Passengers pile into a busy #50 bus outside the Colwood Exchange. (Joel Tansey/News Staff)

Rapid transit on its way to the West Shore

B.C. Transit is meeting with municipalities to continue transit planning

Rapid Transit is making its way to the West Shore as B.C. Transit works with municipalities to put together a plan that will ease public transit woes.

B.C. Transit has developed a 25-year transit plan for the region. Earlier in October, transit planner James Wadsworth presented to the City of Colwood about what plans are in store for the West Shore.

Some priority measures, according to his presentation, are installing coordinated signals for buses, giving buses signal priority, creating queue-jump lanes for buses and transit only lanes.

READ MORE: Douglas Street 24-hour transit and bike priority lanes open Nov. 5

Wadsworth said right now, B.C. Transit is in the planning stages with Colwood and View Royal. The three groups have worked together for the past year to come up with plans for transit priority measures.

“We’ve taken plans to the City of Colwood for council to see and give approval,” Wadsworth said. “This allows us to continue to do more planning and start engaging with the community.”

The plans will be taken to View Royal in December for approval.

If the plan is implemented, Wadsworth said it should improve transit travel time by 20 per cent on the Island Highway from Colwood Corners to Highway 1. A few years down the line, transit only lanes could become a reality in the West Shore.

“Community members will have something to look forward to,” Wadsworth said.

Mayor Rob Martin of Colwood said that while the city is not directly involved with the transit priority plan, he is supportive of it. He said different modes of transportation need to be looked at in order to ease traffic.

READ MORE: View Royal mayor calls for region and province to meet about transportation issues

“As we continue to see more people come to our community it’s unrealistic to expect that we’re going to be able to support traffic in its traditional form,” Martin said. “Single drivers in a single car is unsustainable.”

In a council meeting on Tuesday, Mayor David Screech of View Royal put forward a recommendation to send a letter to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure to request the minister meet with regional mayors to put together a transportation plan.

Screech said he thinks transportation is one of the biggest problems — aside from housing — in the West Shore.

He said municipalities need to work together to come up with a solution and also said different modes of transportation need to be looked at.

“Transportation is a collective effort,” Screech said. “We need to look at how we encourage all forms of transportation.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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