The South Island Transportation Strategy, released in September, has a long-term priority listed for marine transportation corridors – a setback for proponents of a Victoria-Colwood passenger ferry. (Black Press Media file photo)

Colwood mayor pushes for passenger ferry from Colwood to Victoria

Royal Bay residents disappointed by ‘long-term’ designation for marine transportation routes

Royal Bay residents are lamenting the provincial government’s long-term priority designation for marine transportation corridors, which include a Colwood-Victoria ferry service.

The province’s South Island Transportation Strategy, assigned long-term priority to future marine transportation routes, as opposed to short-term and medium-term assignment for other projects, such as electric vehicle charging stations and the Rapid Transit Corridor along Highway 1.

“It appears that the provincial government is taking the support of people living in the CRD [Capital Regional District] region for granted and are placing a higher priority on focusing their time and attention elsewhere in the province,” the Royal Bay Homeowners Association wrote in a news release.

The group has long supported the vision of a passenger ferry service from one shoreline to the other, and compares the concept to the geographic relationship from Sydney, Australia to nearby Manly.

“The beneficial impacts on the economies and the quality of life in both communities are substantial,” the association wrote. “Ignoring an opportunity for the City of Colwood, the City of Victoria and the entire CRD region to take a great leap forward both economically and in quality of life, does not show much interest or concern for the future of South Island communities by the provincial government.”

READ ALSO: Colwood passenger ferry plan makes small waves

In November 2018 Colwood Mayor Rob Martin pitched the idea of the ferry, saying rapid growth of West Shore communities calls for new ways to get to and from downtown.

A pre-feasibility study highlighted the project as a solution to traffic congestion between downtown Victoria and Colwood – commonly known as the Colwood crawl. But Martin says the ferry isn’t just about Colwood commuters, it would stop in Esquimalt too, creating a traffic-easing transportation option for people across the region, and encouraging walking and biking on both ends.

READ ALSO: The ‘Colwood Crawl’ doesn’t go through Colwood

“All 13 mayors have written letters of support, as well as the CRD,” he said. “Because we live on an island, there’s a finite amount of land. I really believe that this is the best option.”

Martin was disappointed that marine transportation was deemed a long-term priority, not just because he’s been championing the project for a number of years, but because impending development around Royal Bay has created a new level of urgency.

He feels a full feasibility study is needed, and once the project is green lit it will still take another three or so years to build.

“We’re building out our infrastructure now for Royal Bay and Royal Beach,” he said. “And that infrastructure is different with a static waterfront versus a dynamic waterfront.”

Martin hopes to see the ferry corridor become a topic for local candidates in the provincial election.

READ ALSO: Colwood mayor pitches ferry as commuter alternative


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

bc ferryColwoodVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich residents warned to watch livestock after bear kills llama

Officers with Conservation, Saanich police could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Local New Democrat Zeb King welcomed Premier John Horgan during a brief photo opportunity in Sidney Monday afternoon (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
NDP leader John Horgan predicts party will ‘flip’ Saanich North and the Islands

Incumbent MLA Adam Olsen calls Horgan’s claim ‘bold’

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

London Drugs at Colwood Corners is temporarily closed after a water main burst on Sunday afternoon. (Google Maps)
Water main burst temporarily closes London Drugs in Colwood

Staff say re-opening date yet to be determined after Sunday incident

West Shore RCMP say a single car crash into a power pole caused a power outage that affected over 1,500 residents in Colwood on Monday morning. (West Shore RCMP)
Vancouver driver cause of power outage in Colwood

Police detain 27-year-old man for impaired driving investigation

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read