Waiting for the bus in Greater Victoria could become far less common with a new ‘rapid bus’ system.
BC Transit is investigating methods to speed up service along the most popular routes in the Capital Region. Following the introduction of bus lanes on Douglas Street and Highway 1, the transit corporation launched a rapid bus action plan to determine best practices for implementing a faster, more frequent, and more reliable bus service.
The rapid bus system would see a higher frequency of buses using dedicated bus lane infrastructure along routes from downtown Victoria to the Saanich Peninsula, the West Shore and the University of Victoria.
An ongoing study in the project is expected to be completed this fall.
“That study will have identified what the corridors are, where the stations will be, what the service frequencies will be like and how much the project will cost,” said Matthew Boyd, BC Transit director of corporate and strategic planning. “Once we have that information, we’ll work with local government partners and create an implementation plan.”
Boyd said it’s unclear at this time if more buses will be required or if ridership costs will be impacted. BC Transit is working closely with TransLink, which implemented a similar program in metro Vancouver earlier this year.
“We want to make transit simple and easy and we want to attract additional ridership,” Boyd said. In the last five years, Greater Victoria’s transit ridership has increased by roughly 23 per cent – growth BC Transit hopes to see continue.
“We want to build off that positive momentum and make the experience even better for our existing customers and provide a service that attracts new ones.”