The city’s first park and ride, aimed at relieving parking problems in the downtown core, will launch next month.
The park and ride, located at the former Metro Toyota location near the corner of Douglas Street and Frances Avenue, will allow commuters to park in one of 53 spaces, step onto any B.C. Transit bus and get off anywhere in the downtown core, seven days a week.
The service is aimed at commuters who work downtown, and currently take up roughly 60 per cent of parking spaces in city-owned parkades.
“We’re looking at all the different ways to make transit and commuters have an easier time getting into downtown Victoria. We listened to our members and one of the biggest complaints was their workers were unable to find parking or if they found parking, that it was starting to get too expensive,” said Downtown Victoria Business Association executive director Kerri Milton, adding they’ve already had people signing up for the service since it launched Tuesday afternoon.
“We tried to find a way that would help mitigate both of those — we’ll bring people into the downtown, take some of the parking out of the parkades and cause it to be more economical.”
Lack of parking has been a problem in the downtown core in recent months, with residents saying it’s difficult to find on-street spots and spots in parkades, especially between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Businesses have also been feeling the crunch, adding they’re losing customers due to lack of parking.
Earlier in the year, the business association looked at ways to relieve parking downtown and in January, released a number of action items, including producing a map of current parking structures, lots and street parking, and increasing awareness around the Modo CarShare program. A park and ride was also one of those action items.
The service is a partnership between the business association, Robbins Parking, Pattison Group, B.C. Transit and the City of Victoria.
“This is a unique opportunity for commuters who incorporate B.C. Transit into daily commute to save money,” said Doug Strobl, B.C. Transit manager of sales and revenue in a release.
The park and ride launches April 1 and costs $100 per month, which includes a parking spot as well as a monthly bus pass. Robbins is also providing the first month free to commuters who commit to at least three months. For more information visit downtownvictoria.ca/parking.