BC Transit is in the planning stages for a project called Rapidbus, which will speed up the commute between the West Shore and Downtown. (Black Press Media file photo)

BC Transit is in the planning stages for a project called Rapidbus, which will speed up the commute between the West Shore and Downtown. (Black Press Media file photo)

High speed ahead for transit riders on the West Shore

BC Transit plans Rapidbus to cut commute time to downtown Victoria

The future is in the fast lane for transit users on the West Shore.

Looking ahead at 2021, BC Transit has plans for a project to create faster, more reliable service from the West Shore to downtown Victoria. The project, called Rapidbus, aims to lessen the time it takes to travel between the two regions by limiting the amount of stops, increasing the frequency of buses, and incorporating transit priority measures.

Lisa Trotter, Government Relations Manager for the Victoria Regional Transit System, said the Rapidbus project will result in approximately 20 per cent time savings for transit commuters, and added that it will help address the growing population on the West Shore, reduce vehicle dependency, as well as support ridership and economic recovery following the pandemic.

Last March, ridership dropped about 80 per cent throughout Greater Victoria, and now, ridership has risen back to about 50 per cent of what it was prior to the pandemic, Trotter said.

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When complete, Rapidbus will include branded shelters and buses, so commuters can easily identify them.

Rapidbus is still in phase one of the planning stages, but BC Transit is looking forward to working with municipalities in the West Shore to implement the project.

The stages moving forward are to complete the Rapidbus Implementation Plan, finish infrastructure design work, sign project agreements with municipalities, and to secure funding, Trotter said.

For more information on transit plans visit www2.bc.gov.bc.ca.

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