Groundbreaking ceremony celebrates transit improvements for the Cowichan Valley
Cowichan Valley – Construction will soon be underway for the new Cowichan Valley Transit Maintenance and Operations Facility at 5271 Boal Road in Duncan. When complete, the 4.5 acre site will include parking for up to 50 buses with the ability to expand in the future. The site will also include three vehicle maintenance bays, administrative space and onsite bus washing and fueling facilities.
“I am very pleased that work will soon begin on this important transit improvement project,” said the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Public transit infrastructure is vital to building strong sustainable communities where all residents have access to essential services and opportunities. This new facility will ensure Cowichan Valley can continue to provide excellent public
transportation service in step with growing ridership.”
Representatives from the Province of B.C. and the Cowichan Valley Regional District joined members of BC Transit’s senior leadership team today for the ceremonial groundbreaking on the site of the new transit and operations facility to be built at the intersection of Boal Road and Polkey Road.
“This new transit facility will help meet the needs of people in the Cowichan Valley, which has seen tremendous growth in ridership over the past few years,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services, on behalf of Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Needing a larger facility to accommodate increasing demand for transit is a great problem to have, and now the Cowichan community will benefit from improved services for years to come.”
Since 2000, Cowichan Valley Transit System ridership has risen over 140 percent. The Project is part of the larger Cowichan Valley Transit Future Plan that aims to make transit a reliable alternative to personal vehicles, reduce the community’s impact on the environment and improve transit efficiency. The existing operations and maintenance facilities are at capacity and are spread out over three locations. The new facility will help support the increasing popularity of sustainable public transportation in the region.
“It’s amazing to see how far we have come in 25 years when we began operating with just two small buses,” said Jon Lefebure, Chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. “Today we have 31 buses in our fleet, and we thank the federal and provincial governments, and BC Transit, for investing in the future capacity of our region through this transit facility.”In addition to the improved operational functions of the new facility, the building design will accommodate future infrastructure upgrades required for alternative fleet technologies such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and electric buses.
“I applaud the Cowichan Valley Regional District for their commitment to increasing the use of public transit as a reliable and sustainable transportation option for their communities,” said BC Transit’s Interim President and CEO, Erinn Pinkerton. “Thank you to our government partners for their continued cooperation and support in getting this significant project off the ground.”
This $16.2 million project was first announced in 2016 as part of the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), from which approximately 83 per cent of construction costs are being provided by the Federal Government and the Province of B.C. The remaining construction costs will be covered by the Cowichan Valley Regional District, while land and other costs not eligible for PTIF funding will be shared by the Province of B.C. and the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
Contracts have been awarded for project works, with more to follow in the coming months. Project completion is scheduled for Winter 2019.