Transportation Planning

The current role of the CRD is limited to planning and policy support, working with partners to advance actions in the 2014 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The CRD also operates regional trails.

The RTP sets out the Regional Multi-modal Network and provides policy direction and actions. The CRD identified 12 regional priorities to further support implementation.

The CRD Board set expectations for regional transportation improvements by unanimously approving regional transportation priorities. CRD staff working with local governments, partner agencies, and the Transportation Working Group have provided recommendations to the CRD Transportation Committee and CRD Board on achieving these priorities within the existing governance framework. The CRD Board has instructed staff to explore and expedite the evaluation of options for changes to governance.

The transportation governance initiative aims to introduce a new regional transportation service that boosts regional connectivity and integrated mobility. With unanimous agreement by the CRD Board, staff have been asked to draft a regional transportation service establishment bylaw supportive of all eight service categories and present it for review by Q4 2024.

Exploring Transportation Governance

The Capital Region District (CRD) is working to complete a service design and feasibility study to recommend changes to how the region delivers transportation initiatives to help guide long-term improvements to how people move around the region. The ultimate objectives are to establish a CRD transportation service and to present options for changes in governance for transportation in the region, including consideration of a new transportation authority.

Regional Transportation Priorities

Transportation priorities are largely based on existing plans, strategies and bylaws at local, regional and provincial levels. At the regional level, priorities align well with the Regional Growth Strategy, Regional Transportation Plan and the Regional Trails Management Plan. The priorities also align to plans and policies from other agencies and senior governments, including the BC Transit Future Plan, BC Transit’s RapidBus Strategy, SITS and CleanBC.

On July 14, 2021, the CRD Board unanimously approved the transportation priority implementation strategies presented in Transportation Priority Area Implementation Strategies. The CRD role in transportation is to act where it has authority, coordinate where needed, and set direction on matters that are currently not the responsibility of any partner. The CRD Board’s confirmation of regional transportation priorities follows from the 2020 release of the South Island Transportation Strategy (SITS).

Full realization of the multi-modal transportation network as identified in the 2014 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) will help the region take action on three core transportation issues: 

  • Congestion: Traffic congestion in the AM and PM peak periods increases travel time and decreases residents’ quality of life.
  • Mode Share: The regional road network is largely built out, constraining infrastructure solutions because of cost and geography; as a result, there is a need to focus on solutions that shift mode share.  
  • Climate Change: Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region and with the declaration of a climate emergency, the region needs to act by substantially reducing GHG emissions from transportation. 

The RTP establishes a vision for transportation in the region and outlines outcomes and actions needed for the CRD to achieve this vision. The RTP aims to improve mobility between communities, expand the range of accessible and affordable transportation choices, and support regional sustainability. The RTP also establishes a mode share target of 42% for active transportation and transit combined for the region by 2038. As of 2021, the region’s mode share is 26.6%. 

Responsibility for achieving the vision and taking action is shared by the CRD, member municipalities and electoral areas, the Province, and agencies such as BC Transit and BC Ferries. Additional multi-modal infrastructure investments and a concerted effort to direct growth to designated centers and corridors will be important for realizing the plan's goals. 

Working concurrently with the RTP, the 2018 Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) sets out a Settlement Concept that directs growth and development to designated centres and corridors. This helps support efficient public transit and connected active transportation infrastructure.


A 2020/21 analysis of the RTP priority actions and outcomes shows that much progress has been made to build out the Regional Multi-modal Transportation Network (RTP pages 116-117)


A Coordinated Approach

Transportation in the CRD continues to be a high priority for all levels of government and the public. Transportation is the highest emitter of greenhouse gasses (GHG) in the region and delays caused by road congestion impact the economy and quality of life. Because transportation in the CRD is largely inter-municipal, meeting the complex multi-modal transportation needs of a growing population and changing demographics requires a coordinated approach.

The CRD is working collaboratively with partner municipalities and electoral areas, provincial crown corporations such as BC Transit, BC Ferries and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to improve the transportation system across the region and to achieve the mode share targets in the 2014 Regional Transportation Plan. Reducing the reliance on single occupancy vehicles (SOV) by offering transportation alternatives is a key priority. The CRD is also responsible for the Regional Trails Network which serves as both an important transportation and recreational asset.

Trends in land use patterns, travel behaviour and population growth indicate increased pressure on the region’s transportation system. The option to expand road networks is limited by the region's built and natural environment. A change in approach from the traditional reliance on single occupancy vehicle travel is needed. The geography, weather, and form of land use in the CRD is generally well suited to use of active transportation and transit. While the CRD has traditionally had comparatively high transit and active transportation mode share relative to other cities in Canada, these rates have remained static in recent years. The region continues to advance new transit and active transportation investment to make sustainable transportation more accessible to more people.


The CRD delivers an extensive transportation data collection and analysis program that provides essential information to inform transportation decision making for local governments, provincial agencies, businesses and the general public. Transportation related data work includes:

Salt Spring Island Transportation

Transit within the region is administered by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission with the exception of Salt Spring Island, which administers its own very successful transit system. The road network within the three electoral areas is maintained and operated by Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure, as are a number of key roads within the broader region, most notably Highway 1, 14 and 17.