bc transit
(Left to right) Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit interim president & CEO; Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure; and Susan Brice, Victoria Regional Transit Commission Chair (@clairetrevena/Twitter)

People who take transit are going to be seeing a lot more of BC Transit’s battery electric bus this summer, as it goes into regular service on July 23.

Riders can find the bus operating on routes 2 (James Bay/South Oak Bay/Willows), 4 (UVic/Downtown), 11 (Tillicum Mall/UVic) and 27 (Gordon Head/Downtown) in its first week of service.

The bus, owned and manufactured by BYD, first arrived in Victoria last April, and is being used by BC Transit as part of a six-month trial to better understand the bus’s capabilities and range.

BC Transit and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the new bus service on Tuesday.

“BC Transit’s first electric bus trial is very important when we look to the future of transit in British Columbia,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“The province’s goal is to work with BC Transit on developing an aggressive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by converting to zero emission buses, and it is our hope that this initial trial will pave the way for big, positive changes to come in the near future.”

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said pollution-free transportation is an important part of the province’s efforts to build a cleaner economy.

“This BC Transit project showcases our commitment in this province to reducing carbon and air pollution in our communities while reaching our climate targets,” he added.

The electric bus is powered by a 324 kilowatt hour battery, and is recharged at a charging station at the Victoria Regional Transit Centre. The bus has been able to travel at least 250 kilometres on a charge during BC Transit testing, and can recharge overnight in three to four hours.

BC Transit will also be partnering with the University of Victoria Sustainability Lab and BC Hydro for the trial.

Have you seen the BC Transit battery electric bus driving around the city yet?

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