VICTORIA -- Buses in Victoria and Nanaimo will be free for the next 30 days amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to announcing the free transit on Thursday, BC Transit is asking riders to only enter and exit buses through their rear doors and to practise social distancing while onboard.

Passengers who need assistance or who have mobility challenges are still able to enter buses using the front doors if accessible boarding is required.

On Wednesday, BC Transit announced that service cancellations were likely in the Victoria area due to lower ridership and driver availability.

“We recognize this is a fluid situation and will update customers on a day-by-day basis while we work on implementing and communicating a new sustainable plan for service,” said BC Transit in a statement.

“We are continuing to work to ensure we have service on the road for customers that need to get to work, including hospitals, and going out for groceries or other needs.”

For the latest information on routes and schedules, BC Transit recommends visiting their website online here, checking the NextRide website or calling customer service at 250-382-6161.