A Bus Corridor for Douglas Street?

The Victoria Regional Transit Commission has set a one-year deadline to have rush-hour, bus-only lanes up and down Douglas Street.

B.C. Transit’s long-range plans call for a $1-billion Light Rapid Transit line between downtown Victoria and Langford in the West Shore. Fortin said bus-only corridors might help forestall the need for that work.

“If it solves our problem by putting some paint on the ground in this dedicated lane, then perfect,” Fortin said. “If it delays our need to invest in Light Rapid Transit for another 10 or 15 years, that’s good, too.”

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/year+target+only+lanes+Douglas+Street/7235287/story.html#ixzz26NydO2HD

Interesting and promising. Let’s hope the provincial government in its election year avoidance of all things important can come through with the right of ways required. Also interesting that Dean Fortin explicitly mentions that the success of these bus lanes, a Bus Rapid Transit Lite, could postpone, or even forestall the Light Rail Transit plans. Given the ¬†reluctance of North American governments to invest in any infrastructure other than defence (or roofs for football stadiums), finding $1.1B for LRT in addition to building a sewage treatment plant was going to be difficult.

Let’s see how this develops.

PS: I am tired of posting stuff to facebook where I can’t find it 6 months later. So, quick hits to the blog it is for the foreseeable future (1 day-6 months).

 

5 comments for “A Bus Corridor for Douglas Street?

  1. twitter_bc_iconoclast
    September 13, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    I looked at the schedule, the Douglas bus lanes may only saw two minutes

    http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=22657184#allposts

    • oliveridley
      September 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Bernard:

      I think the schedule showing a difference of only 2-3 minutes between off-peak and peak travel is reasonable for that distance. As an almost daily, long distance transit user, a 10% improvement is significant. Also, the idea that I get on a separate bus lane and speed into town predictably, and on time are important psychological boosts. Sometimes, little things at the margin make a difference. For example, the 70 turns left on to Douglas from Hillside, and at peak times, it can stay a while because only one bus can turn per light. Small improvements like making the bus priority lights and turns work (such a misstep by BC Transit to screw up those bus priority lights on the Transcanada) make a big difference in perceived and real quality.

      I think the big benefits come if the BRT-Lite can be extended on the highway, which is going to be challenging. But, without Victoria pressuring the provincial government by signalling that it is putting transit first, nothing will happen. The current provincial government has lost the ability to lead on transit (if it ever had it in the first place).

      In the long run, many people won’t really take transit more unless gas prices and car hassles increase, which is not something the governments will want to voluntarily impose.

  2. September 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I agree, the real time bottleneck is on the highway, but even then the difference between mid day and max peak time is only 9 minutes though that is almost a 20% increase in the time. It is the act of sitting and not moving that makes people get frustrated and the length of time is not really the issue.

    In Victoria we do not have a lot of long commutes so in absolute terms the time improvements will never look good. Meanwhile in Vancouver the 99Bline was a huge improvement over the #9 Boradway bus.

    I think BC Transit should look at making the whole #14 and #26 routes into Blines – limited stops with realtime updates at the stops about when the next bus will arrive and the ability to enter and exit at any door without having to show a pass or ticket. Faster passenger pick up and drop off would make a major difference.

  3. September 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    I meant to add, I do not think it is fair to crap on the current government about transit, they have been decent. Kelowna has a BLine like service. Vancouver has the Canada Line and a number of new transit systems have started in the last 12 years.