Transportation Service Discussions
In response to transportation concerns of residents and businesses, the CRD Board has made creation of a Regional Transportation Service a Strategic Priority.
A transportation service would provide the CRD with a mandate to address regional transportation needs to the extent outlined in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).
The CRD developed the RTP in consultation with local government, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, BC Transit and other key stakeholders from across the region to identify a vision for regional transportation, along with priority actions and targets.
The creation of a transportation service would initially be cost neutral as it would focus on the consolidation of existing regional transportation functions and budgets. A regional transportation service could, without any new funding, provide the CRD with the ability to:
- collaboratively identify regional transportation priorities
- coordinate inter-municipally
- integrate regional trails more closely with municipal walking and cycling infrastructure
- collect and analyze regional multi-modal transportation data
- more effectively advocate for senior government funding with one united regional voice
The CRD does not currently have a regional transportation service. Establishing one would build upon and complement the strong transportation work undertaken at the local government level and would not interfere with local transportation decision making. Before formally seeking the approvals necessary to create a service, the Board, at its October 12, 2016 meeting directed that local governments be canvassed for support. Local government engagement will take place in late 2016. For the transportation service to be truly effective it needs full regional participation.
A Coordinated Approach
Transportation continues to be a high priority for all levels of government and the public. Transportation is the highest emitter of Green House Gasses (GHG) in the region and delays caused by road congestion impact the economy and quality of life. Because transportation in the CRD is largely inter-municipal, meeting the complex multi-modal transportation needs of a growing population and changing demographics requires a coordinated approach.
The CRD is working collaboratively with partner municipalities and electoral areas, provincial crown corporations such as BC Transit and BC Ferries and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to improve the transportation system across the region and to achieve the mode share targets in the Regional Transportation Plan. Reducing the reliance on single occupancy vehicles (SOV) by offering transportation alternatives is a key priority.
Trends in land use patterns, travel behaviour and population growth indicate increased pressure on the region’s transportation system to move more and more people. The option to expand road networks is limited by the region's built and natural environment. A change in approach from the traditional reliance on single occupancy vehicle travel is needed. The geography, form of land use and weather in the CRD is generally well suited to use of active transportation and transit. While the CRD has traditionally had comparatively high transit and active transportation mode share rates relative to other cities in Canada, these rates have remained static in recent years. The region continues to advance new transit and active transportation investment to make sustainable transportation more accessible to more people.
The CRD delivers an extensive transportation data collection and analysis program that provides essential information to inform transportation decision making examples of the data collected includes bike and traffic counts, Origin and Destination Surveys and a full regional transportation model. This data is used by a variety of stakeholders such as local governments, provincial agencies, the business community and the general public. The CRD is also responsible for the Regional Trails Network which serves as both an important transportation and recreational asset.
Salt Spring Island Transportation
Transit within the region is administered by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission with the exception of Salt Spring Island, which administers its own very successful transit system. The road network within the three electoral areas is maintained and operated by MOTI, as are a number of key roads within the broader region, most notably Highway 1, 14 and 17. SSI transportation is overseen by its own local transportation commission.