A busway for the metro-Victoria section of the former E&N railway is almost unquestionably the best option.
Paving a single lane busway from Station Avenue in Langford through to the Johnson Street Bridge would allow for express bus service between central Langford, Esquimalt and downtown. In the morning, buses would run express from Langford into downtown Victoria, and then travel back out along Douglas or Blanshard Streets. In the afternoon and evening, they would run express along the busway out from downtown Victoria to Langford, travelling back via Veterans’ Memorial and the Trans-Canada Highway.
This would remove the need for the further creation of expensive and inconvenient bus lanes along current arterials, as a significant amount of bus and vehicle traffic will be removed from them.
I recognize that other parties have different visions for the E&N line, as a passenger rail line or as a bike trail. However, a busway would make bus travel more attractive to many Victorians. This would lead to less cars on the road, freeing up the roadway for more bicycle traffic. Rail could still continue up-island from Station Road, where people could change from the express bus. Cyclists and walkers could possibly access the busway during the weekend, but at a minimum cycling at rush-hour would be a little easier.
A simple analysis clearly shows a busway is the way to go. It is relatively simple to implement, requiring only two interchanges between the busway and the regular roadway, and comparatively cheap, even when compared to a rail-trail, given the benefits.
BC Transit and the Island Corridor Foundation should enter into talks immediately to implement a busway.