This map from the provincial government shows current and future transit improvements to Douglas Street.

Improved bus service coming to Saanich in fall

Construction on rapid bus lanes serving northbound traffic between Tolmie Avenue and the Burnside Bridges

Officials are promising improved transit through Saanich in the fall as construction of rapid bus lanes along Douglas Street continues.

Coun. Susan Brice, who chairs the Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC), said the current momentum of the project excites her.

“I look forward to the fall, when the southbound section from Tolmie Avenue to Hillside Avenue and the new northbound section are complete, and link into the existing bus priority lanes stretching to Fisgard Avenue,” she said.

Brice made these comments as crews have started to construct rapid bus lanes along Douglas Street to serve northbound traffic between Tolmie Avenue and the Burnside Bridges between Tillicum Road and McKenzie Avenue.

The project has a price tag of $14.2 million, with the provincial government expected to contribute $9.6 million, and the federal government the remaining $4.6 million under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

Jacob Bros. Construction of Surrey is building the lanes, and the Ministry of Transformation and Infrastructure has promised to “make every effort to minimize delays and maximize predictability for commuters by doing the majority of work outside of peak traffic periods.”

Provincial officials say the expansion will improve the regional commute.

“Extending the Douglas Street bus lane is good news for commuters frustrated with mounting congestion in Greater Victoria,” said Claire Trevena, transportation minister. “If we want to make a real dent in the gridlock, we need to change how people commute. These bus lanes will inspire more people to leave their cars at home when they see how fast and efficient public transit is, as buses fly by the cars sitting in traffic.”

Douglas Street is one of the busiest commuter routes. During peak travels, as many as 1,700 vehicles pass through the corridor per hour. Transit vehicles account for three per cent of traffic, but move about 40 per cent of the people who use the route.

Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake, said the improvements are consistent with what he described as a “21st-century approach” to public transportation.

The northbound bus lanes complement southbound bus lanes that the City of Victoria is currently building between Tolmie Avenue and Hillside Avenue. The City of Victoria earlier improved northbound lanes

The project is among several projects currently underway (see map). Plans also calls for southbound rapid bus lanes from the Burnside Bridges to Tolmie Avenue. The provincial government is also studying rapid transit expansion along the Island Highway on the Westshore.

– This story was updated Thursday morning to correct the total project costs as $14.2 million, $9.6 million of that from the provicne and $4.6 million from the federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

Just Posted

Victoria landmarks to glow red in honour of World Tuberculosis Day

1,600 new cases of active TB reported in Canada every year

Victoria bowler strikes gold at World Special Olympics Games

Hours of training at Langford Lanes paved the way to gold for Patrick Reid

Colwood discusses parcel tax to help pay for sewer repair and replacement

Report submitted to committee recommends parcel tax for all residents

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old girl found

Victora police say missing youth has been found and is safe

The blind lead the blind at the Pacific Training Centre

Centre specializes in teaching visually impaired people everyday skills to live an independent life

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Most Read