BC Transit’s northbound bus priority lane in Victoria is now open from Tolmie Avenue to the Burnside Bridges.
The Ministry of Transportation expects the lane to save commuters at least 10 minutes from Fisgard Street to Tillicum Road during peak travel times. During those times, roughly 1,700 vehicles per hour move along Douglas Street.
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“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.”
The 2.3-kilometre bus priority lane is one of a series of recent investments in improving transit between the West Shore and downtown Victoria. Southbound bus priority lanes between Tolmie Avenue and Fisgard Street were finished earlier this month.
Construction is set to start in spring 2019 on southbound bus priority lanes between the Burnside bridges and Tolmie Avenue. The northbound bus priority lane was jointly funded by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia, through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.
“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.”
For more information on bus priority lanes and the Victoria Transit Future Plan, go to bctransit.com/victoria/transit-future/victoria-bus-lane-douglas-hwy-1.