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UBC students: you’ve got many ways to get to school

A chart of the different routes you can take to get to UBC.

A chart of the different routes you can take to get to UBC.

If you’re a UBC student, check out this handy chart showing all your bus route options to campus.

We gave it out in a wallet-size card for the first week of school, but I think it’s worth sharing again, especially if you didn’t grab a copy.

What we want to emphasize is that there are MORE options than the 99 B-Line, and MORE places to catch UBC buses than Commercial-Broadway. If it’s at all possible, please do give the alternate routes a try!

The 99 is the most popular route in the system, so the other routes, while certainly busy, are just not as busy as the 99. Service has also been increased on all these bus routes for the UBC school year. (Although bear in mind that we only have so many buses, and road traffic itself is out of our hands!)

As well, remember that morning rush hour to UBC is usually 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and the evening rush is 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Travelling in these time periods means more crowded buses and trains, and the possibility of waits and (heaven forbid) passups. So if you can, please try to travel outside peak times.

This is probably old news to many of you transit experts, so I’d be much obliged if you could get the word out to classmates or others who might find this info useful. UBC’s TREK program also has transit tips, including a PDF of the chart above.

Also, here’s another chart showing which buses connect to which train stations, since the chart above doesn’t exactly illustrate that. The route number is linked to its schedule and route diagram!

Bus route Expo/Millennium Line Station Canada Line Station
9 Commercial-Broadway Station Broadway-City Hall Station
25 Brentwood Station and Nanaimo Station King Edward Station
33 29th Avenue Station King Edward Station
41 Joyce Station Oakridge-41st Avenue Station
43 Joyce Station Oakridge-41st Avenue Station
49 Metrotown Station Langara-49th Avenue Station
84 VCC-Clark Station Olympic Village Station
99 Commercial-Broadway Station Broadway-City Hall Station


  • By Renny Han, September 14, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

    We need that M-line Skytrain extension to UBC!

    How do we make that happen?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 14, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

    Well, to start, it would require a lot of funding :) Cost does vary given the method of construction and the type of line you build, but generally, rapid transit projects cost many millions of dollars, often in the hundreds of millions. Canada Line cost ~$2 billion, for example.

  • By Cliff, September 14, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

    There is also the 480 out of Bridgeport Station, though I suspect it’s suffering the same problems as the 99. However, at 39 minutes from Bridgeport to UBC, its usefulness to most people is below even that of the 49.

    I don’t see how the 49 is any sort of competition to any of the other routes. You would have to be at some point west (Heather & points west) of the Canada Line for it to be of any time saving potential. It appears that it would be faster to take the 43 or even the 41 then taking the Canada Line to 49th Avenue and continuing your journey that way.

    Also, with the combined frequency of the 33 and 25 at King Edward Street, that pops out to me as the best way to get to UBC. The only problem with that is that I’m not sure if the stop for the 25 westbound is on the same corner as the 33 northbound. If it isn’t then my combined frequency idea goes out the window. If it is, then the UBC bound can simply wait at the 25 stop and pay attention to northbound buses and catch whichever comes first!

    If demand is really that high, why not run extend the 100 to UBC during the school season? Hey, it is the “Marine Drive” bus after all!

  • By David, September 14, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

    The 25 stops on King Edward right outside the station while the 33 stops on the far side of Cambie along with the 15.

    The 43 looks like a great choice for those on the south side while the 84 is a winner on the north side.

  • By David, September 14, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

    An M-Line extension to UBC would be at least $3 billion in direct costs, plus who knows how much in debt servicing. TransLink already spends almost a quarter of its budget making payments on existing debt.

    The B-Line on Broadway could be replaced by a streetcar for about $400 million. The overall travel time would depend on how many stops were built. Using just the current B-Line stops, the streetcar would be noticeably faster, but more stops would benefit more passengers.

    The benefit to TransLink would be lower operating costs because light rail vehicles carry a lot more passengers per driver than buses do.

  • By zack, September 14, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

    84 VCC/UBC beats 99 B-Line?! how’s that possible?

  • By Cow, September 14, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

    There’s also the 44, if you’re coming from downtown or Kits. I’ve been riding it to my 8:00am class (and back downtown to work afterwards) and it’s quite comfortable both ways.

  • By Rob P, September 14, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

    If translink isn’t going to deal with a critical overcrowding of the 49 route that carries both UBC and Langara students from Metrotown in south vancouver, then stop recommending the route! They need to add in some short turn langara station buses to relieve the pressure. I’m getting passed up sometimes twice in the morning =( and then I get packed like a sardine!

  • By Jassal, September 14, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

    we need more buses on 49th to handle the rush during peak periods today i got passed by 5 buses before i got on one from Langara.

  • By Langdon, September 14, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

    I think it’s a good idea to have a express bus on 49th Ave. between Metrotown and Langara just like 43. I also recommend a B-Line or SkyTrain on 41st Ave. since it is always too crowded on 41st.

  • By Lena D, September 14, 2009 @ 10:02 pm

    The 49th ave route is great. Off peak hours only, however. Unfortunately, for Langara and UBC, the peak hours are between 7am to about 11am and then from 1pm to about 7pm. Its as terrifying as it sounds, really.

  • By ;-), September 14, 2009 @ 11:43 pm

    I thought I was the only one noticing 49th morning load issues. I find it’s OK if you board East of Victoria and East of Elliot if you want seats. Where are others trying to board who are finding issues?

    I wonder if Translink is doing ridership counts on 49th AM run during the September crunch to track the numbers being left behind. With the Canada Line introduction, I was hoping the freed up resources could be injected on the 49th service.

    Then again, the students are sometimes their worst enemy with all those backpacks. Those backpacks become an obstacle course when standing people are wearing them. Many can’t get to the rear of the bus, so others can get on in the front. Asking some to take them off is nearly impossible.

    Perhaps it’s time to charge extra for those with backpacks. Airlines do this when you have too much stuff to load on the plane.

  • By cree, September 15, 2009 @ 2:32 am

    I wouldn’t go as far as adding an express route on 49th, but rather to have 2 out of 3 buses be artics.

    @Zack, the 84 is marginally faster than the B-line because it does start about 4 blocks west of the B-line’s start point @ Commercial-Broadway. Even the #43 has an edge over the B-line (albeit by 1 minute)

  • By Jim, September 15, 2009 @ 2:35 am

    I totally think that the 43 should be come a full b line service. Or even if it became similar to that of the 3 & 20 but in this case the 258 & 43 could become interlined or connected which might increase frequency. I guess my main objective is to increase frequency along the route especially at rush hour as it is often full like a sardine can on both the 41 & 43. Articulated buses seem to reduce it a bit but the route is really full often.

  • By Sean, September 15, 2009 @ 5:43 am

    2 suggestions about being passed up on a regular basis: First, maybe head out to the bus stop one or two buses earlier, and secondly TELL TRANSLINK! Email them with details! Which stop?, which direction?, What time? Or you can try to call 953-3040 too…

  • By Sean, September 15, 2009 @ 5:45 am

    Also, believe it or not, the #9 can often be only a few minutes longer that the #99… Especially west of Main Street area…

  • By Lena, September 15, 2009 @ 8:10 am

    The problem isn’t really the backpacks. Its the fact that no one wants to take their backpack off and put it inbetween their feet. Also, its the most difficult to board the 49 between Knight and Fraser since there are also the people who get off at Fraser to catch the 8.

  • By Rob P, September 15, 2009 @ 8:56 am

    Yeah the area between Knight and Fraser is getting so busy that I was being passed up in the middle of summer when langara wasn’t in session, now it’s a zoo. Walking to Fraser after a passup barely helps.

  • By peter, September 15, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    I’m not a UBC student — so I’ve never had to deal with rush hour — but if UBC students are filling up buses — why not run some non-stop buses from Commmercial/Broadway — wouldn’t that actually create more capacity since those non-stop buses could turn around faster.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 15, 2009 @ 11:53 am

    Peter: A nonstop school special was tried before but it didn’t continue — I don’t believe it was as effective as suspected? I’ll see if I can get some more info though.

  • By peter, September 15, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

    Alternatively… create yet another UBC non-stop route from another skytrain station using different roads — sort of like how the 257 to horseshoe bay works.

  • By Brandon, September 15, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

    Not that this helps with the bus being full and passing people up, but all door boarding on these routes at key stops would be a great benefit. I agree about the backpack situation, people should put them between their feet, it makes a huge difference. As for the 100 being extended to UBC, that seems like it would be a good idea, but then again, its already packed as it is during peak times. I wonder if an express bus from marine drive station to UBC would help out the loads on the 480. The joys of transit, you can never have enough of it, the more you add, more people start using it and the extra frequency/routes become almost pointless. Overall, I still think that we have a great system with many options to choose from.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 15, 2009 @ 2:16 pm

    Hey yo,

    I sent along this comment thread to our planners at CMBC, to see if they had any comments or advice etc. Here’s some info about the 49.

    The #49 is as busy as they say it is. But so is every other UBC bound route in the peaks. Brandon makes a great point when he says “The joys of transit, you can never have enough of it, the more you add, more people start using it and the extra frequency/routes become almost pointless.”

    The ridership is especially compounded on the 49 because it also services Langara College. The 41 and 43 are definitely good alternatives and can be accessed easily via the Canada Line and other north/south routes.

    Nonetheless, 2 trippers (extra buses) are going to be added to help with the 49 loads during the MF afternoon rush – 1400 to 1800 – the critical time period according to a Transit Supervisor. The routing for these trippers will be EB from 49th and Cambie to Metrotown.

    The pass-up problem on the 49s has been observed in previous years and typically settles down once students adjust to their schedule.

    I’m also told that due to TransLink’s funding uncertainties, there are no plans to improve the 49 service anytime soon — we just don’t have resources on hand that can be dedicated permanently to the route. But we will be monitoring it to see if there are any schedule efficiencies that we can make.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 15, 2009 @ 2:17 pm

    Peter: about that 99 school special service. We did indeed try them in the past, but they weren’t as effective as expected. Here’s the story from CMBC planning again.

    We found they didn’t work because customers wouldn’t fill them up, since they knew they could get a seat on the next one (2-3 minute wait). So what happened is that these special non-stop B-Lines were never full while they traveled along Broadway. Consequently, this upset a lot of other customers along Broadway because they saw that there was still space on them.

  • By peter, September 17, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

    Interesting — the perils of transit management — too bad you can’t charge extra for seats — maybe you should pull the seats out of those AM rush hour buses — that will give you some extra capacity :)

  • By Westsider, September 19, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

    It bothers me that translink has added the 43 route onto the Canada line maps as an alternative route, even though it only runs for limited hours during the day. I’ve gotten off at Oakridge-49th twice now to try and take the 43, but both times I have had to wait forever for the 41, which is always full and passes by tons of angry people on the side of the road. Increasing the 43 service to something like the 84 would actually tempt people to use this service, because they would know they could rely on this route actually running.

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