Where are the 24/7 Douglas / Hwy 1 Bus Lanes Promised in 2008?

The BC Liberals promised 24/7 bus lanes on Hwy 1 all the way to the Westshore “soon” in 2008. In September 2016, the City of Victoria signaled their intention to move ahead with 24/7 bus lanes on Douglas Street up to the Saanich border. “That is where we need to go — 24-seven all the way through the city. That’s when people will say I’m going to get on the bus” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

Funding is in place for the bus lanes in Saanich, from Tolmie to Saanich Road. However, Saanich has not yet taken a clear position on the 24/7 bus lanes needed for easy enforcement and much better transit service. This crucial question is being considered as part of the Uptown Douglas Corridor Plan. Given the positive direction Saanich has been moving, we expect Saanich Council will be receptive to 24/7 bus lanes. (As this stretch is a provincial highway, the final decision will be up to the provincial government.) [March 15 Update! Apparently the bus lanes will be 24/7 in Saanich. Yay!]

The provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure claims to already be doing designs for the Hwy1 shoulder bus lanes from Saanich Road to McKenzie. Funding is in place and construction could start within months. Shoulder bus lanes on the next 4.5 km from McKenzie to the 6 Mile Pub would cost small fraction of the $85 million estimated cost of the McKenzie Interchange, and could be operating within 18-24 months once funding is in place. However, there is still no construction schedule announced.

Bus lanes, and more extravagant transit improvements, should be prioritized far above road expansion for cars. There is something deeply wrong with our society when projects like the McTavish and McKenzie Interchanges can get built while even the most cost effective transit improvements get forgotten.

If you want 24/7 bus lanes on Douglas / Hwy 1 please: