VICTORIA -- A massive new $32.4-million handyDART facility is coming to View Royal, which will improve services across Greater Victoria, according to BC Transit.

In an announcement Friday, BC Transit and the B.C. ministries of Transportation and Infrastructure, and Infrastructure and Communities said that the new building would act as an operations and maintenance facility for handyDART services.

HandyDART buses are door-to-door shuttles that service riders with mobility challenges or disabilities. In just one year, handyDARTs make more than 390,000 trips in the Greater Victoria region.

"It’s great to see the growth in ridership in Greater Victoria, but the region needs more buses and facility space to meet the demand that creates," said Claire Trevena, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

"This new facility will allow BC Transit to provide better handyDART service with a more central location," added Trevena.

The new operations centre will be able to house more than double the current fleet size that is accommodated in the existing handyDART facility which is located on Glanford Avenue.

The $32.4-million building will be able to accommodate approximately 110 handyDART buses, and will be the first BC Transit facility in the entire province to be graded as a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold standard. The LEED Gold standard means that the View Royal facility will excel at reducing energy waste, water waste, solid waste, air pollution, chemical use and runoff associated with the building. 

Funding for the new handyDART facility will be split between three different levels of government, with the federal government contributing $12.6 million, the provincial government investing $12.9 million, and the Victoria Regional Transit Commission providing $6.9 million.

Once the building is complete, the current handyDART facility on Glanford Avenue will be converted into the region's third operations and maintenance centre for BC Transit's regular fleet of buses. 

"Transit is about connecting people with their communities and getting them where they need to be in a safe, reliable manner," said Erinn Pinkerton, president and CEO of BC Transit. 

"This investment demonstrates a commitment to public transit from our government partners at all levels and will enable BC Transit to respond to the growing needs for handyDART services in Greater Victoria."