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Travel tips and info for the first weeks of September

The first weeks of September are the busiest for Metro Vancouver roads and transit, so here’s some tips and information to help get you on your way.

Please keep these in mind particularly for Tuesday, September 8 when everyone starts back at school and the major bus service changes happen!

(Why is it so busy at this time? Everyone’s back from holidays, plus students are all heading back to school. Things usually improve once university students settle into their class schedules and start spreading their travel times throughout the day.)

Advice for everyone

Our main advice to road and transit commuters: shift your travel times away from the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. peak periods if you can, but if you must travel then, please allow extra time for your trip. Starting off 20 or 30 minutes earlier is a good strategy if you absolutely have to be on campus by 9 am.

Advice for transit riders

  • Expect big transit crowds at Commercial-Broadway Station as people transfer to the 99 B-Line to UBC. The Production Way/University station on the Millennium Line will also have line-ups of SFU-bound students. Canada Line passengers could see line-ups at Richmond-Brighouse and Bridgeport Stations.
  • If you’re heading to UBC through a Canada Line connection, please remember there are alternatives to the 99 B-Line. Bus service to UBC connects with King Edward Station (25, 33), Oakridge-41st Avenue (41, 43), and Langara-49th Avenue (49).
  • For UBC students coming from downtown or points east on the Millennium Line, there’s also the 84, which stops at both VCC-Clark Station and Olympic Village Station. (Thanks to Cow for the suggestion!)
  • Due to heavy loads expected on buses and SkyTrains, try to avoid bringing backpacks if you can, or at the very least take them off and put them between your feet when on board transit. This will create more space for others!
  • While Canada Line cars are big enough to carry bikes in normal peak periods, they will not be allowed on if the trains are packed. Please be aware that owing to crowds, you might not be able to get your bikes on the trains for the first week or two.

Advice for motorists

  • Consider ride-sharing, shifting your travel times or even arranging to work from home if possible to reduce the number of vehicles trying to move in the peak traffic periods.
  • Remember that school zone speed limits will be in effect again. Watch out for kids going to kindergarten and elementary classes!
  • More people will be cycling to work and school, so drivers also need to take care near cycling lanes and to watch for cyclists when changing lanes or making turns.

Advice for pedestrians!

  • Even pedestrians can make a difference by obeying the “DON’T WALK” signs, particularly when crossing intersections along major bus routes. That allows vehicles to complete turns and all of the traffic waiting behind them, including buses, to move more efficiently.

Got any more?

If you have any travel tips to share, please let us all know in the comments!


  • By Cow, September 4, 2009 @ 12:45 pm

    For UBC students (especially coming from downtown or points east on the Millennium Line) there’s also the 84, which stops at both VCC-Clark Station and Olympic Village Station. And every time I take it to UBC, it’s half-empty–I get a seat most class mornings at Olympic Village!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 4, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

    Good one! I’ll add it to the main post.

  • By Mark D., September 4, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

    For all those people wanting SEMI Express SERVICE along Granville St. in Vancouver up to 41st Ave in order to get downtown; my advice is to use #480.

    Frequency is greatly improved and using that bus will get you all the way down to 41st.

    Private school students can transfer to a #10 local to King Ed for the schools there or commuters heading downtown can catch #43 over to Oakridge for C-Line.

  • By Shane, September 4, 2009 @ 1:20 pm

    Is it efficient for UBC students transfer to the “43 UBC” at Collingwood station?

  • By Jeff Werner, September 4, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

    Love the illustration.

  • By George, September 6, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

    Thank GOD this is my last ever semester at UBC…

  • By S.Evans, September 7, 2009 @ 11:12 pm

    Cambie and 49th is the location of the Langara 49th Canada Line station. This means that you need to catch a 49 to get to the station or if you are getting off at the station the 49 is still the transfer bus to catch. Does this mean transit will be increasing bus service on the 49th avenue corridor?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 8, 2009 @ 11:45 am


    Someone else asked a similar question over in another thread. Service hasn’t been increased on the #49 at the moment, but it is being closely monitored to see if changes are necessary. Here’s the full answer on that from CMBC planning:

    We only have a finite amount of additional resources/buses. We will be monitoring the service closely though and will make adjustments if necessary. Keep in mind that the integration plan is not just for the September service changes. The integration plan will be ongoing over the next year as we adapt/improve our service to maximize the benefits of what the Canada Line provides.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 8, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

    I don’t see why not… isn’t the 43 an express?
    If someone else has any alternate takes on this though, I’d love to hear it.

  • By Sungsu, September 8, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

    Westbound in the morning, the 43 is a good option, but in the afternoon, congestion in Kerrisdale can make it unreliable.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Tips for smooth travel during the first weeks of September — September 13, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

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