Post-secondary hub in the works for Langford to alleviate commuter chaos

WatchLangford is one of the fastest-growing cities in our province, and we've seen what that means for traffic. Thousands commute every day from the West Shore to work - but did you know around 4,000 students also make the trip every day to post-secondary schools on the South Island. But, as Kori Sidaway tells us, there's a plan in the works to keep more students on the West Shore.

Rain or shine, James Russell’s daily commute from Sooke to school is a waiting game.

“I sit on the traffic for god knows how long to get to Colwood, then I take another bus from Colwood to Victoria, and usually there’s traffic there too,” said Russell.

“It’s just very frustrating sitting on the bus for so long.”

Everyday Russell, who is in his second year of chemistry at UVic, spends a total of four hours just riding the bus.

And it’s not only frustrating. It also takes a toll.

“I kind of gave up even thinking of a part-time job in school just because it takes so long to get everywhere,” said Russell.

And statistically, that’s not the only sacrifice students who travel from the West Shore, make.

“We’ve found that their transition rates to post-secondary are not as good as the B.C. average,” said Steve Grundy, Royal Roads Vice President of Academic and Provost.

The long commutes also mean less time with family, less time studying – just less time.

And politicians in the region are listening.

“My goal is to get more people living and working in Langford and not doing the commute,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young.

“Four thousand kids are leaving the west shore to go to post-secondary education when they could actually build the facilities here. Government offices, education facilities, post-secondary schools should be here where the people live.”

Right now Royal Roads, Camosun, the University of Victoria, and the City of Langford are in the final stages of a business plan for a post-secondary hub in Langford.

“It’s going to be a collaboration between the institutions that serve southern Vancouver Island and the whole idea is to improve access for students here on the West Shore,” said Grundy.

And that prospect of a trifecta of south island post-secondary institutions on the West Shore has students excited.

“Oh that would be awesome!” said Russell.

“I mean it would be a fraction of a time to get to work. I would be at home more. My grades would probably go up. I would have way more time to work on everything. It would be awesome!”

The timeline and location of Langford’s new college hub are still being hammered out before sending the plan off to the province.

After that, the parties are hoping a finalized plan will be announced in the coming weeks or months.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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