It’s been a case of “use and it and it might expand” instead of “build it and they will come” but BC Transit and the Cowichan Valley Regional District are reporting success on Route 44 — the Saturday express service between Duncan and Downtown Victoria.
Complementing the popular weekday Cowichan Valley Commuter service launched in 2008, one year into the weekend service, the route has seen more than 3,500 riders, roughly 68 a day, taking advantage of the three round-trips each Saturday.
“We launched the service after a significant number of Cowichan Valley residents told us they wanted affordable transportation options to Greater Victoria on the weekend, and we also received inquiries from people in Greater Victoria about transit options to the Cowichan Valley,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit’s chief executive officer and president. “With ridership steadily increasing on the Route 44, this is proving to be a worthwhile investment.”
Route 44 leaves Village Green Mall at 9:17 a.m., 12:24 p.m. and 3:36 p.m., with stops at Duncan Train Station, Valleyview Park & Ride and Lodgepole at Frayne, and in the Victoria area at Highway 1 at Helmcken, Douglas at Boleskine, Douglas at Finlayson and Government at Superior. Return trips leave Government at Superior at 10:47 a.m., 1:59 p.m. and 5:11 p.m. The fare is $10 cash, and children aged four and younger ride free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.
“With the Saturday Route 44 service, we’ve been able to increase transit ridership at a fairly low cost,” said CVRD board chair Ian Morrison. “We’re pleased to have a viable public transit option to connect the Cowichan Valley and Victoria.”
For more information on schedules, routes, and fares, see BCTransit.com/Cowichan-Valley or call 250-746-9899.