Victoria transit system, UVic exchange to receive multimillion-dollar upgrades from government

Victoria transit system, UVic exchange to receive multimillion-dollar upgrades from government
Nicholas Pescod/ CHEK

The public transit system around Greater Victoria is set to receive some upgrades as both the federal and provincial governments are investing millions of dollars towards development projects.

On Tuesday, a collection of government officials from both the provincial and municipal levels on Vancouver Island participated in a virtual announcement in order to reveal the upcoming infrastructure plans.

For the Victoria Regional Transit System, millions of dollars will be put towards acquiring 15 medium-duty buses fuelled with compressed natural gas (CNG) or renewable natural gas to replace diesel-fuelled buses at the end of their useful life.

The B.C. government says the new buses will help “maintain current transit levels and avoid gaps in service” when the existing buses retire.

The 15 medium-duty buses are not part of BC Transit’s rollout of the Enviro500 double-decker bus series, also announced on Tuesday.

Both the federal and provincial governments are each investing over $3.1 million into the new fleet of medium-duty buses. The Victoria Regional Transit Commission will contribute approximately $1.5 million as well.

“It is encouraging to see our federal and provincial partners continuing to invest in public transit. The introduction of more medium-duty CNG buses is an important step in our low-carbon fleet program as we transition to a greener fleet,” said Erinn Pinkerton, president and CEO of BC Transit.

“The new buses, as well as an improved transit exchange for UVic students, provide customers in the Victoria Regional Transit System with even more reasons to feel confident in choosing public transit.”

A project will also be undertaken on the north side of the existing UVic bus exchange on the university’s campus.

Funding will go towards rehabilitating the existing exchange and Ring Road bus stops, including refurbishment and enhancement of about nine bus bays, six bus shelters and two layover bays, as well as the redevelopment of surrounding pedestrian and bicycle-storage infrastructure, says the government.

The aim of the funding is to have UVic students, faculty and staff, as well as residents of the area, benefit from better access to public transit, higher quality pathways and increased access to active transportation infrastructure in the Oak Bay and Saanich areas, notes the Province.

“The new and improved bus exchange at UVic, in combination with the new CNG buses being brought online in Victoria, will ensure residents of the surrounding communities have access to greener transportation options for years to come,” says Rob Fleming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“At the University of Victoria, we strive to be a global exemplar in environmental sustainability. This project will help us reach our goal of having 70 per cent of all trips to and from campus facilitated by public transit or active transportation,” said Kevin Hall, president and vice-chancellor, University of Victoria.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $1.7 million in this project and the Government of British Columbia is providing over $1.4 million, according to today’s announcement.

The University of Victoria and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission are contributing a combined total of over $356,000 to the new system infrastructure as well.

Graham CoxGraham Cox

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!