Victoria’s Tourism Industry officials are saying that any replacement for the bus terminal should stay in downtown Victoria. Since the bus lines at 700 Douglas Street are being given 18 months’ notice to move, options are being considered of what should happen next.
The downtown terminal currently serves thousands of arriving tourists each year and continuing to have them dropped off here is the goal of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. Their tourism consultant thinks that even dropping the passengers off on the sidewalk downtown is better than not dropping them downtown at all. Here is a look at the downtown bus terminal discussion in Victoria.
What is happening to the current bus terminal?
The Fairmont Empress Hotel is hoping to build a residential high-rise on the bus-depot property but losing the bus depot shouldn’t be a big deal since the property could be used for better purposes. Instead, it’s believed that the drop-off would be better placed south of Johnson Street close to the harbour.
The bus depot opened in 1961 and will relocate from 814 Wharf Street. It serves passengers traveling to Vancouver and Whistler or for those that need a ride to the airport or want to take a sightseeing tour.
What do people think of the new location?
The owner of Wilson’s Transportation Ltd., operator of Grey Line Sightseeing double-decker buses, thinks that a smaller location downtown would be best. They’d like to see a storefront for tickets and parcels, a small waiting area and curbside pickup located downtown. Buses are only there for 15 minutes at most which means a stand-alone building is not necessary.
People are looking forward to a fresh start since the appearance and condition are poor. It doesn’t match up with the level of service and customer experience Pacific Coach offers. Bus transportation is important to the city for those that don’t want to drive to the ferries and Pacific Coach had already been considering moving to new locations since 2002.
While it’s important to be downtown, the location is flexible within the downtown area. The depot may be redeveloped or may be moved to a new part of downtown.