Project Overview

What is the project timeline?  

The preliminary design will be shared in Summer/Fall 2020 and a refined design will be available for review a few months later. Construction is expected to start in 2021.

victoria handydart graphic - image

What role does handyDART play in the community?

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.  For those with disabilities that prevent them from driving, handyDART provides independence and ability to attend appointments, complete errands and socialize. 

In Greater Victoria, over 40,000 people use the service and 50% are over the age of 65.

Why was this location selected?

The new location is centrally located and near main roadways that connect all corners of the Greater Victoria area, including growing demand in the western communities. Service is growing in all Greater Victoria municipalities; therefore, this location will help us to serve customers efficiently over the long term.

This site utilizes provincially owned land that avoids significant land purchase costs making it more cost-effective than locating in other areas of the Region. This contributes to maintaining affordability of transit services for Greater Victoria residents. There is high demand across Greater Victoria for increased transit service, and this new location facilitates the expansion of handyDART and the conventional transit system.  

This project allows us to better meet the needs of people that have no or limited transportation options and will be designed to accommodate what is needed to provide improved service for the next 25 years.

Project Design

>Who is leading the project design?

A local inter-disciplinary team consisting of Morrison Hershfield, DAmbrosio architecture + urbanism, and Murdoch de Greeff landscape architects will lead the design.

When will the preliminary design be available for the pubic to review?

The preliminary design will be shared in summer/fall 20202 and a refined design will be available a few months later. Construction is expected to start in 2021. 

Where will the building located?

A number of important features are already located on this property, specifically, Craigflower Creek, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail, a CRD water main and the BC Hydro Transmission Tower. As a result, there are only two suitable building locations. BC Transit had previously considered locating the building on the east corner, adjacent to the Craigflower Creek. Based on community feedback, the area adjacent to the highway is now being explored for the main building. The main entrance and exit will be off of West Burnside Road. 

What will be built on the site?

The main one-storey building will include offices, operator dispatch and maintenance facilities. Other elements include parking, an enclosed wash bay, electric charging infrastructure and a temporary gas fueling station.

What are the guiding principles for the design and sustainability of the site?

1) Archaeological preservation: Engaging local First Nation communities to explore opportunities to work together to ensure protection of archaeological and cultural heritage on site.

2) Sustainable design: Use the redevelopment of this site as an opportunity to repair and restore the disturbed ecology of the site, including the watershed and Craigflower Creek, and design a site and building that can achieve LEED Gold. 

3) 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. 

4) 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. 

5) Good neighbour: Build responsive relationships within the local community and First Nations to inform various elements of the redevelopment and on-going communications.

6) 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.

How many employees will be on-site?

There will approximately 19 employees working on site during the day to support dispatch, customer service and vehicle servicing. On opening day, there will be about 50 drivers. Drivers are largely not on-site during the day as they are serving customers across the region. 

How will Craigflower Creek be protected?

Stantec Consulting is providing Qualified Environmental Professional services to meet the requirements of the Town of View Royal Environmental Development Permit application. Their assessment will determine Craigflower Creek setbacks and environmental mitigation requirements. 

Where will employees park?

Employees park in the spaces vacated by handyDART vehicles that are actively providing service to the region.

What are the hours of operation?

Operations take place at the following times

Dispatch: 4:30 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.

Maintenance:  5 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Administration/Office: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

What is the project timeline?

The preliminary design will be shared in Summer/Fall 2020 and a refined design will be available for review a few months later. Construction is expected to start in 2021.

Permitting and Approvals Process

What is the Town of View Royal’s role in this project?

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 environmental 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 local community amenities.

What permits are required and what bylaws must be followed?

The project will adhere to Town of View Royal environmental development permit process. The environmental development permit requires inclusion of detailed plans including site servicing, landscape plans, a tree inventory and tree protection plans. The Town of View Royal Environmental Development Permit is available on their website. (https://www.viewroyal.ca/assets/Town~Hall/Documents~and~Forms/Planning~and~Development~Documents~and~Forms/Development%20Permit%20Application%20Form.pdf)

In addition, the project will adhere to Provincial and Federal project requirements and approvals.

Cost and Budget

What is the cost of this project?

The overall project budget is $32.5 million.  

How is the project being funded?

The Government of Canada is investing $12.60 million for this project through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of British Columbia is contributing $12.96 million and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission is contributing $6.94 million.

Neighbourhood Considerations

What type of building will be built?

BC Transit is committed to designing a state-of-the-art building and site that minimizes impacts to neighbours and the environment. The building will apply sustainable building design and construction techniques aligned with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating. The main building is envisioned to include West Coast design elements to respond to the neighbourhood character and context. 

How will noise be mitigated?

BC Transit commissioned an initial noise study completed in April 2018 that anticipated diesel vehicles for the site. BC Transit has confirmed the fleet will be only gasoline and electric, which are quieter overall than diesel vehicles and do not require stationary idling as part of maintenance activities. In response to community feedback, BC Transit is exploring an alternative backup beeper for the handyDART vehicles, evaluating options for site placement of the facility and considering the mitigations offered by a landscaped berm around the site. BC Transit has commissioned a new noise study to incorporate these elements.

How will lighting impacts be minimized?

A robust and detailed site lighting plan will be completed which incorporates dark skies principles to ensure achieve both light pollution mitigation and site operational safety objectives.

How will this property affect traffic in the area?

BC Transit commissioned a traffic study completed in April 2018. This was prior to the installation of signalization at the Burnside Road W and Watkiss Way intersection in 2018. To ensure an accurate assessment of traffic impacts, BC Transit has commissioned a new traffic study for completion this spring.  In addition, a traffic management study will be completed to determine the most efficient and safe options for the accessing and exiting the property and minimize any impacts to the travelling public.  Informed by the traffic study, and consistent with other how traffic impacts are evaluated for other developments, the traffic management plan will be reviewed and informed by the Engineering Department at the Town of View Royal. 

Will the Galloping Goose be impacted?

The development of the property offers opportunity to improve the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Galloping Goose Regional Trail. Details have yet to be determined.

How will the property be screened visually from neighbouring properties?

There are a number of options for how to best screen the property and create an aesthetically pleasing streetscape within the neighbourhood.  Landscaping, berms, and fencing all play a role in what the development will look like. Many considerations will be explored by the design team and there will be opportunities for public feedback on these elements. 

Environmental Protection

How will Craigflower Creek be protected?

Craigflower Creek is an important regional asset and BC Transit is committed to its protection. The project will meet all municipal, provincial and federal environmental and community standards, and will exceed these standards wherever reasonable.  The Town of View Royal environmental development permit process outlines clear expectations for riparian access, stormwater management and habitat protection.

BC Transit is working with local First Nations and streamkeepers to understand the history and work underway to protect the creek and will work closely with qualified environmental professionals (QEP) who will oversee and advise on the best approach to design of measures to ensure environmental protection, mitigation and restoration. 

How will stormwater be managed?

A comprehensive stormwater management plan will be developed and submitted for approval to the Town of View Royal.


What should residents expect during construction?

Residents and the traveling public may experience some traffic delays and noise associated with earth-moving equipment and trucks during the course of the project. Dust control measures will be maintained at all times. Construction will generally occur Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On-going communications through a variety of channels will continue through construction.  

When will construction occur?

It is anticipated that site clearing and general construction activities will commence in 2021.  

Will construction occur during daytime hours?

Construction will occur primarily during weekday, daytime hours.

How Can Residents Learn More?

The project webpage at www.bctransit.com/viewroyal/handydart will be updated often.

In February, BC Transit established a neighbourhood working group to work closely with the project team and inform broader public engagement opportunities once a design team is in place.