Transit Services

COVID-19 Update

The City has suspended the collection of transit fees, temporarily. Transit riders are asked to board from the rear of the bus and try to maintain two metres of distance wherever possible. In response to reduced ridership due to the pandemic, as of April 5, BC Transit and the City of Kamloops are implementing service changes and shifting to their summer service levels. 

Visit the City's COVID-19 page for City related updates.

Click here for BC Transit COVID-related updates

COVID-19 Update 03/16/2020

Kamloops transit is a leader in the BC Transit Municipal Systems Program and provides both regular transit and handyDART custom transit services.

Services are co-funded through the partnership between the City and BC Transit. Whether you are a regular rider or someone new to the service, you will find all the information you need to make transit your transportation choice at BCTransit.com.

BC Transit - Kamloops

Kamloops Transit 101

From time to time bus routes are impacted due to construction, traffic accidents or other unforeseen incidents. The City and BC Transit do their best to communicate and understand that a late bus has implications to ridership and each individual's personal schedules. 

The answer as to why buses are late is actually complicated. There are some common reasons as to why:

  • Road traffic can be difficult to predict. Traffic accidents, road construction and large public events can lead to unexpected traffic jams.
  • We don't want buses to be early. Ideally, the City's bus operator strives to have a bus arrive just in time, but this is not always possible due to road traffic. A bus arriving early is actually much worse than a bus arriving late. When a bus arrives early, riders miss the bus as it is out of schedule and this results in riders having to wait for the next scheduled bus. 
  • Buses need schedules. Not only does this allow riders to know when to expect a bus, it allows for planning not only for a rider but also for the operating company. Believe it or not, the City works closely with the operating company to review route schedules, timing, and capacity at multiple times throughout the year to make adjustments based on ridership demand.

Below are some common occurrences that riders face and that the operating company strives to mitigate.

Why is my bus late?

Late buses occur because bus routes are inherently unstable. When the buses are on schedule, everything seems to work fine. They travel from stop to stop, waiting at each for passengers to board or alight; however, once a bus gets behind schedule (i.e. construction delays, traffic accidents, etc.), its nearly impossible for it to get back on track (affecting the entire system, because – interlining).

When something like a construction project is going on, it’s best to compare the bus to a car, rather than a train. When one bus is experiencing delays because of traffic, there is very little that the driver can do to make up time – compared to a rapid or train line which is entirely removed from the situation because they are travelling along an entirely different transportation network.

What Is Interlining?

Interlining combines two or more independent transit routes into one operational schedule. Buses are interlined for a number of different reasons, but one of the main reasons is scheduling efficiencies – interlining buses help us minimize the footprint we use; a bus can arrive downtown as one route and sit for just a few minutes and then leave as the next scheduled trip on another route.

Wouldn’t it be most efficient if the buses ran nonstop?

Wouldn’t it be most efficient if the buses ran nonstop – an operator drives his route and immediately goes back the opposite direction? Unfortunately, no.

If you run buses nonstop you would no longer have a fixed schedule; riders require a schedule so they can make transfers to other services and have some idea of bus arrival at their stop. Without a schedule riders wouldn’t know when to expect the buses.

One of the challenges of interlining is that incidents or construction delays, for example, the slowing down Route 1 could result in a delay in service on route 9. However, with any serious delay, the operating company is involved from the beginning and is in communication with the City to makes adjustments on the road to ensure that service interruptions are minimal.

What is bus bunching?

Bus bunching happens because, if a bus gets delayed, then there will be more people waiting at the next stop than anticipated. The extra passengers’ boarding time makes the bus even later, and so on in a vicious cycle.

To combat bus bunching, bus systems have to build slack into the system, but that slack involves extra buses and labour and longer travel times.

NextRide

Launched within the Kamloops transit system in Fall 2018, NextRide is a BC Transit initiative to implement Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology on buses and real time arrival screens at the Lansdowne, North Shore and Thompson Rivers University transit exchanges. In addition, the new technology includes a web-based passenger application, which will enable commuters to use web browsers and smart mobile devices to see the location of their bus along its route and its predicted arrival time at an identified stop.  Want to know more?  Read the NextRide FAQ.

Launch NextRide

Resources