Victoria handyDART and your community
To support growth in ridership, expanding Victoria’s conventional bus system, and enhancing handyDART service for many of the most vulnerable in our communities is essential. The Province of BC, the Government of Canada and the Victoria Transit Commission are making significant investments in new transit facilities that support low-carbon fleets, creating more sustainable transportation options that shorten travel times and increase the reliability of public transit.
The centre, set to open in 2024, will help respond to the growing needs for handyDART services in Greater Victoria. Opening this new handyDART location will also enable the much-needed expansion of the conventional transit service, utilizing the old handyDART location on Glanford Avenue.
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Improving Services for our Customers
handyDART is an accessible, door-to-door shared transit service for people with permanent or temporary disabilities that prevent them from using fixed-route transit without assistance from another person. The new location will enable BC Transit to respond to the growing needs for handyDART services in Greater Victoria, as well as expand the conventional transit service.
The BC Transportation Financing Authority provided the eight-acre property at 2401 Burnside Road to BC Transit for a new handyDART centre. The centre will occupy a portion of the property with opportunities for the unused portion of the property to be enhanced through sidewalks, landscaping, and environmental restoration. Jointly funded by the Victoria Regional Transit commission, the Province and the federal government, the facility is planned to open in 2023.
Project at a Glance
- The centre will be the first BC Transit facility in British Columbia built to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold requirements. LEED principles outline site requirements that employ best management practices to reduce chemical use, energy, water, air pollution, solid waste, and/or runoff associated with the building site. The main building will be located adjacent to the highway exit, the furthest possible distance from neighbouring properties. It will include West-Coast design elements to respond to the neighbourhood character and context. A wash bay and temporary fueling station will also be included. The entrance will be off West Burnside Road.
- All handyDART vehicles on site will be gas and electric. Although handyDART has traditionally used diesel vehicles, no diesel vehicles will be utilized at this location. BC Transit’s Low Carbon Fleet Program provides a roadmap for transitioning to a fully electric transit fleet and infrastructure to support a fully electric fleet will be installed during construction.
- Environmental protection is always a key planning principle applied to site design and operations. The development will meet or exceed all Provincial and Federal standards for environmental protection. Thoughtful planning in consultation with environmental professionals and local streamkeepers will ensure the environmentally sensitive features of the property, in particular, Craigflower Creek, are protected. A defined setback will ensure no development activity occurs within 30 metres of the Creek.
- A seasonal stream onsite will be re-aligned and restored, creating an acre of protected riparian area that will connect to Craigflower Creek, through a gentle transition area to allow the new stream access to its floodplain during periods of high rainfall. Additionally, it will provide new amphibian habitat and potential rearing habitat for Coho salmon and other juvenile fish.
- New landscaping will include hundreds of native trees. 8’ site fencing will be added, and boulevards and sidewalks will be added or improved on Watkiss Way and Burnside Road. Two new transit shelters will be introduced: one on Watkiss Way and one on Burnside Road, and the Galloping Goose Regional Trail will be straightened, and the grade will be reduced making the trail safer and more accessible.
- A new trailhead on the north west corner of the property will create a decorative plaza area
- Indigenous consultation:
Consult with Indigenous groups in the spirit of reconciliation and include Indigenous knowledge, perspectives and participation in the project.
- Sustainable design:
Use the redevelopment of this site as an opportunity to repair and restore the ecological function of this part of the Craigflower Creek watershed, and design a site and building that can achieve LEED Gold.
- Improved pedestrian and cycling experience:
Introduce new or improved accessible connections for people who walk and cycle, including new sidewalks and potential realignment of the Galloping Goose Trail.
- Neighbourhood integration:
Respect the qualities of the host neighbourhood by designing a site, building and landscaping that integrate well and enhance the neighbourhood. Consider and mitigate potential visual, safety and other impacts of the development on the surrounding area.
- Good neighbour:
Build responsive relationships within the local community and First Nations to inform various elements of the redevelopment and on-going communications.
- Effective and reliable service:
Design a site that supports expansion of a sustainable, fully electric handyDART service that improves access to transit for people with permanent or temporary disabilities that prevent them from using fixed-route transit without assistance from another person.
Memorandum of Understanding with Town of View Royal
BC Transit has a memorandum of understanding with the Town of View Royal, committing to follow the spirit and intent of all of the Town of View Royal’s development processes, permitting and bylaws for 2401 Burnside Road. In addition to a number of public realm improvements, such as sidewalks and landscaping, BC Transit will also provide $150,000 to the Town of View Royal for community amenities.
BC Transit and the Town of View Royal are in discussions about the potential use of approximately 1.5 acres of land along Watkiss Way for a new public space. $150,000 will also be provided to the Town of View Royal for community amenities.
Safe Salmon Program
The handyDART project is partnering with the Salmon Safe program. This relationship will add valuable independent third-party verification of the stream restoration practices being implemented. We are now identifying resources within First Nations communities that have an interest and the capacity join the Salmon Safe team as an Indigenous Assessor for this project, a new role Salmon Safe is developing.
Find out more about the Safe Salmon Certification Standards
We Want to Hear from You
All public input is shared with the design team to inform future planning and design.
The first phase of engagement occurred in spring 2020. You can learn more about what was shared and what was heard here. All input collected was shared with the design team to inform the preliminary design.
The second phase of public engagement on the preliminary design and watershed and neighbourhood enhancement occurred in spring 2021. All input has been compiled in a What We Heard summary report available here . This input helped refine the site design and inform the permitting processes.
The third and final phase of public engagement occurred in July 2021.
Review the display boards shared at the three open houses.
A What We Heard summary report from this phase of public engagement will be available in August.