BC Transit warns of more Victoria bus cancellations due to staff shortage

The program allows youth aged 13 to 18 to travel for free on the Victoria Regional Transit System. (File photo)

BC Transit says commuters should expect ongoing service disruptions in the Victoria Regional Transit System due to labour shortages and sickness from COVID-19.

The transit operator says it has encouraged drivers to stay home if they're feeling unwell during the pandemic, and that policy has not changed during the highly transmissible Omicron wave.

The staffing challenges mean some routes may be cancelled or delayed "on short notice."

BC Transit says the most up-to-date alerts can be found using the online NextRide tracking system, or Transit App. The BC Transit website also posts regular updates, and riders can also sign up for route-specific notifications on the site.

"Despite these necessary trip cancellations, BC Transit is able to maintain approximately 98 per cent of scheduled service and our team does their best to ensure the impact to customers is minimized," said the company in a release Thursday.

If cancellations do occur, BC Transit says it tries to balance schedules so that all routes still receive service, just at a lower frequency than usual.

BC Transit is also looking to hire more employees. Details about recruitment can be found on its website.

"BC Transit apologizes for the inconvenience this may cause and continues to appreciate the patience of customers during this time."

Labour shortages and the pandemic have also caused service disruptions in other B.C. industries, including BC Ferries and Capital Regional District recycling services.

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