Victoria Regional Rapid Transit

Over the past year, BC Transit has collaborated with municipal, regional and provincial partners to develop the Victoria Regional RapidBus Implementation Strategy . This strategy builds on the momentum of the South Island Transportation Strategy and provides the strategic and technical foundation needed to accelerate the implementation of RapidBus services throughout the Victoria region., One of the most exciting outcomes of the strategy is the introduction of the flagship Westshore-Downtown Victoria Line in the next three years and then subsequent lines across the region. 

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
  • Support the region’s climate action goals

BC Transit is committed to contributing to strong, more sustainable communities in the Victoria Region. The need to realize this potential in the Victoria Region is increasingly important because of factors such as climate change, affordability, population growth, traffic congestion, an aging population and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the  RapidBus Executive Summary .

What is RapidBus?

RapidBus is transit service that outperforms the personal automobile in speed, comfort and reliability. It is connected, frequent, fast and reliable. The map below summarizes the key corridors where RapidBus lines will be pursued over the coming years.

RapidBus Map

What are the next steps?

The RapidBus Implementation Strategy has been divided into three different phases: 

  • Phase 1: Implementation of Westshore to Downtown Victoria RapidBus Line
  • Phase 2: Continue Design and Conceptual Analysis of McKenzie and Peninsula RapidBus Lines
  • Phase 3: Explore Opportunities to Expand the RapidBus Network to Other Parts of the Victoria Region

It is expected that these phases will progress concurrently.

RapidBus Action Areas Table

How can I get more involved?

BC Transit, in collaboration with local government partners, is planning engagement opportunities in the near future for the Westshore to Downtown Victoria Line.

For more information or questions about the project, contact:

What is Rapid Transit?

Rapid transit is designed to improve travel time, reliability, passenger comfort and convenience along an exclusive right-of-way. A rapid transit system provides frequent, high-capacity service that runs all day, every day.

Rapid transit is not a substitute or replacement for local bus service or commuter rail, which perform different functions. Local bus service operates in mixed traffic and has more closely-spaced stops. Commuter rail connects distant centres during peak commuting hours.

Victoria Region Transit Priority Plan

Over the past decade, growth in the West Shore area has been contributing to significant increases in vehicle traffic coming into Victoria. In response, BC Transit, working with the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, has sought to improve rapid transit linkages into Victoria from the West Shore.

Victoria Transit Future graph 6 - image

Victoria Bus Lane Priority Project Update

June 2019

Construction has begun on the southbound Douglas Street bus lane extension project. Once complete, these priority bus lanes will create faster, easier commutes for people who live and work in the Greater Victoria area.

The extension will be from the south end of the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass to Tolmie Avenue, a mirror of the northbound extension project completed in December 2018.

The southbound priority bus lane will complete the two-way corridor between Fisgard Street and the Highway 1-Burnside Road overpass. Priority bus lanes provide more reliable and timely service, as it will be easier for buses to remain on schedule along the corridor.

November 2018

The southbound Douglas Street bus priority lanes expansion, reaching from Tolmie Avenue to Hillside Avenue, is now complete. As of Monday, November 5th, priority bus lanes will be in effect both northbound and southbound between Fisgard Street and Tolmie Avenue.

victoria transit future graph 8 - image

The priority lanes are meant for buses, including those run by BC Transit and private tour companies. Motorists are allowed to enter the priority bus lanes only if making a right hand turn within the block.

Watch for these signs along the Douglas corridor:

victoria transit future graph 9 - image

Bus priority lanes will operate as follows:

  • Northbound:

24/7 between Pembroke Street and Tolmie Avenue

3-6 p.m. only between Fisgard Street and Pembroke Street

  • Southbound:

24/7 between Tolmie Avenue and Kings Road

6-9 a.m. only between Kings Road and Fisgard Street                

The priority lanes, an infrastructure project designed in partnership with the City of Victoria, will shorten travel times for passengers, increase the reliability of public transit and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Encouraging more transit use will also lower the number of vehicles on the road, helping to reduce congestion. The Douglas Street corridor currently supports as many as 1,700 vehicles per hour during peak travel times.

The fine for being in a priority bus lane is $109. The Victoria City Police will engage in an active education campaign in the coming weeks.

The fine for being in a priority bus lane is $109. The Victoria City Police will engage in an active education campaign in the coming weeks. 

Frequently asked questions

Priority Lanes Map

Update  January 2018
Douglas Southbound Lane Extension
Tolmie Avenue to Hillside Avenue

Construction is set to begin in late January for the southbound Douglas Street bus and bike priority lanes, which will reach from Tolmie Avenue to Hillside Avenue.

As the roadway is under the jurisdiction of the City of Victoria, the city is managing the construction contract process. Construction will include concrete and asphalt paving, sidewalk and boulevard restoration and improvements, tree and vegetation replacement, new line painting and new signal infrastructure.

The project is funded by the Province of BC and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission. Construction is expected to conclude in the fall of 2018.

What's Happened So Far

Here's what's happened so far on our Victoria Regional Transit Priority Corridors Project.

Your Community Today

Phase 1 of Douglas Street Priority Transit and Cycling Lanes officially opened on Monday June 9, 2014. Here's what your community looks like today.

Resources and Publications

Phase 1 of Douglas Street Priority Transit and Cycling Lanes officially opened on Monday June 9, 2014. Here are the documents supporting the plan.