Buses are an important part of our communities for so many reasons!
How many bus rides are there each year?
Our buses take people to work, school, and activities every day in British Columbia. But just how many bus rides are there? 57 million! There are only 5.24 million people living in all of British Columbia!
And think about this: 57 million rides a year is about two people stepping onto a bus every second all day long for a year.
Can you imagine if we didn’t have buses in BC and every single one of those bus rides was a car ride instead? There would be cars everywhere!
How many kilometers do our buses drive each year?
In total, our thousands of BC Transit Bus Drivers drive about 56 million kilometers each year! That equals 1,397 times around the Earth. That’s a lot of kilometers!
How many total hours of driving do our buses drive each year?
If we added up all the hours spent driving each year of all our thousands of bus drivers, it would be 2.4 million hours. That’s 100,000 days – or 274 years – of driving!
How many bus systems are there in BC?
BC Transit operates buses in over 50 communities in British Columbia! Can you find your community on the map?
How many buses are there in BC?
BC Transit has 1,133 buses in our fleet! These are all different types of buses, from small buses to long buses to even double-decker buses! Check out the “Meet our Fleet” page to learn more about each type of bus.
BC Transit runs a fleet of about 1,133 buses in British Columbia. Each bus is fully accessible which means that everyone in your community is able to ride on them.
Each bus has its own special superpower! This gives each of them different jobs in your community.
Read below to find out more about our 4 main types of buses.
Double Decker Buses
High Capacity Buses
Fancy names: Enviro500 LHD, Enviro500, Enviro500H, Trident III How many are there in service? 83 How many people can it hold? Up to 105 Wheelchair Positions: 2 Where do we use this bus? We use Double Decker buses in places where the most people live. Vehicle Weight: 23,700-24,200 kg OR 5 Adult Elephants!
Double Decker Superpowers:
They are our highest and longest bus of the fleet!
Heavy Duty Buses
Fancy Names: LFS (Nova), XN40 Xcelsior, DE40LF Hybrid, D40LF How many are there in service? 542 How many people can it hold? Up to 80 Wheelchair Positions: 1 or 2 depending on the bus Where do we use this bus? This bus is our most common bus! We use these in almost every large and medium-sized bus system in British Columbia. Vehicle Weight: 18,750 – 19,400 kg or 4 Adult Elephants
Heavy Duty Superpowers:
12 metres long – about the length of a telephone pole!
Did you know you could bring your bike on the bus? All of these buses have a bike rack at the front!
These buses can ‘kneel’ down! This makes the front door lower and more even with the curb to make it easier to board the bus. There is even a built-in ramp so baby strollers and wheelchairs can ride the bus!
Medium Duty Buses
Fancy names: Vicinity CNG How many are there in service? 190 How many people can it hold? Up to 50 Wheelchair Positions: 1 or 2 depending on the bus Where do we use this bus? This bus is usually in service in communities where not a lot of people live. They drive on routes that come less-often, and are not as busy as the bigger routes. Vehicle Weight: 13,200 – 16,000kg or 3 Adult Elephants!
Medium Duty Superpowers:
Most of these buses run on Compressed Natural Gas instead of diesel. Compressed Natural Gas-powered buses are quieter and emit less greenhouse gas emissions into our environment. This makes for cleaner air!
The communities of Langford, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Whistler all have a Compressed Natural Gas fleet of buses.
Light Duty Buses handyDART
Fancy Names: Aero Elite 320, Spirit of Mobility, Spirit of Freedom, G5 and Sprinter How many are there in service? 347 How many people can it hold? 12-30 depending on the bus Wheelchair Positions: Up to 6 Where do we use this bus? At BC Transit, we believe that everybody should be able to ride the bus! HandyDARTs are a door-to-door bus service for people who would have difficulty using regular buses. Vehicle Weight: 10,000 kg or 4 Baby Elephants!
Light Duty Superpowers: They are the most accessible buses in our fleet – some of them can hold up to 6 wheelchair users!
Instead of entering at the front like the rest of the fleet, these buses load wheelchair users through the back doors using a special lift.
Taking the bus is good for our planet! Our buses provide an important service in our communities but also to our environment.
Why is taking the bus better for the planet?
Less Cars Means More Clean Air! All vehicles that run on gas or diesel use fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are removed from the Earth and cannot be replaced. They also emit – or make – greenhouse gases when burned. These are gases that harm the planet.
They are also the stinky gas that comes out of the back of cars, trucks, boats, planes, and heavy equipment like tractors. The more we drive these vehicles, the more harm we do to the planet.
When people leave their car at home and take the bus to work or school, they are helping the planet. How much? A lot!
Each bus saves the environment about 10,570 litres of fuel per year. That is equal to removing about 8 cars off the road for a whole year! BC Transit has 1,133 buses in our fleet. This means that each year, BC Transit removes about 9,000 cars from BC roads!
We would need to plant 1.2 million trees – nature’s air cleaners – each year to make that much of a difference for our planet!
Less Stink Means Even More Clean Air! Some of our buses are fueled by low emission fuels like compressed natural gas. This means they make fewer gases that harm the Earth. Less stink means cleaner air and an even happier planet! Learn more on the ‘Meet Our Fleet’ page, here.
How Else do Buses Help our Environment?
Have you ever been stuck in traffic? Boring! Do you think there will be MORE or LESS traffic if people started riding the bus more? That’s right! If more people took the bus, our roads would be a lot less crowded with cars. One bus equals 40 cars off the road!
Transit operators are the most important people of BC Transit – they are our Bus Drivers! Can you imagine driving something as big as a bus? It takes months of training to become a Transit Operator!
Our Transit Operators do more than just drive the bus too.
● Check their bus to make sure it is safe for us to ride on ● Do their best to be on time to each bus stop in order to keep to their bus route and time schedule, which is important ● Answer questions and help riders find their way around ● Make sure everyone can get on the bus safely, including customers with accessibility needs or with a baby stroller ● Help with emergencies on the road when it is safe to do so
Transit Operators provide an important service to our communities. Did you know that if you ever get lost or feel scared, you could get on a bus and tell the bus driver? Bus drivers are community superheroes!
Buses are important in our community for so many reasons!
Buses are a form of public transportation. Transportation means moving people and things from one place to another. Public means that all people can use it if they need it. People use different types of public transportation to get from place to place. For example, subways, trains, ferries, and buses are all types of public transportation!
Some people depend on public transportation to get to their job because they may not have a car or another way to get there, or they want to reduce their impact on the environment. Most communities have some kind of public transportation service.
In small communities, people may be able to walk to stores to buy things, walk to their jobs, or ride their bikes to places they need to go. As a community grows in size, its public transportation system grows too! City buses help people get to places faster. If you have more people living in a community, more people may need the bus to get around. BC Transit provides bus services in communities big and small across British Columbia, outside of the Greater Vancouver area.
We need public transportation services in communities because they provide people a way to get around without having to own a car. Having reliable and safe buses keeps everyone in the community moving and thriving.
Questions to think about: What are some other ways buses are important? Do we need buses in communities? What would people do without buses?