Buses are running through Westshore Town Centre for the first time since the transit exchange was moved off the property two years ago.
As of Tuesday the No. 52 Wishart bus, renamed as the No 52 Colwood, was routed along Brittany Drive behind RBC Royal Bank, with one stop in each direction.
BC Transit spokesperson Joanna Linsangan said the stops were added as a pilot project at the request of the property manager, the Bentall Kennedy company.
“We know this is a high traffic area that gets congested, and we’ll be closely evaluating whether it’s possible to run a bus through there,” Linsangan said. “If the bus can keep time and people are using the stops, then we’ll keep them on (the route).”
Prior to the Station Avenue bus exchange opening in September 2009, 11 bus routes passed through an exchange on shopping centre property. Now buses stop around the mall’s perimeter, on Jacklin Road, Langford Parkway or Kelly Road.
Over the past two years, many residents and seniors complained that the new exchange is too far to walk and at least one bus should access the property.
Mall manager Laura Poland said the new stops will make bus travel more convenient and safer for mall patrons.
“Proximity to and frequency of transit sevice is very important from a safety perspective, particularly in the winter months and late evening hours,” Poland said.
Poland is satisfied with the current level of bus service reaching the mall and is understanding about the amount of time it took to establish a new stop within the mall property.
“We can certainly appreciate the many factors involved in (planning bus routes for) a rapidly changing area such as Langford,” she said. “Once we were able to meet (with BC Transit) and review all the items collectively, the actual process went quite quickly and in a very cooperative spirit and manner.”
The schedule for the No. 52 Colwood bus, and other routes, is available on www.bctransit.com and in the latest Rider’s Guide available on buses.