BC Transit bus driving on Victoria’s new bus lanes on Douglas Street. (Keili Bartlett/News staff)

Victoria bus drivers say shared space with cyclists not efficient use of new lanes

BC Transit union rep says it’s ready to brainstorm for better solution

Victoria’s Douglas Street priority bus lanes are supposed to shorten travel times for transit users but sharing the lanes with cyclists may not be the best use of the space, say bus drivers.

The lanes – on both sides of Douglas Street from Fisgard Street to Tolmie Avenue – opened Nov. 5 and were designated for tranist buses and cyclists only – with a promise that cars using the lanes would be ticketed.

Related: Douglas Street 24-hour transit and bike priority lanes open Nov. 5

But the union representing BC Transit in Greater Victoria says having the lane designated for buses and cyclists may not be the most efficient use of the lane.

“The problem when you add the cyclists in there is the bus is only as fast as the cyclist,” said Ben Williams, President of Unifor Local 333BC. “You used to have a bike lane beside the right-hand lane [and] that’s not the case anymore – now the cyclist needs to ride right in front of the bus…”

“The operators are going to slow down and follow at a safe following distance but clearly for some cyclists that’s going to be intimidating – when you have a 40-foot vehicle behind you,” he added.

Williams said despite cyclists, the new bus lanes have sped up the time it takes for buses to get in and out of downtown and emphasized that Victoria bus drivers aren’t against cyclists in any way. They support any initiative that gets people out of their cars.

“The more people we can get out of vehicles will improve the congestion in Greater Victoria,” Williams said. “We’re definitely open to having discussions with the cycling community, BC Transit, the different municipalities. We would like to see a change to this, to see what we can do to maximize efficiency.”

Related: Cyclists question safety of bike and transit lane

Related: Buses get priority left turn lane onto Douglas Street



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow Nina on Twitter

Just Posted

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Transit extends weekend night routes, ups service levels across Greater Victoria

Says bus lanes have helped improve BC Transit service frequencies

Ringette returns to Greater Victoria

Locals are forming a new ringette association after going more than decade without

FIRST REVIEWS: Victoria Fringe Festival starts with a bang

We review the first wave of shows from the festival, as part of our ongoing series

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Retired Vancouver Island teacher ‘Set for Life’ after $675K lottery win

Patrick Shannon plans to buy new sails for his sailboat

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Most Read