City of Colwood floats the idea of a Sea Bus service to ease traffic

Colwood Crawl

The City of Colwood is floating the idea of a sea bus to move foot passengers between Royal Bay and the downtown core.

Mayor Rob Martin says while the traffic congestion is referred to as "the Colwood Crawl" it's really traffic from the 5 West Shore communities and the Malahat causing gridlock at a pinch point in View Royal, heading towards the McKenzie Interchange.

Martin says a sea bus service could move a lot of people -- and although it may need to be subsidized like transit -- it's better than adding more highway infrastructure every 20 years:

" I don't think this is fanciful at all, I think this is a long term solution to this. Because when you look at studies and you look at research around adding additional lanes on highways and roads, that's great short and medium term fix, but it's never the long term fix because what happens is you end up building to capacity and you've built a gridlock again."

Martin says we have waterways, and should use them.

" You know looking at moving people from Colwood, I'm hoping from the Royal Bay development, all the way across the water into downtown Victoria,  I've seen studies in the past that say we can move up to 1,000 people an hour each way.  And so it's definitely a feasible ability. The issue really becomes cost."

Martin says there are already similar forms of transport across North America that can serve as models for such a service.

The city of Colwood has a map on its website showing where the congestion originates, and where the pinch points are. They advocate for collaborative, intergovernmental, financially responsible, and multi-faceted solutions -- including improvements to active transportation networks, and exploring options for rail corridor and marine routes.

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