File photo

Province opens bid for Douglas Street bus lanes

Northbound lanes could cost $12.75-million

A dedicated bus lane along the Douglas Street corridor could be a reality by as early as next fall.

The B.C. government opened a construction bid Tuesday morning to extend the northbound Douglas Street bus lanes from Tolmie Avenue to the Burnside Bridge.

The bid follows the City of Victoria’s tender for southbound bus and bikes lanes from Tolmie to Hillside Avenues, which closes later this month. The goal is to widen Douglas in order to provide priority bus lanes that Mayor Lisa Helps has previously said she hopes lead to 24/7 bus service.

“We are listening to people’s concerns and ideas and are committed to bringing in the right solutions to clear up the traffic congestion in our region,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin, in a press release.

The project is estimated to cost $12.75 million, with the provincial government expected to contribute $8.1 million, and the federal government the remaining $4.6 million under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

Bus lanes from Goldstream Avenue to the Trans-Canada Highway on-ramp are also being considered by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, the City of Colwood and the Town of View Royal.

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