VICTORIA -- More than two dozen new HandyDART buses are being put into service on Vancouver Island for those with disabilities, according to BC Transit.

Thirteen new handyDART buses began operating in Victoria on Thursday, with an additional 15 coming to Nanaimo in June.

The new buses measure 26 feet long and can carry up to 20 passengers, with room for four mobility aids.

Each of the buses features an LED destination sign for passengers, vinyl seating, a back-up alarm and a back-up camera.

The buses are also equipped with a lift system at the rear of the bus for safe loading and unloading of mobility aids, if required.

“These features will improve the safety, cleanliness and customer experience for HandyDART service,” said BC Transit in an announcement Thursday.

The buses will also have temporary vinyl panels installed near bus driver seats during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 13 new buses will replace existing HandyDARTs in BC Transit’s Victoria fleet.

Meanwhile, the 15 new buses coming to Nanaimo in mid-June are set to replace existing buses in the district. One of the buses will also replace a temporary light duty bus that began operating in the region in January.

BC Transit says that the 28 new buses coming to Victoria and Nanaimo are part of the company’s long-term plan to 70 new light duty buses to transit systems across B.C.

Each bus costs approximately $176,000 to purchase.