Tender issued for new southbound Victoria bus and bike priority lanes

Mar 29, 2017
Transit System: Victoria

Victoria – The tender process has begun for the southbound Douglas Street bus and bike priority lanes, which will reach from Tolmie Avenue to Hillside Avenue. Once complete, the bus lanes will run northbound and southbound from Fisgard Avenue to Tolmie Avenue.

“Improvements to infrastructure that support transit are important for riders and drivers alike, making their commute to and from downtown Victoria a smoother and more enjoyable experience,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone. “The new bus and bike priority lane will build on our current successes, and prepare for future expansion.”

The project is funded by the Province of BC and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission. Construction is expected to begin in the Spring 2017 and conclude in the Summer of 2017.

“The Commission’s Transit Future Plan identifies the Douglas Street priority lanes as its number one priority,  helping to better serve current transit users while also attracting new customers by reducing travel times,” said Susan Brice, Victoria Regional Transit Commission Chair. “New customers leaving their cars at home is a win for the transit system and for the environment, reducing congestion on our roads while also decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The priority lanes, an infrastructure project designed in partnership with the City of Victoria, is designed to shorten travel times for passengers, increase the reliability of public transit, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by limiting idling. Encouraging more transit use will also lower the number of vehicles on the road. The Douglas Street corridor currently supports as many as 1,700 vehicles per hour during peak travel times.

“The Douglas Street corridor is a vital corridor for anyone traveling to and from downtown. Taking transit not only helps the roadway function more effectively, but it also supports our goal of being a sustainable city,” said City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

The bus and bike priority lanes are meant for buses, including those run by BC Transit and private tour companies, and cyclists. Motorists are allowed to enter the bus and bicycle priority lanes only if making a right hand turn within the current block. Currently, bus and bike priority lanes operate weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. southbound and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. northbound.  Once the construction of the new lanes is complete, the bus lanes will be in effect 24 hours a day in both directions. The fine for being in a priority bus and bike lanes is $109.

“This and future phases of the bus lanes along this critical corridor will promote a more sustainable transportation system in our region,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit President and CEO. “It is important drivers respect the rules of the bus and bike priority lanes to ensure they remain efficient and effective.”

The first bus and bike priority lanes were implemented in Victoria in 2014. The bus and bike priority lanes will be expanded northbound on Douglas Street from Tolmie Avenue to Mackenzie Avenue with funding from Government of Canada and Province of BC in the coming years.

For more information on bus and bike priority lane rules, please visit the City of Victoria’s Douglas Street Priority Transit and Cycling Lane web page.

For information on the current expansion of the bus and bike priority lanes, please visit the
BC Transit Victoria Rapid Transit website

Media Contacts

BC Transit
Jonathon Dyck
Communications Manager