BC Transit is celebrating the anniversary of its service in the Cowichan Valley on Sept. 20. (file photo)

BC Transit is celebrating the anniversary of its service in the Cowichan Valley on Sept. 20. (file photo)

BC Transit celebrates two big Cowichan milestones

Celebrations to be held Sept. 20

The Cowichan Valley Regional District and BC Transit are celebrating 25 years of transit service in the Cowichan Valley.

It’s also been a decade since inter-regional service to Greater Victoria on board the Cowichan Valley Commuter began.

BC Transit first hit Cowichan Valley streets in August, 1993, operating only two buses and seven local routes.

Today, the system operates a fleet of 31 buses and has 17 routes, and ridership has grown to approximately 450,000 rides a year.

In October, 2008, 15 years after launching service within the Cowichan Valley, BC Transit introduced two commuter routes connecting the Cowichan Valley with Victoria as a way to promote an alternative to single-occupancy vehicles on the Malahat.

Commuter routes are cost-shared between the province, the CVRD and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission.

“It’s amazing to see how far we have come with local transit services in a relatively short amount of time,” said Jon Lefebure, chairman of the CVRD.

“As our region continues to grow, we will be working closely with our partners to ensure we are meeting the needs of our own residents and visitors using these services to explore our communities.”

To celebrate this double anniversary, the CVRD and BC Transit will be holding two customer-appreciation events on Thursday, Sept. 20.

The first is at the Lake Cowichan Transit Hub on South Shore Road between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The second event will be at the Duncan Transit Hub, located at the Village Green Mall, beside London Drugs on Central Road, between 5:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

Members of the public are invited to drop by and meet CVRD board directors, BC Transit representatives and local operating staff.

There will be free cookies and scratch-and-win bookmarks, offering the opportunity to win free monthly bus passes.

For more information about transit in the Cowichan Valley, including routes, schedules and more, visit bctransit.com/ cowichan-valley.