Greater Victoria Harbour Authority welcomes new bus partnership to Ogden Point
When they visit Victoria in 2018, cruise passengers will be boarding a fleet of greener buses. A new partnership between The Wilson’s Group and CVS Tours will bring new, quieter buses with lower emissions to the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s Ogden Point cruise terminal.
“This is a great step forward for our city,” says Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “It’s a creative solution that brings partners together to improve air quality, and I think helps reduce the impact on the local community.”
The joint venture, called Pacific Northwest Transportation Services (PNWTS), is a collaborative effort between CVS Tours and The Wilson’s Group. In exchange for a commitment and investment in newer buses and a consolidation of tour bus services from the Ogden Point terminal, GVHA has provided exclusive access over ten years to PNWTS to provide dispatch and cruise shuttle services on the terminal, and to supply all buses for shore excursion tours.
“This agreement allows GVHA to help accelerate investment in a fleet of new tour buses,” says Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO Ian Robertson. “We can stipulate that buses have newer engines and lower emissions, and that they have quieter back-up technology. This moves us further toward our goal of consistently improving social, environmental, and fiscal outcomes in our cruise operations.”
Ogden Point is Canada’s busiest cruise ship port-of-call, welcoming 239 ships from all major cruise lines in 2017. More than 590,000 visitors to Victoria arrived on cruise ships this year, with approximately 28 per cent of them leaving the terminal on foot to explore the city as pedestrians. For the remaining 72 per cent of cruise visitors, GVHA facilitates a well-rounded system of ground transportation that includes tour buses, shuttle buses, taxis, limos, pedicabs, rickshaws, horse-drawn carriages, and bicycles.
With the growth of cruise tourism in Victoria, GVHA has worked to decrease the impact on adjacent communities, while preserving the sector’s economic benefits. In the past year, GVHA has facilitated the introduction of North America’s first purpose-built fully electric double decker bus, and a permitting system that provided financial incentives to bus companies to stage newer buses at Ogden Point.