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Victoria Airport Authority Announces Ground Transportation Strategy
May 29, 2008
Victoria Airport Authority
Announces Ground Transportation Strategy
When people think of airports, they think of airplanes and far away places. But an airport is more than this. Because ground transportation is a key element in air travel, the Victoria Airport Authority (VAA) has developed a Ground Transportation Strategy. It considers issues of safety, green house gases, convenience and increasing fuel costs.
Although Victoria International Airport is the region’s key transportation link to the rest of the world, road links between the Airport and Victoria city centre have not kept pace with Airport improvements. Traffic leaving the Airport passes smoothly through the new roundabout at East Saanich Road and along Canora Road, until it reaches the stop sign prior to entering McTavish Road. This is an increasingly congested and dangerous intersection. Traffic approaching the Airport is even more problematic. Although these roads are a Provincial responsibility the VAA has offered $3 million towards the estimated $13 million cost of a new interchange.
As traffic volume continues to increase, the Pat Bay Highway will ultimately be unable to meet the increasing demands for safe transportation to Swartz Bay and the Airport. The VAA is planning well into the future and has reserved a right-of-way on Airport property to potentially accommodate a light rail line.
To meet the growing demand for parking at the Airport, in 2006 the VAA expanded its parking lot by 575 spaces. The environment was a top priority in the project; rain gardens and swale ditches were created to collect run-off from the paved areas to help filter out pollutants before rain water is released back into the drainage system.
To accommodate increased demand in the mid to long term, it is anticipated parking spaces will have to increase from 800 to 1,400 spaces. In 2009 the VAA will be developing a design for the realignment of the Willingdon access road to accommodate additional surface parking and determine the future location of a parking structure.
In response to our surveys with the public our Board has decided to reduce the Short Term Parking Lot rate from $2 to $1 for two hour parking. The loonie will be reimbursed to those who spend $10 at any airport food outlet.
To encourage travelers to seek an alternative, greener means of getting to the Airport and to recover some of the cost of capital improvements to the Daily Parking Lot, rates will increase from $12 a day for the first four days and $4 a day thereafter to $15 a day for the first five days and $7 a day thereafter.
The VAA supports alternative and environmentally conscious transportation options, such as cycling and public transit. Victoria Regional Transit System provides service to the Airport, but increased frequency would provide the public more options to arrive and depart from the Terminal Building. The VAA will undertake a review of public transit service at the Airport during the summer of 2008 to better understand demand and promote increased ridership.
In support of cyclists the VAA constructed a sheltered bicycle facility at the Terminal Building, as well as a bike lane from the Airport which connects with the Lochside Regional Trail. From there, a safe and efficient route is available to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal or south to Victoria via a connection with the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. Speaking to our commitment in supporting green travel options, in 2008 the VAA will be constructing a bike path to extend along Mills Road, at the north side of the Airport. Many Airport employees, including the CEO, cycle to work on a regular basis.
For more information contact:
President and CEO
Victoria Airport Authority
Tel: (250) 953-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org