Today, the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council voted in favour of the “Moving Forward” supplemental plan.
This means that TransLink will be acting on specific plans to improve the transit system beginning in 2012.
Here’s a breakdown of the changes coming in the near future:
“Moving Forward” includes 415,000 hours of annual service. It is anticipated that 180,000 hours of annual service will be added in 2012. Approximately half of the additional hours will be allotted to improve SeaBus frequency during off-peak hours, and more than half of the service improvements made in 2012 will be made South of the Fraser River where the need for service is great. This includes White Rock to Langley bus service (30 minute service) and the launch of the King George Blvd B-Line service, including about 7.5 minute service between Guildford Exchange and Newton Exchange and 15 minute frequency between Newton Exchange and White Rock Centre.
Main Street SkyTrain Station
Improvements to the Main Street SkyTrain Station, which needs increased capacity and accessibility to keep up with the significant residential and commercial growth in the area, will begin in 2012.
Over crowding, pass ups and UPass BC Routes
TransLink will be working with its operations teams to determine the most effective way to improve service and reduce overcrowding and pass ups. The data collected from the launch of UPass BC in September of this year will help determine how to plan these routes in the future.
Roads and cycling
TransLink will work with the region’s Major Roads and Transportation Advisory Committee to set standards and determine eligible projects for roads and cycling improvements.
TransLink, the Province and the Evergreen Line project team will be moving ahead with the RFP process. Work will be done to plan for improving capacity and flow at Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station in order to accommodate the new customers that the Evergreen Line will bring.
King George Boulevard B-Line
The project is in the planning stages and is anticipated to be functional in 2012.
Highway 1 Bus Rapid Transit
Coinciding with the opening of the new Port Mann Bridge, this service will be in place by 2013.
What to expect in the years to come
Through 2012 and 2013, TransLink will be phasing in the highest priority projects while maintaining financial responsibility. Hiring and training new staff and buying new buses takes time, so you can be sure that some of these improvements won’t happen overnight. Expect 63 new vehicles to be added to the fleet in 2013 in order to accommodate the additional services to come.
There’s a lot of work to be done in the years ahead. I’ll be bringing you updates as I get them on the progress of these plans.