One of the most daunting tasks when travelling is figuring out how to get around! So if you’re coming to Greater Victoria, British Columbia and need help navigating public transportation in Victoria BC, we can help! There’s no doubt that the public transit in this little city on Vancouver Island can’t compare with the public transportation in major Canadian cities but BC Transit, the name for the Victoria Regional Transit System, is fairly extensive, inexpensive, and easy to navigate! On Vancouver Island you can find bus services from Victoria all the way to Tofino and you can catch a BC Ferry from one of the many ferry terminals on the Island to get to the Gulf Islands, Metro Vancouver and more! Let’s review the options, find out how to plan your trip and get you on your way!
BC Transit Bus Services
Whether you’re enjoying one of the stunning EMR condos downtown Victoria BC, relaxing in luxurious Oak Bay, getting away from it all in Sooke and Metchosin, or staying oceanside near charming Sidney, it’s easy to catch a bus to travel through all the municipalities of the Capital Regional District! You can purchase a day pass, monthly pass or a book of tickets and children 12 and younger are eligible for free transit! With bike racks on the front of the buses, hydraulics to allow for strollers and mobility aids to easily board, dedicated priority seating and helpful drivers, using BC Transit is a great option for everyone!
How to Plan Your Trip with BC Transit
Simply go to the BC Transit website, bctransit.com enter your starting point, destination and your departure or arrival time and click the Google Transit button to see a list of options in Google maps!
If you know the bus number you need to catch, you can click the Schedules and Maps button and you’ll be redirected to a page where you can enter the route number (the number on the bus) to see that specific bus route, all the bus stops along the route as well as the full weekday, Saturday and Sunday schedules. This is a helpful tool if you don’t have a fixed time you need to be somewhere, you can check for the next bus whenever you need to and plan your day a little more freely!
If you’re a guest with mobility issues or travelling with someone with mobility issues, BC Transit has the handyDART: a door-to-door, shared transit system for people who are unable to use the fixed transit system. HandyDART buses are equipped so users don’t have to rely on assistance from another person and picks up and drops off at your preferred accessibility point. Simply register for the service for free and book the handyDART for when you need it!
If you’re hoping to explore the Gulf Islands during your stay on Vancouver Island, you’ll need to ride with BC Ferries. There are two main ferry terminals on Vancouver Island: Swartz Bay in Saanich and Departure Bay in Nanaimo. From these two ferry terminals, you’ll find service to various Gulf Islands and the Mainland where you can visit Metro Vancouver. There are also smaller ferry terminals in North Vancouver Island to northern communities and Gulf Islands, an alternate route to Metro Vancouver is at Duke Point in Nanaimo, terminals in Chemainus, Crofton to nearby Gulf Islands and one in Mill Bay that offers an alternate route to the Saanich Peninsula.
In downtown Victoria’s Inner Harbour, you can find the tiny and very charming Harbour Ferries! These little water taxis skate along the water of the Inner and Upper Harbour taking passengers to different parts of downtown Victoria with one additional port in Esquimalt. If you’re looking for a unique way to explore Victoria, this is a great option!