Langford to launch subsidized commuter bus service to Victoria

The City of Langford is launching the Langtoria Greenline bus service Oct. 17 in a bid to offer a comfortable trip to work for Langford residents who travel into Victoria every day.

Langford intends to subsidize the service, which will be operated by Wilson’s Transportation.

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“Right now we intend to start with one bus, but the goal is to have multiple buses on the route eventually,” said Jeff Warwick, Wilson’s Greenline project manager. “But we will see how it goes, and ideally we will be talking with the people using it and, as it gets going, we hope to involve the people from Langford in how it grows.”

Warwick said most of the details of the service — cost, stops, amenities on board — have yet to be finalized.

What is known is the service will use a high-end motor coach built for comfort. There will be 51 seats, a bathroom and space for people to relax as they ride to and from work.

Warwick said they are working out how to offer each commuter a morning newspaper, coffee and Wi-Fi.

“It is meant to offer comfort and amenities,” he said. “We are not saying we can stop the traffic problem, but the idea is if you’re in it, there is a level of comfort that we can provide.”

In order to skip crowded B.C. Transit buses or the need to drive and park their own cars, commuters will pay about $100 a month to use Greenline. Warwick said the price has not been finalized.

The bus will use existing infrastructure such as the dedicated bus lanes to improve travel times.

Warwick said early trials show the trip into downtown Victoria from Langford takes about 45 minutes if it starts around 7 a.m. The return trip takes about one hour.

Stops and departure times have not been finalized. However, the intent is to have three stops in Langford and stops perhaps at Uptown, and along the Douglas Street corridor near the downtown core before stopping at Capital City Station at Crystal Garden.

“Nothing is set in stone yet, and we need to gauge people’s interest,” said Warwick. “Initially we will do one run and as it progresses it may become multiple runs with one bus or multiple buses.”

aduffy@timescolonist.com

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