YYJ Business News Update Dec 16-20, 2019

Keep up to date on all the local business updates with Douglas' top business news stories of December 16-20, 2019.

#1 BC Government Says No Alternate Malahat Route

An alternate route to the Malahat section of Highway 1 will not be established after a study by the ministry of transportation and infrastructure determined any construction would negatively impact the environment and the local watershed. The Malahat, which the study describes as “a critical route for commuting, moving goods, linking communities, and supporting a thriving tourism industry in the region,” will continue to have safety upgrades to prevent closures instead of creating an alternate route.

#2 Local Ride-Hailing Company has Application Denied 

Lucky To Go, a company based in Victoria, has had their application denied to operate a ride-hailing service in the CRD, Vancouver Island and Okanagan by the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB). In the decision, the PTB says there was not enough information in the application, an inconsistency of information provided and a lack of experience in passenger transportation. At this time the only company approved to operate a ride-hailing company in the province is Green Coast Ventures which can operate on Vancouver Island expect the CRD, the Lower Mainland and Whistler.

#3 BC Ferries Nixes Fuel Surcharge

BC Ferries is eliminating the fuel surcharge, which they use as a mechanism to offset the changing fuel costs. The company was charging a 1.5 per cent surcharge for each vehicle that travels on the ferry and stopped the charge as of December 17. BC Ferries says this is due, in part, to the fact that five of its vessels now use liquefied natural gas (LNG), a cheaper fuel than the ultra-low sulphur diesel used by their other ferries.

#4 McKenzie Interchange Opens for Free-Flowing Traffic

The underpass on Highway 1 at McKenzie opened to traffic December 19. Traffic congestion was down on the first morning commute, but it’s too early to tell what the long-term impact will be. With the changes, drivers coming in to Victoria from the West Shore will not encounter any traffic lights on the highway until Tillicum Road. There is still work to be completed on the project, including bus lanes, transit facilities and landscaping, all of which is expected to be done in summer 2020. Construction on this project began in September 2016.

This web article is from December, 2019.