CRD eyes adding transit to responsibilities

Overhaul of transit governance in the works

The Capital Regional District is looking to bring transit services and funding under its control.

The CRD’s board of directors is expected to decide today (June 15) whether to ask B.C. Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom for permission to oversee transit in the region and replace the Victoria Regional Transit Commission

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin and Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard have pushed for the 23-member CRD board to govern transit in the Capital Region because they say the commission, which they are members of, is limited in size.

Seven municipal leaders from five municipalities sit on the commission, including Victoria, Saanich, Central Saanich, Oak Bay and Sooke.

“The recommendation, if approved, would see that everyone within the CRD has a voice through their elected representatives as we move forward on public transportation,” said Fortin.

The commission was initially created to make decisions about bus routes and fares, but it is now responsible for charting out complex transportation, density and land-use planning issues that affect 13 municipalities, said commission chair and Oak Bay Mayor Christopher Causton.

“Basically five municipalities being represented at the table is probably not  a good model going forward,” Causton said.

The need for a new governance structure is now greater than ever before with a $950-million light rail transit system proposed for the Capital Region.

“With a billion dollars, you don’t want to make too many mistakes,” Causton said.

emccracken@vicnews.com

 

 

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