The new priority bus lanes on Douglas St are open and, according to the provincial government, saving commuters 10 minutes while traveling from Fisgard St to Tillicum Rd.
Funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments, the lanes meant for BC Transit and buses run by private tour companies came in effect in early November.
“Investing in public transit infrastructure is vital to keeping pace with the changing needs of residents and getting them where they need to go more easily,” said François-Philippe Champagne, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
“Our government is proud to have helped make this new bus lane possible, which will improve travel times and reduce gridlock along this busy corridor today while supporting the growth and development of the city’s public transit network in the years to come.”
The goal is to decrease traffic congestion between the West Shore and downtown Victoria, and the following priority bus lanes are currently in effect:
- Northbound: 24/7 between Pembroke Street and Tolmie Avenue
3-6 p.m. only between Fisgard Street and Pembroke Street
- Southbound: 24/7 between Tolmie Avenue and Kings Road
6-9 a.m. only between Kings Road and Fisgard Street
Construction of southbound bus priority lanes between the Burnside Bridges and Tolmie Rd is expected to begin in Spring 2019, and the government is also looking at constructing priority lanes along the Island Highway in Colwood and View Royal.
According to statistics provided by the province in a press release, approximately 1,700 vehicles move along Douglas Street every hour during peak travel times.
The fine for being in a priority bus lane is $109, enforced by local police departments.