Sierra Hamblin, a Colwood woman, is ‘beyond frustrated’ with BC Transit after commuting to downtown for the past two years. She regularly has to wait as full buses and sometimes half-full buses pass her by. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Sierra Hamblin, a Colwood woman, is ‘beyond frustrated’ with BC Transit after commuting to downtown for the past two years. She regularly has to wait as full buses and sometimes half-full buses pass her by. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Full buses leave Colwood woman fuming over commute from West Shore

BC Transit plans to add eight double-deckers in 2020, will rotate on 50 and 61 routes

Sierra Hamblin is “beyond frustrated” with BC Transit.

Tuesday, the Colwood woman missed her bus to make it in time for work in downtown Victoria once again.

“It’s alright, my boss lets me stay late or I just take a shorter lunch,” she said with a sigh on a Wednesday morning.

A commuter for about two years, it takes her about an hour on most weekdays. She usually gets on at the Colwood Park and Ride after dropping off her son at a daycare in Metchosin.

Anytime between 7:15 and 7:30 a.m., she usually hops on the 50, 61, or 48 buses – but that depends on whether the bus is full or not.

Hamblin glances over at the packed 50 that pulled in, but she knows there’s no room as she’s at the end of a line of at least 20 to 30 people. Meanwhile, a half-full 61 double-decker passes by without any hesitation.

“It’s total frustration,” Hamblin said. “Sometimes the buses don’t even stop because other buses are loading and the traffic is so bad. I regularly have to apologize to my boss for being late again and again.”

READ MORE: B.C. Transit borrows buses from Interior to avoid trip cancellations in Greater Victoria

ALSO READ: B.C. Transit back in Sooke for more feedback

At this point, Hamblin said her hands are tied.

She used to start work at 8 a.m., but when she found out her son’s daycare only allowed drop off at 7 a.m. and later, she was able to push her start time to 8:30 a.m. instead.

“This could’ve been a nightmare, but my boss is very understanding and I’m so grateful,” Hamblin said.

Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t end after the morning.

She has to rush home to pick up her son by 5:30 p.m. or else it’s a dollar for every minute over. Luckily, she has family members who are able to pick up her son whenever she’s in a pinch.

Hamblin submitted a complaint to BC Transit back in 2018 but hasn’t seen any difference in rush hour service.

She believes an increase of double-decker buses and frequent service is the solution to her West Shore woes.

“BC Transit has seen a six per cent growth in ridership over the past year with a notable increase in the West Shore in particular,” said Kevin Shubert, general manager of Victoria Operations, BC Transit.

Shubert pointed to the arrival of 80 new buses that will be added to the transit system in 2020, eight of them being double-deckers. BC Transit clarified that the new double-deckers will be part of a rotating schedule for the 50 and 61 routes, but not the 48.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Nearly 30 people stand waiting for a bus around 7:30 a.m. outside Colwood Park and Ride. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Nearly 30 people stand waiting for a bus around 7:30 a.m. outside Colwood Park and Ride. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Just Posted

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read