The Cowichan Valley is adding six new buses to its fleet this summer to replace aging vehicles. Pictured is BC Transit driver Mo Bhoondpaul, who has been driving buses in the Valley since 1993, with one of the buses. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

The Cowichan Valley is adding six new buses to its fleet this summer to replace aging vehicles. Pictured is BC Transit driver Mo Bhoondpaul, who has been driving buses in the Valley since 1993, with one of the buses. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

New transit buses for Cowichan Valley

Six new buses introduced to the fleet this summer

Bus riders in the Cowichan Valley are being treated to six new buses that are being introduced to the fleet this summer.

The new $319,000 Grande West Vicinity buses are being funded by the province and the Cowichan Valley Regional District through BC Transit’s local government lease-free program.

Plans are for more of the aging buses in the Valley’s 22-bus transit fleet to be replaced in coming years.

Among the many amenities on the new buses are closed-circuit television cameras to improve the safety of passengers and riders.

CVRD chairman Jon Lefebure said at an event held on July 13 to welcome the buses that transit is the most challenging of the regional district’s functions.

“It’s always hard work to get the best bus service for the most people with the buses we have, while balancing against the costs and having the appropriate amount of people on each bus,” he said.

“The arrival of these buses helps the Cowichan Valley continue to grow a safe and accessible transit system. We look forward to welcoming more members of our community on board.”

Denny Byrne, BC Transit’s director of fleet management, said she’s “excited” to be part of the introduction of so many new buses in the Valley.

“I think it will have an amazing impact on the communities we serve here,” she said.

“Our new closed-circuit television system is being introduced in 12 communities across B.C., including the Cowichan Valley, and we are already seeing immediate benefits. They serve as a deterrent to crime and, when there is an incident on a bus, it can be followed up quickly.”

The introduction of the six buses in the Valley is part of BC Transit’s province-wide refresher program that will see more than 100 new buses added to fleets across B.C. this year.