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Bus service changes coming December 14: new 99 B-Line stops and more

The 99's getting two new stops this December!

The 99's getting two new stops this December!

Just a few bus service changes are coming on Monday, December 14, but they do include four highlights that you might be excited about.

First, the 99 B-Line will finally get stops at Arbutus St and Fraser St along the Broadway corridor! People have been asking for these stops for a long time, so it’s great to finally put them in. Woop!

Second, the #8 route will now be running only 60-foot articulated trolley buses, which will give it a much needed capacity boost. (Owing to our stabilization budget for 2010, we couldn’t increase the number of buses operating along the route, but we were able to give the #8 bigger buses instead. Yay!)

Third, the #50 False Creek South makes a triumphant return to Granville St, marking the gradual return of bus service to Granville Mall in downtown Vancouver. (Trolleys will be back on Granville in fall 2010: we’ll start installing trolley overhead there in March after the Olympics.)

And fourth, bus traffic will be greatly reduced on Saba Road near Richmond-Brighouse Station, in response to concerns from local residents. The drop comes from bus bay changes at the Richmond-Brighouse bus loop – 232 buses a day will now go down Saba Road, down from 800 per day in September.

(If you don’t know, we do these service adjustments four times a year, reflecting changing rider volumes in April, June, September, and December. And in 2010, owing to the Olympics, we’ll also do a special service adjustment for February.)

Now: details on all of these changes plus more after the jump!

8 Fraser/Downtown
Longer ‘articulated’ buses will be scheduled for all trips to increase capacity and improve service reliability.

50 False Creek South/Waterfront Station
Returns to Granville routing: southbound between Nelson St and the Granville Bridge, northbound between the bridge and Robson St.

99 B-Line Commercial-Broadway Station/UBC
New stops in both directions at Fraser St and Arbutus St!

214 Blueridge/Phibbs Exchange Station
Conventional buses will replace the smaller Community Shuttle vehicles for trips leaving Phibbs Exchange at 6:17 and 6:47 p.m., to improve capacity.

C41 Meadowtown/Maple Meadows Station/Pitt Meadows Centre
Re-routed during middays Monday-Friday and all day Saturday to serve the Bonson South residential area. Peak-period trips will nott be re-routed at this time.

N10 NightBus Richmond/Downtown
Trips to YVR-Airport (during hours when Canada Line is not operating) will include service to Bridgeport Station.

N15 Cambie/Downtown
Re-routed downtown to mirror 15 Cambie/Downtown service.

Richmond-Brighouse Station bus loop changes

A map of the new bus bays at Richmond-Brighouse Station.

A map of the new bus bays at Richmond-Brighouse Station.

Six bus routes at Richmond-Brighouse Station will be reassigned to new bus bays in response to community concerns.

Please check the revised bay assignments to know where to board your bus! (The six reassigned routes are in bold.)

Bay 1 (56546) Bay 2 (56689)
301 Newton Exchange
430 Metrotown Stn
480 UBC
C96 East Cambie
405 Cambie
407 Gilbert
410 22nd St Station
N10 Downtown
Bay 3 (61334) Bay 4 (61332)
401 One Road
403 Bridgeport Stn

C94 Richmond Oval
401 Garden City
Unloading Only
301, 430, 480, C96
Bay 5 (56480) Bay 5a (52075) Bay 6 (56451) Bay 7 (56549)
402 Two Road 404 Ladner Exchange 405 Five Road
407 Bridgeport
402 Two Road
403 Three Road
404 Ladner Exchange
410 Railway
N10 Richmond-Brighouse


  • By ;-), December 9, 2009 @ 9:48 am

    I would love to see 99 Bline stops at Burrard. If not permanent, temporary stops should be there for Fireworks night.

  • By Rob P, December 9, 2009 @ 10:04 am

    Awesome, I can now use the 99 solely for commuting to work. I heard a rumor they may be adding short turn trips on the 49 route as well but I have no way of confirming that, anything on that front?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 9, 2009 @ 10:06 am

    Hmm… if it’s not in the list, I don’t think it’s happening. But let me double check with CMBC planning.

  • By Patrick Meehan, December 9, 2009 @ 11:45 am

    The two new stops are awesomely useful in theory, but with the bus already packed during peak times start to finish, isn’t this going to slow down and jam up an already overfull route?

    Like, I get that translink’s numbers say it’s not quite at capacity yet, but realistically, it kind of is, especially with the massive new traffic on the Cambie line, which outweighs anything I’ve seen from Granville pre-Canada line.

    Is there any chance there will be signal prioritization in the near future?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 9, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

    I’ve sent your question on to planning as well now, Patrick. Answers forthcoming!

  • By Matt, December 9, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

    Yes, let’s make the 99 even SLOWER getting from Commercial to UBC. The 99 is an EXPRESS, let’s keep it that way.

  • By Holly, December 9, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

    That’s exciting! I’ve hoped for a B-Line stop at Arbutus for a long time!

  • By Sean, December 9, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

    RE: Saba Road, Richmond;
    There shouldn’t be ANY buses on Saba Road! All service could stay on #3 Road to Cook Road, like before the Sept changes!
    Bring back a southbound stop on #3 Road at Westminster Hwy, and then buses that need to turn Eastbound could use Cook Road like before!

  • By zack, December 9, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

    This is probably the strangest day I have had on the Buzzer Blog. First, there was a problem with “TransLink’s deficit gone” post, it says “Not found. The page you are looking for is not there.” The other strange thing was as I was about post this comment, a warning message popped up saying “Slow down! you’re posting too quickly!”

  • By Ric, December 9, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

    Re: bus bay changes at Richmond-Brighouse station.

    The 410 railway should have a stop very close to the canada line station as well as a stop outside Richmond center. I use the 410 Railway and canada line daily after work and I don’t want to walk all the way to Richmond center to catch a 410 once I get off the canada line when it is dark out. Is it possible to move the 410 railway stop closer to the canada line station or just keep it where it currently is?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 9, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    zack: Oops — the “not found” is because there is an apostrophe in the title of that post. Will fix! Not sure why you got the multiple posts item though.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 9, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

    Sean: Here’s what CMBC planning has told me.

    A new Bay 6 will be in operation on December 14th since new route patterns surrounding Richmond-Brighouse Station will begin. The new route patterns are to address the concerns regarding the amount of buses passing along Saba Rd. There will be a 71% reduction in the number of daily Monday to Friday bus trips. The roadway and bus stop on Saba Rd is still required as it provides a safe transfer point for transit users getting to/from Canada Line.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 9, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

    Ric, here’s what CMBC planning has told me about your question too.

    Unfortunately, due to community concerns along Saba Rd the closest Richmond-Brighouse stop for route 410 Railway is currently on the north side of Cook Rd, next to Staples. However, this will change on December 14th when the closest stop to the Station will be at a new Bay 7 next to Richmond Centre. The bus stop at the future Bay 7 is currently being accessed by 410 Railway.

    (Does that answer your question btw? I don’t know the Richmond-Brighouse loop as well as you or CMBC planning.)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 9, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

    Rob P, here’s the answer from CMBC to your question.

    Currently, there are #49 trippers to address pass-ups; these will continue for the December sheet. There are no additional trippers on top of these for the December sheet.

  • By Tsushima Masaki, December 9, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

    Ugh. 401 Garden City and 405 Five Road have been separated again… by a whole block. This will make trips home a little less convenient.

    I really wish they’d knock down that Scotiabank and put in a real bus loop soon.

  • By Sally, December 9, 2009 @ 7:20 pm

    Well no wonder I couldn’t figure out what was going on since I mixed up Bridgeport and Brighouse once again…

  • By Jimbo, December 9, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

    I’m looking forward to the return of buses to Granville, but is Granville street going to be ready for Monday? A few of the intersections on Granville still don’t have traffic lights for north-south traffic. And Granville and Cordova intersection is still blocked off with concrete barriers.

  • By ;-), December 9, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

    I’m going to disagree with Sean’s comment on Saba. While a long walk, the 401 and 407 Eastbound is ideal on Saba. Prior to the September change, getting off the bus meant waiting for the mis-timed light or watching many take their chances running against the light. Having the bus drop off at a location without need to cross the street is much appreciated by riders and cars as well.

    The only problem I see is we are sitting ducks to cyclists who ride along the sidewalks while we are waiting for a bus at that station.

  • By Last351, December 10, 2009 @ 1:03 am

    The 99 isn’t so much an express as a “limited stop” service. I think it’s great it’s stopping at Fraser and Arbutus. It will reduce the number of transfers for many of us. We might even consider moving to Yew and Broadway
    now where there seem to be a lot of affordable apartments.

  • By cree, December 10, 2009 @ 1:30 am

    A long time coming for the #99 to add Fraser and Arbutus, I can understand why Fraser was omitted before since you’d have to make the transfer at Main (to connect to #8) or Clark or take the #9 instead, and Arbutus being omitted by either transferring at MacDonald or Granville; but it does make things easier who live in those respective areas.

    Now the next thing is to restore the route for the #17 (Oak->Broadway E/B, Broadway->Cambie N/B) and bringing back trolley service to the #15

  • By Ric, December 10, 2009 @ 10:49 am

    Jhenifer, You ansvered my question partly. I know where the 410 railway currently stops. However, with the changes on December 14 it looks like the 410 will no longer stop at the stop on Saba road by staples. I know where the new Bay 7 outside Richmond center will be. It is too far from the Richmond-Brighouse station. Is there a way to have another stop for the 410 railway right at the Richmond-Brighouse station or have it to continue to stop at Saba road by staples?

  • By Ric, December 10, 2009 @ 10:51 am

    Oops, I mean Cook road and NOT Saba road

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 10, 2009 @ 11:45 am

    Jimbo: The 50 will only be using the part of Granville that is south of Robson St, so I think it’s OK for Monday. It can’t use the entire length of Granville yet owing to the ongoing construction/signal stuff you’ve mentioned.

    Here’s the exact reroute if you’re interested:

    Northbound: From Willow at Broadway via Willow, 6th Ave., Moberly, Heather Square Loop, Charleson, Lamey’s Mill, 2nd Ave., Fir, 4th Ave., Hemlock, 5th Ave., Granville, Robson, Seymour, Cordova, Cambie, Pender, Abbott, to Keefer at Taylor.

    Southbound: From Keefer at Taylor via Keefer, Columbia, Powell, Water, Cordova, Howe, Nelson, Granville, W. Cloverleaf, 5th Ave., Fir, 2nd Ave., Lamey’s Mill, Charleson, Heather Square Loop, Moberley, 6th Ave., Cambie, to Willow at Broadway.

    Also, fyi, the 50 will be rerouted off Granville again when the Olympics start, since Granville will be a pedestrian only corridor. Then it will be back to Granville once the Olympics are over.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 10, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    Patrick: Aha, here’s the response from CMBC planning.

    Currently there is no signal prioritization, only bus-only lanes in the peak periods. In the long term plan there may be plans for signal prioritization.

    Re: crowding
    It is a fair assumption that ridership will increase as the service now captures more people. We don’t expect a huge impact on the service reliability, but CMBC will be monitoring things closely.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 10, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

    Ric: here’s the answer to your follow up question.

    The closest transfer point stop between 410 Railway and Canada Line, at Richmond-Brighouse Station, will be at Bay 7 come December 14th. There is no proposed closer stop. For example, there was a request for a stop directly across from the Station on the west side of No. 3 Rd between Saba Rd and Cook Rd, but it was decided that there would be a major safety issue with the amount of pedestrians crossing No. 3 Rd. The route will no longer pass through Saba Rd as community concerns has caused us to reduce the amount of buses passing through. CMBC is making attempts to meet the balance between those in the community and transit users.

  • By LB, December 10, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

    I know it’s a done deal, but I’ll be sad to see buses back on Granville. Currently the blocks between georgia and smithe are a pedestrian oasis, it’s quite magical. One can walk down the street and have a conversation without being drowned out by the roar of traffic/buses. I’ll miss that.

  • By ;-), December 10, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

    I’m looking forward to buses on Granville.

    Easier to locate the stops and buses don’t need to fight with cars on seymour and howe.

  • By Cockamaybe, December 10, 2009 @ 10:46 pm

    You’re right, the buses will get to fight with cars on Granville instead. I’m with LB in wishing it would stay clear of vehicles.

  • By Phyzz, December 11, 2009 @ 12:48 am

    Argh, even farther for the 410 now. Makes one just want to dynamite that bloody Scotia Bank. One annoyedly wonders why there wasn’t a proper bus loop under the station in the plan from day one and the only answer can be bureaucracy, bla.

  • By ;-), December 11, 2009 @ 6:14 am

    It was a case of money.

    Original plans had two stations South of Lansdowne. The one would be at Westminster and a final one at Richmond Centre or City Hall. To keep the project under budget… stations were dropped Westminster and City Hall/Richmond Centre was combined. While we all celebrate the CLine today, there was many doomday naysayers opposing the project at the time.

    For myself, down escalators would have appreciative, especially as the population is aging.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, December 11, 2009 @ 7:36 am

    This is just a rant from a guy in Surrey.

    I’m quite disappointed that Translink would only make improvements in 3 cities.

    When I found out that the #399 was being cancelled, I was quite upset. The service should be an express route, which should save Translink money. Maybe Translink doesn’t manage its money well??

    If Translink needs more money, then why doesn’t it promote its routes that are quite empty?

    Transit service always seems uncrowded but infrequent, or frequent but crowded.

    I did my part to get out of the driver’s seat, then everybody else benefits, and fares are still going up?? Will you charge me to do volunteer work, too? :^( Instead of investing in lower cost technology, Translink invests in fuel cells. Translink makes me want to buy a car. This is frustrating.

  • By Nick Johnston, December 11, 2009 @ 10:27 am

    Oh here we go again. I take the 401 garden city to Richmond centre. The changes now mean that I will miss the connecting bus most of the time. 401 to 402 is so tight I have to run to catch it or wait for the next one, it is faster for me to walk to my destination then it is to take the bus. 401 to 403 had a bg savings in travel time when the Canada line opened. It will now take the same amount of tIme to get to riverport as it did before the line opened. Why is the 401 staying on Saba and why can’t all eastbound 401 trips go to 1 terminus rather then 2 depending on the time of day. That scotiabank really needs to be moved to the empty space behind the station so the station can be completed with the proper bus loop. Also for canada line to 410 or 403, connections to these busses can also be made at Aberdeen or lansdowne stations.

  • By Dave 2, December 11, 2009 @ 7:20 pm

    I too would not mind seeing Granville Street become a true Pedestrian Mall; Seymour and Howe have Diamond Lanes from 7 to 7, though cars making right turns can mess things up. That doesn’t seem to be too bad on Seymour, and I’ll admit that I don’t know how it’s worked on Howe, with cars turning right at Dunsmuir, Georgia, and Robson.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, December 12, 2009 @ 7:14 pm

    I just want to make a correction to my rant.

    Apparently, there are improvements in more than just 3 cities. That’s good.

  • By Marvin B, December 12, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

    There should have been a pedestrian overpass constructed over 3 Road from Brighouse Station to Richmond Centre. This would allow for safe crossings so that buses can go straight up the street instead of looping around Saba to Cook and back to 3 Road. This would allow for a bus stop directly across the street from the station so people would not have to walk to bay 7 to catch their bus. This is not acceptable. In the mean time, like previously mentioned, those transferring to the 410 Railway or 403 Three Road from the Canada line, do it at Lansdowne or Aberdeen. Much less walking.

  • By Mark, December 13, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

    I don’t see why everyone complains about missing buses.

    I take the bus to work. I also work in a corporate firm downtown that permits me to take a lot of business trips to Asia and Europe and the US also.

    Missing a flight is WORST than missing a bus.

    Also what happened to the signs on the bus top poles at Brighouse when the C-Line first opened? One could simply syare at the 4-sided retangular boxes to determine the frequency of the #401 how often it comes and its important stops. Why are the bus stop poles now bare metal?

  • By Joshua, December 14, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

    Why was there no service improvements for Langley and Surrey? I want to go green and use public transportation, but when buses stop running past my house at9:30 at night, I see no other option but to buy a car. As well, I love getting stuck in Ft. Langley on a Sunday night because the bus their inexplicably stops running after 6 pm. If Translink won’t step up and do something about their atrocious Surrey/Langley service, I see no reason to continue trying to support them. Way to drop the ball Translink.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, December 15, 2009 @ 9:45 am

    Joshua: While we definitely want more service out in Surrey and Langley, the realities of our financial situation have put expansion of the system on hold for now. We have been expanding the system beyond our financial capabilities for some time, and thanks to a recent decision by the mayors of our region, we have only now made this system able to operate with the money we have. Better service in Surrey and Langley is something we want — and we’ll be working over the next few years to bring in enough funding to make that service happen.

  • By Jimbo, December 15, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

    According to bus stop signs on Granville the #50 will not be starting until *next* Monday, December 21st. It’s great that buses will once again be on Granville. A bit of a let down the service (via the #50 bus) will only make it up to Robson for now as Granville is juuuuuuust about ready between and Cordova. Perhaps after the Olympics.

  • By ben K, December 18, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

    I was on a 99 yesterday late morning where the driver had no idea that the new stops had been instituted. Only after several people at the back of the bus started screaming when he blew by Fraser in the fast lane did it dawn on him there was a problem and managed to pull over several blocks later. (He apologized along the lines of “I didn’t know about these stops, this is my first day”)

    This was the same trip on which an old guy on a scooter surreptitiously produced a cute fuzzy little dog from his oversized winter coat for a few seconds and then zippered up again.

    Always interesting, the bus!

  • By Charles, June 4, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

    Will there be any bus route in the future replacing the bus 135 Burrard Stn/SFU ?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 10, 2010 @ 10:08 am

    Charles: Not as far as I know. The 135 has been slated in the past for study as a B-Line express, but I haven’t heard any movement on that lately. What were you wanting it to be replaced with?

  • By Charles, June 25, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

    When will the 91 B-line and 95 B-line service start?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, June 25, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

    Charles: I know the 91 and 95 B-Lines have been the subjects of study in the past, but they are not planned for launch any time soon. At the moment, we are not expanding our transit services — the funding approved last year by the Mayors’ Council for our 2010 work only maintains our existing service.

  • By Jimmy, August 17, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

    Will the 135 Burrard Station/SFU have another 1 year of service?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 17, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

    Jimmy: Sorry, could you clarify your question a bit? The 135 is one of our standard services: I haven’t heard anything that suggests it might require an extension.

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