Would a passenger ferry on the West Shore solve the region's long-standing commuter woes?

He's only been on the job for a little under a month, but Colwood's new mayor is already testing the waters on the idea.

Rob Martin says the fix for the frustrating and traffic-filled commute from the West Shore lies in the waterway between Royal Bay and downtown Victoria.

He says he's aware of studies that show three vessels could move as many as 1,000 people an hour from Royal Bay to Downtown.

That would ease much of the burden from the Trans-Canada Highway, which reaches gridlock in View Royal at peak commute times.

Martin says a sea bus system would need to be subsidized like transit to keep passenger fares low.

But he maintains such a system would be better than having to add more highway infrastructure every 20 years or so.

"I'm hoping that the public understands and appreciates that this is probably the long-term vision that we need to work towards," said Martin.

"When you're building infrastructure, it always looks really expensive to begin with, but in 50 years residents will look back and go 'thank goodness those people had the foresight to see this potential.'"

Martin says there are already similar forms of transport across North American that can serve as models for the passenger ferry service.