BC Transit bus driving on Victoria’s new bus lanes on Douglas Street. (Keili Bartlett/News staff)

Victoria bus drivers say shared space with cyclists not efficient use of new lanes

BC Transit union rep says it’s ready to brainstorm for better solution

Victoria’s Douglas Street priority bus lanes are supposed to shorten travel times for transit users but sharing the lanes with cyclists may not be the best use of the space, say bus drivers.

The lanes – on both sides of Douglas Street from Fisgard Street to Tolmie Avenue – opened Nov. 5 and were designated for tranist buses and cyclists only – with a promise that cars using the lanes would be ticketed.

Related: Douglas Street 24-hour transit and bike priority lanes open Nov. 5

But the union representing BC Transit in Greater Victoria says having the lane designated for buses and cyclists may not be the most efficient use of the lane.

“The problem when you add the cyclists in there is the bus is only as fast as the cyclist,” said Ben Williams, President of Unifor Local 333BC. “You used to have a bike lane beside the right-hand lane [and] that’s not the case anymore – now the cyclist needs to ride right in front of the bus…”

“The operators are going to slow down and follow at a safe following distance but clearly for some cyclists that’s going to be intimidating – when you have a 40-foot vehicle behind you,” he added.

Williams said despite cyclists, the new bus lanes have sped up the time it takes for buses to get in and out of downtown and emphasized that Victoria bus drivers aren’t against cyclists in any way. They support any initiative that gets people out of their cars.

“The more people we can get out of vehicles will improve the congestion in Greater Victoria,” Williams said. “We’re definitely open to having discussions with the cycling community, BC Transit, the different municipalities. We would like to see a change to this, to see what we can do to maximize efficiency.”

Related: Cyclists question safety of bike and transit lane

Related: Buses get priority left turn lane onto Douglas Street



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow Nina on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cold water swimming a morning ritual for Willows Beach crew

Group turned heads when they slow-walked into the Polar Plunge

Canada’s best ready to take a run at Bear Mountain

2020 Pan American Cross Country Cup will be held Feb. 29 at Langford resort

Oak Bay High piano fundraising committee raises a glass to donors

Oak Bay High brings Fiddler on the Roof Feb. 28 to March 7

Scaffolding falls due to strong winds at Millstream Village Sunday afternoon

No injuries or vehicles damaged, according to West Shore RCMP

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Most Read