[BTA News] No highway through Sooke Hills Park, Yes to bus lanes! CRD Meeting Feb 27

In this newsletter:
• Invest in transit, and protect the Sooke Hills Park!
• Province foot dragging on filling Hwy 1 bus lane gap
• CRD needs to hear from you – in person or by email
• Electric bus article
• Breaking – Victoria to fund youth transit passes!

Invest in transit, and protect the Sooke Hills Park!

The Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park is part of the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt, the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) green belt linking Saanich Inlet in the east to Juan de Fuca Strait in the west.

The provincial government wants to build an “alternative emergency” Malahat route through the CRD’s Sooke Hills Park. This highway would cost many millions of dollars to build, and would require expensive maintenance every year – and it would be useless when heavy snow closes the Malahat as happened recently.

We need better and more reliable public transit service over the Malahat, and throughout the region. We must invest in transportation solutions that address the needs of local residents while rapidly reducing greenhouse gas pollution as called for in the Climate Emergency declaration unanimously passed by the CRD. Improvements should include procedures to minimize delays after Malahat closures, including improved ferry travel options.

The CRD can refuse permission for the highway to be built through the Park.

Province foot dragging on filling Hwy 1 bus lane gap

As you may have noticed, the Highway 1 northbound shoulder bus lane is now open from Tolmie Avenue to the Burnside Bridge, and is already making buses about 10 minutes faster at peak times. Construction is also well underway on the sections near McKenzie.

We expected that the provincial government would have announced funding to fill in the gap, and complete the bus lanes all the way to the 6-Mile Pub by now (gap is marked in red on map). This project could be completed quickly and for a very reasonable cost. But instead, the BC government seems to be prioritizing a highway through Sooke Hills Park above completing the bus lanes and other transit priorities.

CRD needs to hear from you

The Capital Regional District (CRD) needs to hear from you on Wednesday February 27th @ 10:00am
Parks and Environment Committee
CRD headquarters, 625 Fisgard, 6th floor Boardroom

You don’t need to register to attend, but you do need to register to speak.

Please attend and – if you want to speak at the meeting register to speak here. Please let the CRD know you expect the following:
• No new roadways through the Sooke Hills Wilderness Park or any contiguous CRD protected lands that act as critical wildlife habitat and buffer zones for our regional water supply.
• Clear communications to the provincial government that public transit investments, such as completing the Highway 1 shoulder bus lanes from McKenzie to the Six Mile area, rather than road projects are essential given the Climate Emergency.

Also, please consider writing to the provincial government and CRD representatives about these issues. You can find their emails here.

Writing a letter to the editor of your local paper is also a great way to speak up for better transit.

Electric buses article

One of the Better Transit Alliance’s founding members went to an electric bus conference in Europe, and wrote an article about it. Check it out in the National Observer.

Breaking – Good news!

Today Victoria City Council voted to fund youth transit passes from Sunday parking revenue. Find out more here.

Want more frequent updates? Check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts!

[BTA News] Action Needed: BC Government’s climate plans need a push, from you (Deadline Aug 24)

In this newsletter:
• BC Government’s climate plans need a push, from you
• Help get the Highway 1 Bus Lanes Completed – Write to your MLA

BC Government’s climate plans need a push, from you
The BC Government recently outlined some of their high-level ideas on climate action in a set of discussion papers. The transportation proposal is weak, and incomplete – with more ideas promised later. There are some very good things in these discussions papers, including a vague commitment to increase transit funding. But the government needs a push from you to show there is strong public support for prioritizing transit over urban highway expansion. Continue reading “[BTA News] Action Needed: BC Government’s climate plans need a push, from you (Deadline Aug 24)”

Better Transit Alliance Makes Car Free Day News

Dads find Car Free YYJ tailor-made for Father’s Day
Jeff Bell / Times Colonist
June 17, 2018

BTA Members Sue & Robin take a break at Car Free Day

The World’s Coolest Dad — at least, that’s what his T-shirt said — spent part of his Father’s Day at the annual Car Free YYJ celebration on Douglas Street.
Jason Rolstone and 14-year-old daughter Katie strolled through the growing throng just before noon to get to a lunch date with his parents. Rolstone said he is a fan of the car-free gathering.
“It’s a wonderful event.” Continue reading “Better Transit Alliance Makes Car Free Day News”

[BTA News] Car Free Day Sun June 17 (Volunteers needed!) – Help get the Hwy 1 bus lanes completed

In this newsletter:
• Visit or Volunteer with the Better Transit Alliance at Car Free Day
• Help get the Highway 1 Bus Lanes Completed – Write to your MLA
• Central Saanich Community Association forms Transit Committee
• Write a letter to the editor today!

Visit or Volunteer with the Better Transit Alliance at Car Free Day

On Sunday June 17th (Father’s Day) the Better Transit Alliance will be at Car Free Day on Douglas Street in Downtown Victoria. We would love to have you drop by and chat any time between 11am and 6pm. And we would love it even more if you could volunteer to help out for a few hours. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at bettertransityyj [at] gmail.com. It is fun, and no experience necessary! (The Better Transit Alliance is an all-volunteer organization, without volunteer energy we would not exist). Continue reading “[BTA News] Car Free Day Sun June 17 (Volunteers needed!) – Help get the Hwy 1 bus lanes completed”

BTA Letter to editor in TC – Get bus lanes rolling now

Times Colonist May 19, 2018

Re: “Horgan puts brakes on light rail for E&N,” column, May 16.

I’m glad Premier John Horgan is focused on getting the Douglas Street/Trans-Canada Highway bus lanes completed before moving on to more complex transit projects.

The 24/7 bus lanes on Douglas Street and parts of the Trans-Canada Highway are already under construction. Completing the highway shoulder bus lanes as far as the Six Mile Pub area will be simple, inexpensive and quick. It is a good project, and should not be left half finished.

Now that electric buses cost about the same as diesel buses over their lifetime, bus lanes can provide climate-friendly, quiet, fast and inexpensive transportation. Horgan’s climate action plan won’t be released until the fall, but he should get the bus lane completion rolling today.

Tomorrow he should start ordering hundreds of electric buses.

Eric Doherty
Better Transit Alliance of Greater Victoria

www.timescolonist.com/opinion/letters/get-bus-lanes-rolling-now-1.23307893

Better Transit Alliance on front page of Times Colonist

Bus-lane extension to speed commute to West Shore
Lindsay Kines / Times Colonist
March 8, 2018

Transit riders can expect a slightly faster commute to the West Shore this fall once work concludes to extend the northbound rapid bus lane on Douglas Street.

B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced Wednesday that Jacob Bros. Construction Inc. of Surrey won the contract to build a priority bus lane from Tolmie Avenue to the Burnside Bridge, where Burnside and Interurban roads cross under the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue reading “Better Transit Alliance on front page of Times Colonist”

[BTA News] Good news edition! $7 million/yr for better transit, bus lane progress & more

Provincial budget a 7 million dollar step in the right direction

The NDP government’s recently released budget includes a two cent per litre increase in the tax on gasoline and diesel to raise about $7 million per year for better transit. Local government representatives and the Victoria Transit Commission have been calling for this essential funding increase for years. This is very good news! Continue reading “[BTA News] Good news edition! $7 million/yr for better transit, bus lane progress & more”

Finish bus lanes to West Shore – Better Transit Alliance Letter to TC

Shoulder bus lane on Highway 99 in Richmond BC

Times Colonist Letters to Editor
February 25, 2018

Re: “For now, the Crawl lives on,” column, Feb. 16.

It’s good news that the provincial government is proceeding with the next section of bus lane on Douglas Street in Saanich. The Better Transit Alliance also agrees with columnist Jack Knox that “continuous, dedicated transit lanes between downtown and the West Shore, allowing buses to blow past the Crawl” is a practical way to provide congestion relief. Continue reading “Finish bus lanes to West Shore – Better Transit Alliance Letter to TC”

Victoria BTA member’s letter pushes CRD to defend CRD Transport Plan

Adding blacktop solutions to handle more vehicles not the answer, reader writes
Jan. 14, 2018

Re: Regional transportation authority has mayors at odds (vicnews.com, Jan. 11)  Langford Mayor Stew Young has convinced me that a Capital Regional District transportation service is a good idea.

He suggests that ‘experts’ in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) should make decisions for the region. Continue reading “Victoria BTA member’s letter pushes CRD to defend CRD Transport Plan”