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Moving Forward with transit in Metro Vancouver: an update on TransLink’s 2011 base plan and supplemental plans

Tomorrow, is our annual base plan presentation to the public. This year, TransLink has some proposals for the future of transit in Metro Vancouver, and the supplemental plan called ‘Moving Forward’ lays out exactly what is being planned and why. It’s all part of TransLink’s 10-year transportation and financial plan.

People have a lot of questions for TransLink these days, so it’s great timing that the base plan and ‘Moving Forward’ supplemental presentation is tomorrow, Tuesday, July 19th at 7 p.m., and it’s open to the public! It will be broadcast over the Internet as a webinar and, you can also phone in your questions (1.888.396.8046) for TransLink CEO, Ian Jarvis, and program and plan development manager, Geoff Cross. Here’s some info on what it’s all about:

‘Moving Forward’ backgrounder


In October 2010, following extensive public consultation, TransLink proposed a supplemental plan entitled Moving Forward to the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation for their approval. Consultation on the plan was conducted through webinars, online forms and Transportation Fairs, which were interactive and informative “drop-in” sessions held around Metro Vancouver. TransLink received nearly 1,000 questionnaires, 2,150 comments as well as input from more than 2,200 members of the TransLink Listens online panel.

The Moving Forward plan received strong endorsement both from stakeholders and members of the public, who were very clear about the level of transportation service they expect and how they were prepared to pay for it. More than 80 per cent of people consulted felt that the improvements to our bus schedule, SeaBus schedule, SkyTrain stations, Major Road Network, Bike Capital Program and other improvements outlined in the Moving Forward plan were important to the Metro Vancouver region, while 75 per cent of respondents told TransLink that the Evergreen Line was important to help the Metro Vancouver region reach TransLink’s Transport 2040 goals.

The plan, which includes significant improvements to Metro Vancouver’s transportation network, was put aside temporarily due to a lack of funding, but is now being revisited in light of an Agreement between the provincial government and Mayors’ Council on a formula that will secure the sustainable funding necessary for the improvements, if approved, to go ahead. The agreement stipulates that the Mayors’ Council will address the questions of funding through a proposal to raise $44 million annually by increasing the gas tax beginning in 2012 and another $29 million through means to be decided by the mayors and to begin in 2013.

Moving Forward reflects TransLink’s vision, which is to “create a better place to live built on transportation excellence,” but more importantly, the plan is based on public input and feedback about their transportation priorities for their region. Here are the benefits TransLink believes Moving Forward can provide.

Regional

  • Approximately 7 per cent increase in conventional service hours, including a 415,000-hour annual increase in bus and SeaBus service, by 2014 with approximately half of those hours bound for South of Fraser.
  • A nearly 9 per cent increase in total transit service hours, including 138,000 new annual rapid transit hours, with the launch of Evergreen Line.
  • A nearly 10 per cent increase in transit boardings by 2021, representing more than 40 million rides per year.
  • The number of vehicles kilometres travelled per capita would decline by 2014, reversing historic trends.
  • Major Road Network funding would be increased by $10 million per year, and Bike Capital Program funding would be increased by $3 million per year, allowing the region to keep up with muti-modal network needs and improve safety.

South of the Fraser

  • More than 200,000 additional transit service hours – nearly twice as many as during the last service expansion in 2009
  • King George Boulevard B-Line bus service, connecting White Rock Centre to Guildford via Surrey Central
  • Highway 1 RapidBus from Langley to Lougheed SkyTrain Station via the new Port Mann Bridge (when completed)
  • White Rock to Langley bus service
  • Upgrades to Surrey Central SkyTrain Station

Vancouver, Burnaby & New Westminster

  • More bus service along U-Pass BC routes, including perennial trouble spots, #41, #43 #49 and #145.
  • Upgrades to Main Street, Metrotown and New Westminster Stations to improve customer accessibility and station capacity.

North Shore

  • SeaBus increased to service every 15 minutes, all day, 7 days a week.
  • Improved service on Marine Drive to Downtown, SeaBus and Lonsdale Ave.

Tri-Cities

  • The Evergreen Line expected to be operational after successful bidding and a four year construction period.
  • Strategic investments in additional bus service to accommodate higher demand once the Evergreen Line is launched.
  • Increased capacity and more frequent service on core routes, such as the #160 and #701.

Revisiting Moving Forward coincides with our annual Base Plan planning and consultation process, which is about to get underway. While Moving Forward includes proposed transit improvements that address our future transportation needs, the Base Plan outlines our strategy to continue maintaining our current services while working within our existing funding framework. Both Moving Forward and the Base Plan will be consulted on with the public and key stakeholders in the coming weeks.

Additional feedback on Moving Forward and input on TransLink’s 2012 Base Plan will be gathered through an online questionnaire, and via a webinar scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 19. TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis and Geoff Cross, TransLink Program Manager, Plan Development, will field questions and comments via email and telephone.

Following the consultation period, a report on the consultation will be prepared and sent to the Board of Directors in late July or early August, along with the Base Plan (a budget focused on maintaining the existing system in a state of good repair, within the current approved funding framework) and Moving Forward.

The Base and Supplemental plans, along with the Consultation Report will be sent to the TransLink Commissioner. He will review the materials and determine whether the funding solutions and plan assumptions are reasonable.

Once the Commissioner’s Report has been received, most likely in early September, the Moving Forward plan will be sent to the Mayors’ Council – as requested by them – for approval. Should the Mayors’ Council approve the plan, Hon. Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, stated earlier this month that he will in turn introduce legislation this fall, enabling the 2-cent-per-litre increase to the motor fuel levy, effective April 2012. The Mayors’ Council and the Province will work together, with the support of TransLink, the public and key stakeholders to come up with a new plan for sustainable transportation funding by early 2013.

Map of proposed projects

Map of proposed projects

What now?

If you really want to ask TransLink about funding and transportation, here is your chance to do it. Take some time to read over the base plan, supplemental ‘Moving Forward’ plan and accompanying documents here. And remember, the webinar is tomorrow, so you’ll need to pre-register so you can ask questions or you can participate by phone (1.888.396.8046) if you’re away from your computer.

What are your thoughts on ‘Moving Forward’ ?

Are these improvements important to you? Would they improve your travel? I’d love to get the conversation started on this before the webinar!


29 Comments

  • By Cindy Zhou, July 18, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    We support the Moving Forward projects.

    First, public transit is a neccesity for all major cities and it needs to continue grow as the city grows. We have two cars and will be directly affected as well but we know that the future is public transit. This is especially true if we want our children to not have to drive and to have clean air to breathe.

    Second, the mayors that have proposed the small 1.5% gas tax increase have created a viable solution that will get the project completed. The other politicians that are opposed to this have propsed no solutions. They just want to complain about the other politicians.

    Finally, a tax should be related to the area that it is meant to provide funding for. Gas tax is a transportation tax for this transportation project.

  • By Daryl Dela Cruz, July 18, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    I like the onset of B-Line service in Surrey that is now 2 years overdue; I have a few questions about that actually. Will this replace current bus routes (i.e. 321 can be phased it in favour of the 399 B-Line) or augment them (i.e. Whalley-Guildford routes)? Will there be service reductions to other current routes as a result of the new 399 B-Line? Lastly, what investments will be made to the road infrastructure that the B-Line will be travelling on (i.e. priority transit signalling, HOV/transit lanes, and will there be pullout bus bays at all stops?)

    Thank you.

  • By Maxwell, July 18, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    I would also like to know if there is any way for the #29 Eillot/ 29th ave station be expanded towards the Marine Drive Canada Line Station to accumulate passengers as an alternate route to catch the Canada Line since the #20 Victoria/ Downtown was supposed to go there as an expansion but there is no room for more trolley buses but can fit diesel buses. In addition, the capacity of riders would increase dramatically linking two different skytrain station.

  • By Maxwell, July 18, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

    Also, I would like to know if there is an alternate usage of instead of using the seabus in a 15 mintues interval, can there be a link from the waterfront sytrain station towards Lonsdale Quay i order to not make a hazard of waiting for either seabus to come and get on a skytrain there

  • By ???, July 18, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

    With regards to the #29 going to Marine…. it’s been done. While some residents requested it, many neighbourhood groups were against it (noise of buses going uphill, traffic congestion, garbage around bus stops, parking restrictions, nimby, etc…). The 29 extension service ran for awhile and was killed because of low ridership (I think the Courier said some days there was on 8 riders on that extension in the mornings). With tight budgets and huge demand elsewhere, the 29 extension service was redeployed elsewhere in the system.
    http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/970624/ttmin.htm
    http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/970708/ub1a.htm

  • By Joneph, July 18, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

    Buses Buess Buses!! What can we do with all theses Bus?!!

  • By Sam, July 18, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    When is someone going to have the courage to suggest a skytrain link to the north shore. The lions gate is a complete disaster and gets busier by the day. Feeding more and more cars into the downtown core is not helping anyone. If it was up to me I would close the bridge for car use and build a skytrain on it.

  • By Maxwell, July 18, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    I have to disagree on that statement with the #29 bus extension because in 1997 it was late introduce and no many people in the fraserview area or along the route notice it and to top that off it was a very short route as an expansion route.
    In regards to the bus noise, the newer buses are pack with less sound and are hybrid novas. Therefore, during school days the bus doesn’t need to make up the hill on Faserview Dr. and nanaimo and just head straight on to scarbro stop. Most of all, more people are riding this bus and makes it more convenient for other people to travel to richmond more easier then making a loop to go catch the canada line and just head straight. If you want the details that I have, please inform me ab out the situation since this really could be done

  • By Maxwell, July 18, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    the skytrain for the west vancouver or north vancouver is a better commute to use then using transit buses since there is always congestion and its better to separate both areas and stay upon there own areas and only use one or two buses to downtown from those cities.

  • By Joe, July 18, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    More service on the 130! This bus is frequently crush loaded and has pass ups during peak periods. I don’t know how many more buses you can cram on it for peak runs, but Brentwood-Metrotown short turn runs would definitely do much to improve the service on this route.

  • By ???, July 18, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

    I welcome more transit in SE Vancouver. I recommend you start a petition to see if there is new interest. The population has grown and changed over the decade.

    With regards to the #29 Marine extension knowledge….. it was very well known. I went to the council meetings and open houses where HUNDREDS of residents who lived on North/South streets between Victoria and Boundary would voice their opposition for the reasons I mentioned earlier.

    Another group tried to start a community shuttle 6 years ago in the area and similar groups appeared to voice their dissapproval.

    Again, I recommend starting with a petition… However, Translink will not start a new service if there is no demand, especially during times of budget restraint. The experiment 14 years ago has proven it was failure.

  • By Brendan Read, July 18, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

    This is an excellent plan. I would be glad to see it move forward. I have a few questions:

    1. How much faster will the 399 be compared with the 321 from White Rock Centre to Surrey Central? Or the 394 from White Rock Centre to King George?

    2. With the new Port Mann Bridge under construction any thought of extending the 399 to Coquitlam (Evergreen/WCE) via Lougheed Highway to provide improved regional links when the span opens?

    3. Has there been any examination of rebuilding the Columbia station from side platforms to island platform to provide more convenient (and accessible) cross-platform transfers between the Expo and Millennium Lines from those travelling between Surrey, Burnaby and to Evergreen Line points?

    4. The C52 bus from White Rock Centre to Marine Drive does not run often enough in summer months on weekends and holidays and its evening service ends earlier on Sundays and Holidays than its weekday/Saturday service, inconveniencing those who want to take transit rather than drive to White Rock; the parking on Marine Drive in summer is horrendous.

    Also there are no good connections between South Surrey and White Rock and the 620 to BC Ferries, which makes driving the only feasible option, though years ago the 351 used to connect with the 640 which started at Scottsdale Mall. How about extending the C76?

    Could these improvements be addressed in this plan or would they come under the Service Optimization Initiative?

  • By Daryl Dela Cruz, July 18, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

    Brendan makes an excellent point on extension of the 399 past Guildford. The opening of the PMB will enable this transit connection north to the Coquitlam City Centre which may be a powerful and popular link. Having the 399 run as a single Coquitlam-Guildford-Whalley-Newton-White Rock link could form a powerful regional north-south corridor for Surrey.

    I would like to recommend a variant of the 502 bus route that short turns in Fleetwood, or better yet a new community shuttle that traverses around the entire Fleetwood neighbourhood and transports people to and from Surrey Central. It is a statistical fact (according to figures you collected and posted on Vancity Blog) that most of the pass ups on the 502 route occur on any of the Fleetwood stops. This can be easily fixed and addressed by providing the Fleetwood neighbourhood with its own route.

  • By Rob P, July 19, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    More buses for south vancouver is great but do they have any tangible plans? It’s really tiring to see 49 and 41st ave get dribbling bits of service improvement when seniors are being flung around the bus on a regular basis because there simply isn’t room anymore. Can anyone at translink tell me exactly what they hope to do there?

  • By Maxwell Chang, July 19, 2011 @ 8:52 am

    Hey, I want to comment on your statement relating to SE Marine Drive which is supposed to be SW Marine Drive along the route with the #29 bus going to the Marine Drive Canada Line Station (Cambie Street). In addition, once head along the SE Marine Drive towards SW Marine Drive should be an express route since there is the 100 bus and #3 since the #20 was suppose to go to that station as an implanted route that never did. Overall, I would make a petition to see if the residents still want this route since it is a reliable route towards the Canada line quickly.

  • By Geoff, July 19, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    I’ve considered living in Lower Lonsdale for a couple years, but having to rely on the SeaBus made me tentative. These SeaBus changes are brilliant and make the area way more accessible.

  • By Gary, July 19, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    I totally agree with Rob P. Both my mother (who is a senior) and I ride Route 41, which is badly overloaded. Ridership has soared this summer even though UBC is not in session. When my Mom rides mid-day, she often has problems finding a seat and she complains about wait times of 20 minutes or more at Joyce Station. When I ride at 9:30 p.m. at night, the buses are often late as well. It seems as though service quality continues to deteriorate. Things will likely get worse when UBC starts up again in September.

    I am concerned that the TransLink planners will focus only on adding more service on Route 43 even though it’s Route 41 that is badly overcrowded. More service is required on the 41 as the routes pass though heavily residential areas with many people boarding and exiting at stops in between transfer points. Besides, the 43 really isn’t much faster than the 41 as there are no transit priority measures in place along the route.

  • By Brendan Read, July 19, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    Here is another issue: the two transfers to reach downtown Vancouver via the BRT from Langley to Lougheed.

    Given that the city centre presents the greatest pain point in this region (or in any other for that matter) for car owners to decide to use mass transit would it not make business sense to link the Millennium and the Expo Lines to offer a one-seat ride to Waterfront?

    Alternatively this is where the Interurban line can be useful: by offering a high-quality one-seat ride from Abbotsford, Langley, Cloverdale and Newton to Waterfront via the ex-BC Hydro tracks, and the BNSF and the CPR using modern diesel multiple units like those ordered by Metrolinx in Toronto for Pearson Airport service.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, July 19, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    Hi Everyone: There are some great questions and comment here. I hope you all can participate in the webinar tonight! I’ll be fielding any questions you have.

  • By Dain, July 19, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

    Brendan: I don’t work for translink but I can answer some of your questions :P

    The 399 would have the same stops along King George as the 394 (Plus Newton Exchange) so it would take roughly the same time, maybe 5 – 10 minutes longer depending on passenger loads. The 394 would be discontinued.

    In regards to the idea of extending the 399 to coquitlam, there is actually a planned route from Coquitlam Station to Guildford mall in the tri-cities transit plan. (whether or not we’re going to see that soon, I don’t know)

    Also I agree that there are no good connections between the ferry and south surrey, the fastest way I can think of off the top of my head is 351 – matthews exchange – c76 – ladner exchange – 620.

    Oh and to go from lougheed to downtown you don’t really have to take 2 transfers, you could just take the train to waterfront via columbia ;) (would take approx 38 minutes, about the same as lougheed to waterfront via broadway with time to make it over the walkway)

  • By Gary, July 19, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    Some of us really can’t make the webinar. It would be great if we could get some answers from TransLink planning.

  • By Derek Cheung CMBC, July 19, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

    #41 service delayed due to Kerrisdale congestion because of the closure of Dunbar & Marine. #43, #49 and #480 service similarly delayed.

    #20 service was never intended to terminate at Marine Drive Station.

  • By Joe, July 19, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    After listening in to the Webinar tonight, I have one question that unfortunately did not get answered:

    They briefly mentioned an additional platform for the Broadway-Commercial station, but did not go into detail. I would be interested in understanding how this would work, as I was really confused by the concept.

  • By Maxwell, July 20, 2011 @ 12:04 am

    Hello Derek, I want to comment about yr #20 bus because back when transit was installing the wires along marine drive, they were planning to extend the wires to Victoria drive but never did because of some particular reason. Therefore, I kept thinking of adding more diesel towards the cambie Canada Line station which I though of the #29 bus.

  • By ???, July 20, 2011 @ 12:42 am

    The #20 was reaching Cambie when it interlined with #3 downtown. I believe it interlines with the Fraser now.

    Extending the #20 along Marine makes an already busy route even more unreliable. Marine around Knight is horribly congested during bridge interruptions and during rush hour. Often the #20 is short-turned at 54th or 41st…. forget Marine if you want to maintain service reliability. Senior residential homes along Harrison like to keep their loop.

    Which North-South arterial are you proposing to extend the #29 to Marine? Homes along the route don’t want to change and lose their transit. South Elliot homes don’t want to see transit buses. Extending the #29 along Victoria to Marine drive station doesn’t help residents between Boundary and Victoria, however extended the #26 would help the West Fraserlands neighborhood.

    I’ll also add that #29 ridership drops significantly South of 45 avenue. Running the #29 on Marine means duplication of the #100 service, which does have extra capacity. Or would people prefer to see that capacity used on #49 or another East-West route.

  • By Maxwell, July 20, 2011 @ 1:22 am

    Hello ????, I am proposing the south side of the #29 that ends at Faserview and nanaimo street and I want it to extend it using the same bus to MArine drive station and Cambie Canada Line to add another alternate route for connections since its skytrain to skytrain and its a more faster route since it can become an express usage for main intersection as oppose to the 100 stopping at every stop. The time should still be 15 mins interval.
    The #49 bus is always jam pack and its better for students and stopping at every single stop with many people at every stop compared to the 29th bus going on Marine Drive would be faster and reliable.

  • By Reva, July 20, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    About the #29 going to Marine Drive: First of all, there was no Canada Line back then, so there was that much less of a reason for Fraserview residents to take the bus south. The most frustrating part of it (for my parents, who still live off Muirfield Dr.) was the not-altogether-regular alternating of trips between Elliott St. and Muirfield/Fraserview Dr. south of 54th. Instead of just walking out to the usual place to catch a bus, they’d have to check a timetable practically every time they wanted to get a bus, to know whether to wait at the stop outside their house, or walk a couple blocks to Elliott to catch it. The neighbourhood still had 15-minute service during the day on average, but because the route split up every few trips, you never quite knew where to catch it, plus the trips that going to/from Marine threw off the 15-minute interval — sometimes 10 minutes between buses, sometimes 20, but no real regular pattern. Even the bus drivers didn’t know which way they were going half the time.

    My parents and their neighbours agreed that if Translink had done away with the Fraserview Dr. portion of the route altogether and simply made every trip go straight down Elliott to Marine, it would have been much simpler and easier for everyone to get used to, both route-wise and schedule-wise. The way they implemented it was inconvenient and confusing which is why the whole thing failed.

    I think it could work if they tried it again now, as long as they chose one route and stuck with it. You wouldn’t need to make the #29 go all the way to the Canada Line as long as there was a convenient connection to the #100 at Elliott & Marine.

  • By Maxwell, July 20, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    Hello Reva, thank you for your support since I have been going on for this a long time and need people to show support for this agreement to work. Yes, you are totally on the right track and I actually have a plan up my head already and if you consider to ask your friends to help support this would be nice since my family also takes the 100 bus and needs to walk down to marine drive and if the #29 bus goes down there the walking is limited and they are all seniors that takes the #29 bus to canada line.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Base plan and ‘Moving Forward’ supplemental plan – webinar wrapup — July 20, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

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