Sunday, April 21, 2024

Pat Bay Highway commuters will soon have a faster way to get through traffic


It may be worth it to leave your car behind.

BC Transit-riders will soon have a faster commute to the Saanich Peninsula with the completion of the ‘bus queue jump lanes’ at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 (Pat Bay Highway). 

The project was designed to allow buses to jump the traffic congestion that commonly occurs at that intersection during peak times. 

After the intersection in either direction, the lanes continue then buses will merge back in with the flow of traffic.


New lanes being constructed on Pat Bay Highway will help buses ‘jump the queue’

The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Rob Fleming, says the new lanes are now completed and ready for use by BC Transit vehicles. 

“These improvements mean better safety and faster transit service for people who live on the Saanich peninsula and for travellers who take the bus to the ferry or toward downtown Victoria,” said Fleming.

“The Pat Bay Highway is an important and heavily used transportation corridor on the south island, and I’m pleased that transit users will benefit from this project.”

(South Island Transportation Strategy)

In addition to the new lanes, the province has budgeted for new bus shelters to be installed for improved service to the Tsawout and Tsartlip First Nations as well as all transit riders along the corridor. 

Improved safety for transit-riders was also taken into account at the Mount Newton Cross Road intersection. Signals have been added, as have new signs, road markings, new sidewalks and upgraded islands have all been considered and implemented. 

President and CEO of BC Transit, Erinn Pinkerton, believes this initiative will increase transit-commuters by making the bus more convenient than taking a personal vehicle. 

“Upgrades that prioritize transit, like these queue jump lanes, reduce commute times and increase convenience for people catching the bus,” said Pinkerton.

“We’re always looking for ways to encourage more people to choose public transit and better connect communities. These lanes will help reduce the number of cars on the road, which eases traffic congestion and makes nearby neighbourhoods more accessible.”

The $7.6 million project was a part of the government’s South Island Transportation Strategy. 

Curtis Blandy

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