RapidBus Implementation Strategy Released

Jun 30, 2021
Transit System: Victoria

VICTORIA – BC Transit has released the Victoria Regional RapidBus Implementation Strategy that provides the strategic and technical foundation needed to accelerate the implementation of RapidBus services throughout the Victoria region.

RapidBus is transit service that outperforms the personal automobile in speed, comfort and reliability. Over time, the RapidBus system will be implemented across several corridors to create a high capacity transit system. 

The strategy introduces the flagship Westshore-Downtown Victoria Line in the next three years and then subsequent RapidBus lines across the region. Other possible RapidBus corridors include McKenzie and Peninsula routes, with possibilities of a long-term RapidBus service along many major roadways that connect to areas throughout the region. 

“RapidBus is a key component of our South Island Transportation Strategy, and I’m confident this initiative will help increase ridership throughout the region,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming. “Our government is committed to making it easier, faster, and more affordable for families to move within their communities. More people using public transit means fewer personal vehicles on the road, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.”

The goal of RapidBus is to connect areas with the highest travel demands in the region using a combination of corridor treatments, branded services, and improved station amenities. RapidBus will provide connected, frequent, fast, and reliable transit service that will increase ridership and support local governments in meeting their sustainable land use, climate and transportation goals.

The implementation of RapidBus services in the Victoria Region has the potential to significantly increase transit mode share by:

  • Supporting post-pandemic regional economic recovery

  • Shaping and supporting growth and regional connectivity

  • Improving passenger comfort and convenience

  • Improving efficiency and capacity of the transit system

  • Supporting the region’s climate action goals

“This strategy is a great step towards implementing a RapidBus service that can move people around our region quickly and reliably”, said Victoria Regional Transit Commission Chair Susan Brice. “The momentum and excitement around the launch of this strategy will help us work with our local government partners in the CRD to create a service that helps us all achieve our transportation and climate goals.” 

In fall 2020, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure released the South Island Transportation Strategy. This strategy was an integrated approach to support and encourage many travel choices by focusing policy and investment on increasing the infrastructure needed to build connections, capacity, improve safety and the choices for sustainable travel. As part of this strategy, and aligning with BC Transit’s 10 Year Vision for the Victoria Region, one of the key priorities to support sustainable travel options is to advance rapid transit services around the region.

“We know that the development of a RapidBus service is a high priority for our regional transit system in Victoria and this strategy will move us towards that goal,” said BC Transit Vice President of Business Development Christy Ridout. “Investments in services like these will help alleviate congestion, reduce emissions and result in great livability in the region.”  

The RapidBus Implementation Strategy aligns with the South Island Transportation Strategy, the Regional Growth Strategy and Regional Transportation Plan, which all outline a vision where transportation is sustainable, offers choice and enables smart growth and livable communities. The Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC) supports this vision and indicated that the development of RapidBus and electrification of the transit fleet are the highest priorities to the regional transit system.

“Increasing the standard of service on these busy routes is good news for our region,” said Capital Regional District Board Chair and Saanich Councillor Colin Plant. “The RapidBus service is a great example of local governments and agency partners working together on regional transportation priorities and providing transportation choices to residents.”

In addition, the VRTC recently identified the goal of increasing transit mode share from 12% to 15% across the region. This means that daily transit travel would increase from approximately 80,000 to over 200,000 trips per day in 2038. Initiatives that are required to achieve this goal will be expanded and improved transit service, including RapidBus, sustainable land-use decisions, improved transit infrastructure and facilities and the expansion of technological improvements.

“Reliable and affordable public transit is good for both people and the environment, and I am delighted to see BC Transit’s Rapid Bus strategy moving forward,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “It will improve the lives of thousands of people who commute from the Westshore to Downtown Victoria every day.”

For more information visit the Victoria Regional Rapid Transit webpage