately engineered sound absorption ceiling panels. Finally, stretching from about one-sixth to one-third of the way down the pyramid dome's four massive triangular sides, angled multi-pane windows replace the ceiling panels as the focus of a backstroker's view. The facility is often referred to as the "Commonwealth Pool" by residents of Greater Victoria. Located only 10 minutes by automobile from Saanich's new Uptown Shopping Centre and only 300 metres from the Royal Oak Transit Exchange, which is served by 12 BC Transit routes, it is highly accessible to all residents of the Capital Regional District.

Vernon Regional Transit System

Vernon Regional Transit System provides bus service to destinations in Vernon, Coldstream and North Okanagan area of British Columbia, using fully accessible low floor transit buses.This transit system is responsible for all local full-service and handyDART public bus transportation, in cooperation with the provincial agency BC Transit. Currently, thirteen scheduled routes are operated under the Vernon Regional Transit System name, as well as various other community bus services.

Victoria Regional Transit System

Victoria Regional Transit System provides public transportation in the Greater Victoria region of British Columbia, Canada. Its operations are governed by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission in association with BC Transit. There were more than 25 million riders in 2010.

West Kootenay Transit System

West Kootenay Transit System (formerly known as Kootenay Boundary Transit System) is the public transit system in Trail, Casltegar, Nelson, British Columbia and surrounding area. The transit services are operated from Trail, Castlegar, Nelson and serve Rossland, Warfield, Genelle, Montrose, Fruitvale, Salmo, Kaslo, Creston, Nakusp. Funding is provided under a partnership between the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, Regional District of Central Kootenay and BC Transit. handyDART provides door-to-door transportation for people whose disability prevents them from using conventional bus service.

West Kootenay Transit System introduced a transit run between the Cities of Trail, Castlegar and Nelson, mainly to serve those travelling to Selkirk College's Castlegar Campus. This run is operational between the months of September and June and can be used for general transportation between the communities of Trail, Castlegar and Nelson.

Whistler Transit System

Whistler Transit Ltd., a division of Pacific Western Transportation, operates the public transit service in Whistler and the Pemberton Valley area of British Columbia, Canada. Buses operate every day between 5:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. and are equipped with racks for skis or bikes, depending on the season.

Funding for the Whistler Transit System is shared between the Resort Municipality of Whistler and BC Transit. Funding for the Pemberton Valley Transit System is shared between BC Transit and the Squamish–Lillooet Regional District through a partnership with the Village of Pemberton and Lil'wat First Nation Bus services in Whistler are operated by Whistler Transit Ltd. while services within Pemberton are operated by Pemberton Taxi.

BC Transit Systems
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Public transit systems in Canada
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island

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