– Rapid transit options mulled

ED. Another city rejects heavy rail (SkyTrain) technology

Victoria News

By Erin Cardone

Rather than planes, trains and automobiles, B.C. Transit will be weighing the pros and cons of trams, trains and buses.

After pinning down the preferred route of a rapid transit system linking the West Shore to downtown last week, the next step is to decide which technology will use the route.

“The detailed design of the (transit) alignment will be based on the technology we include,” said Joanna Morton, spokesperson for B.C. Transit.

Morton said B.C. Transit will host open houses and public input sessions, but no dates have been announced.

The preferred route begins at Colwood Corners, runs up the Island Highway to a dedicated transit route between the Trans-Canada Highway and Galloping Goose Trail to Uptown. From there, riders can carry on to downtown or elsewhere on the Saanich Peninsula.

Whichever kind of transportation is chosen will have its own lane, or right-of-way, and engineers are toying with the idea of over- or underpasses so transit isn’t subjected to traffic lights.

In Victoria, B.C. Transit is considering running transit along Douglas Street one direction, and on Government Street in the other.

How commuters get from Langford to Colwood Corners still needs to be ironed out as well.

Morton said Langford hasn’t decided where to focus its growth in the near future and hasn’t designated a rapid transit route.

B.C. Transit president and CEO Manuel Achadinha said developing a transit exchange at Uptown is a priority because, according to the company’s studies, only 14 per cent of people travelling from the West Shore to Victoria are destined for downtown.

ecardone@vicnews.com

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