Wednesday February 15, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated February 19, 2023]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
The flagship RapidBus route between the West Shore and Downtown Victoria will launch on April 10.
This new RapidBus service will replace the existing Route 50 Langford/Downtown.
“RapidBus is transit service that outperforms the personal automobile in speed, comfort and reliability,” said BC Transit in a news release today.
Increased service levels:
BC Transit says that transit users will experience an increase in service levels along the new West Shore-Downtown route. An improved customer experience and service reliability are the goals.
There will be fewer stops (now 25 on the west shore route, down from 30) but more frequent bus arrivals at each stop.
Customers can expect a bus to arrive a minimum of every 15 minutes at RapidBus stops on the west shore line:
- between 7 am and 10 pm Monday to Saturday
- 8 am to 10 pm on Sundays,
- additional weekday peak service
This increase in service builds on previous initiatives to prioritize rapid transit in the region with the bus lanes along Douglas Street and along the Trans-Canada Highway.
High demand areas:
The goal of RapidBus is to connect areas with the highest travel demands in the region using a combination of corridor treatments, branded services, and improved station amenities.
“This new RapidBus service will provide connected, frequent, fast, and reliable transit service that will increase ridership and support local governments in meeting their sustainable land use, climate and transportation goals,” says BC Transit today.
The next-phase McKenzie line will run from Uptown Centre to the University of Victoria campus where there is a major bus depot across from the Student Union Building.
Back in June 2021 a range of municipal leaders and south Vancouver Island cabinet ministers gathered at the bus loop alongside West Shore Parks and Recreation, to announce the west shore transit improvements.
That event was attended by Victoria Regional Transit Commission Chair Susan Brice, BC Transit CEO Erin Pinkerton, BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming, and MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin Mitzi Dean, and CRD Chair Colin Plant. Now-former mayors also attended: Rob Martin (Colwood), Fred Haynes (Saanich) and David Screech (View Royal).
BC Transit has collaborated with municipal, regional and provincial partners to develop the Victoria Regional RapidBus Implementation Strategy.
This strategy builds on the momentum of the South Island Transportation Strategy (which was politically stick-handled by the former Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena in 2018 and 2019) and provides the strategic and technical foundation needed to accelerate the implementation of RapidBus services throughout the Victoria region.
The implementation of RapidBus services in the Victoria Region has the potential to significantly increase transit mode share by:
- Supporting post-pandemic regional economic recovery
- Shaping and supporting growth and regional connectivity
- Improving passenger comfort and convenience
- Improving efficiency and capacity of the transit system
- Support the region’s climate action goals
More info in March:
BC Transit says more specific details will be released in late March. Stay tuned for more information.
Meanwhile, the Victoria Regional Rapid Transit webpage has information on the RapidBus strategy.
COVID disrupts BC Transit services (Jan 27, 2022)
BC Transit drives forward during COVID-19 (April 24, 2020)
NextRide website & app launched by BC Transit (July 28, 2019)
West shore commute highlighted in 118-bus announcement (July 18, 2019)
South island transportation strategy will come with funds (Jan 31, 2019)
==== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is a long-standing publication in the west shore of South Vancouver Island (fourth in a series that began with MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, Sooke Voice News 2011-2013, and West Shore Voice News 2014-2020, which then emerged as Island Social Trends in mid-2020).
Island Social Trends editor is Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR. She is a long-time journalist, delivering news through a socioeconomic lens.
IslandSocialTrends.ca covers news of the Greater Victoria area and south Vancouver Island, with insights on BC and national issues.
Ms Brooke has consistently covered progressive politics on Vancouver Island including a focus on food security for the South Vancouver Island region. She has presented detailed coverage of the SD62 School Board and its committees since 2014.