Victoria area transit expansion to be put on hold

Plans to expand the transit system in Greater Victoria may have to be put on hold says the region's transit commission.

Transit Commission Chair Susan Brice says they were counting on a gas tax increase of two per cent in the provincial budget and were shocked that it didn't come.

“Nothing is done till it’s done but we have certainly have been making decision at the commission, predicated on this gas tax,” said Brice. “However, we have continued to say to the province that all these expansion plans have been contingent on the gas tax increase so everything has known where we are going.”

The tax increase would have given the commission another $6.6 million in projected operating funds. 

In a release, the commission says local businesses and governments in the CRD wrote letters to Transportation, Infrastructure and Finance Ministries to demonstrate the importance of the gas tax increase.  

Brice says plans to increase service by up to 12,000 hours while adding 10 more buses while be stopped in the short term.

The Transit Commission will meet next week on February 28th to consider options.

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