New bus priority lane cuts commute times

Dec 5, 2018
Transit System: Victoria

VICTORIA – The northbound bus priority lane is now open from Tolmie Avenue to the Burnside Bridges, saving commuters at least 10 minutes from Fisgard Street to Tillicum Road during peak travel times.

“Investing in public transit infrastructure is vital to keeping pace with the changing needs of residents and getting them where they need to go more easily,” said François-Philippe Champagne, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Our government is proud to have helped make this new bus lane possible, which will improve travel times and reduce
gridlock along this busy corridor today while supporting the growth and development of the city’s public transit network in the years to come.”

“I know people are frustrated with increasing congestion from the West Shore to downtown Victoria, adding upwards of an hour on their daily commutes,” said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These new bus lanes will save people valuable time so they are spending less time in traffic and more time at home with their families.”

This new 2.3-kilometre bus priority lane is one of a series of recent investments in improving transit between the West Shore and downtown Victoria, including:

• southbound bus priority lanes between Tolmie Avenue and Fisgard Street, completed in November 2018;
• southbound bus priority lanes between the Burnside Bridges and Tolmie, with construction expected to start in spring 2019; and
• a recently completed study for bus priority lanes and better transit infrastructure along the Island Highway in Colwood and View Royal.

“The bus priority lanes along Douglas Street and Highway 1 are critical to supporting effective transit services in the Victoria region,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit president and chief executive officer. “This expansion will allow BC Transit to better connect people and communities so they can spend time doing what they enjoy rather than in traffic.”

The fine for illegal use of a priority bus lane is $109. Police will continue to carry out enforcement and monitoring of the corridor to ensure compliance.

“This latest expansion will reduce congestion for all on this major transit route as they make
their way out of the downtown core,” said Susan Brice, Victoria Regional Transit Commission
chair. “It’s a significant milestone in keeping the people of Greater Victoria moving in a safe,
sustainable and efficient manner.”

Quick Facts:

• In peak travel times, 1,700 vehicles per hour move along Douglas Street.
• Funding for the northbound bus priority lane from Tolmie to the Burnside Bridges was jointly funded by the governments     of Canada and British Columbia through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF).
• PTIF was announced in 2016 and helps support new capital projects in BC Transit-served communities throughout the   province.

Contact:

Media Relations
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-8241


Learn More:

Follow the work of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure online: http://www.tranbc.ca

For more information on bus priority lanes and the Victoria Transit Future Plan, go to:
https://bctransit.com/victoria/transit-future/victoria-bus-lane-douglas-hwy-1