The Government of British Columbia announced that transit users travelling through communities on the Saanich peninsula will have a faster commute, as new bus queue jump lanes at Mount Newton Cross Road and Highway 17 (Patricia Bay Highway) are ready for use.

The bus queue jump lanes improve the efficiency of transit services along the Highway 17 corridor. The lanes start before the intersection and allow transit buses to bypass congestion. The lanes continue after the intersection along Highway 17, where buses merge back into the flow of traffic.

“These improvements mean better safety and faster transit service for people who live on the Saanich peninsula and for travellers who take the bus to the ferry or toward downtown Victoria,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The Pat Bay Highway is an important and heavily used transportation corridor on the south island, and I’m pleased that transit users will benefit from this project.”

As part of the upgrades, new bus shelters have been installed to improve service for the Tsawout and Tsartlip First Nations, and all transit users. The project also reconfigured the intersection to improve safety and sight lines by rebuilding traffic islands and adding new signals, signs and road markings, as well as enhancing existing pathways and adding new sidewalks.

“Upgrades that prioritize transit, like these queue jump lanes, reduce commute times and increase convenience for people catching the bus,” said Erinn Pinkerton, president and CEO, BC Transit. “We’re always looking for ways to encourage more people to choose public transit and better connect communities. These lanes will help reduce the number of cars on the road, which eases traffic congestion and makes nearby neighbourhoods more accessible.”

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The project is a priority identified in the South Island Transportation Strategy, an integrated approach to support and encourage travel choices on the south island, as well as improving capacity, safety and choices for sustainable travel. The project also supports government’s CleanBC Roadmap 2030 climate goals and Move.Commute.Connect, B.C.’s active transportation strategy.

The total project budget is $7.6 million.

Featured image: Transit users travelling through the peninsula communities will soon enjoy a faster commute as work begins on new lanes so buses can jump the queue at Mount Newton Cross Road and the Pat Bay Highway-Highway 17. (BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

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