Faster commutes on the way for southbound bus passengers

Faster commutes on the way for southbound bus passengers

Construction will begin this week on the southbound Douglas Street bus lane extension project.

Once complete, these priority bus lanes will create faster, easier commutes for people who live and work in the Greater Victoria area.

“Public transit infrastructure is vital to building strong, sustainable communities where all residents have access to essential services and opportunities, and businesses can thrive,” said François-Philippe Champagne, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Projects like the improved bus lanes in Greater Victoria. They lead to faster commute times for residents, helping them spend more time with their families and improving their quality of life.”

The extension will be from the south end of the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass to Tolmie Avenue, a mirror of the northbound extension project completed in December 2018.

The southbound priority bus lane will complete the two-way corridor between Fisgard Street and the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass. Priority bus lanes provide more reliable and timely service, as it will be easier for buses to remain on schedule along the corridor.

“Priority bus lanes help get people to where they want to go faster than in a car,” said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We expect the two-way continuous corridor between Fisgard Road and the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass will encourage more people to use transit and, in turn, help reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.”

The southbound bus priority lane complements other ministry investments, such as the McKenzie Interchange and northbound priority bus lanes, to quickly move buses along the corridor and reduce traffic congestion. Improved reliability of transit is an important component of the South Island Transportation Strategy, which is taking a comprehensive and co-ordinated look into improving traffic congestion and exploring all modes of transportation, to help get people to their destinations more quickly.

The estimated cost of the project is $16 million, with the Government of British Columbia investing $11.1 million and the Government of Canada investing $4.9 million.

During construction, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will minimize delays for commuters by scheduling the majority of work outside of peak traffic periods. The ministry will not allow lane closures for construction on Sundays, statutory holidays or between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Nighttime work may include 25- to 30-minute traffic stoppages, and when required, the public will be given advance notice.

After a competitive bidding process, the ministry awarded the contract for this project to Ralmax Contracting Ltd.


Susan Brice, chair, Victoria Regional Transit Commission –

“We are extremely grateful for these joint investments from the federal and provincial governments. Growth in transit is a priority for our region, and this extension will help us achieve our goal of getting more people out of their vehicles and enjoying the benefits of transit.”

Erinn Pinkerton, CEO, BC Transit –

“Highway 1 is a vital corridor for transit services in Greater Victoria. We are already seeing the positive impacts of the existing bus priority lanes, and this upcoming extension will contribute to making transit a more effective and efficient transportation option.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Douglas Street corridor is one of the busiest commuter routes in Greater Victoria. It supports as many as 1,700 vehicles per hour during peak travel times.
  • During peak hours, BC Transit buses move 40% of the people on this route, while making up 3% of the traffic.
  • This new southbound priority bus lane will be approximately 2.3 kilometres long, from the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass to Tolmie Avenue.
  • The entire corridor, from Fisgard Street to the south side of the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass, is approximately 4.4 kilometres each way.
  • The southbound McKenzie Interchange priority bus lanes will start at the Admirals off-ramp, and will end at the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass.
  • The northbound McKenzie Interchange priority bus lanes will begin just north of the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass and end approximately one kilometre north of the interchange.

Learn More:

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure:

Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – British Columbia:

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