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BC Transit said Tuesday that ridership in the region has increased 23 per cent over the past five years, prompting the operator to boost the number of buses on the roads. (CTV Vancouver Island)

More people are riding the bus in Greater Victoria, and soon more buses will be on the roads to accommodate them.

BC Transit said Tuesday that ridership in the region has increased 23 per cent over the past five years, prompting the operator to boost the number of buses on the roads.

Starting this month, the transit service will add eight new buses and 20,000 more operating hours to the region's service schedule.

The increased service includes more late-night buses on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as improved cross-town service between the University of Victoria, the West Shore and Esquimalt along McKenzie Avenue.

Night buses will now run until 2:15 a.m. on the weekend, according to James Wadsworth, a planning manager BC Transit.

"We certainly heard from our customers that they wanted more late-night service on Friday and Saturday, and the other investments on McKenzie Avenue are based on demand," Wadsworth said.

"Everyone is using transit and we're trying to make it easier for people to use the system and have more choice."

He added that recent investments in bus lanes in the Capital Region have allowed the transit service to complete more frequent trips along some of the more popular routes more quickly.