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Marine Drive Transit Priority

Marine Drive diagram

A diagram of the changes

If you live or travel regularly in or to West or North Vancouver, you’ll soon notice some changes to the flow of traffic on Marine Drive. During the morning and afternoon rush periods, about 300 bus trips are made every day on Marine Drive and the Lions Gate Bridge. Due to the large volume of bus and other road traffic, TransLink, the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are funding new bus lanes along Marine Drive. By adding these lanes, customers will be given faster and more reliable service on both Marine Drive and the Lions Gate Bridge. Here’s how it works:

  • In West Vancouver, from Pound Road to Taylor Way, buses will be in their own lane and will have a new transit priority signal at Taylor Way for faster, more reliable service.
  • In North Vancouver, buses will be in their own lane from just west of Tatlow Avenue onto the Lions Gate Bridge.

To get an in-depth picture of what this means to transit riders and vehicles on Marine Drive and the Lions Gate Bridge, check out the dedicated website on the Marine Drive Transit Priority here. If you’ve never seen how a transit-priority lane works, it’s worth taking a minute to watch the video. Construction on these lanes has already begun, and traffic patterns will be changing soon.

If you travel on Marine Drive or the Stanly Park Bridge leave a comment and let others know your thoughts on the changes.


  • By Reva, June 17, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    Fantastic! The worst part of the 240 trip into town lately has been waiting an extra 15-30 minutes on the bridge onramp interchange at the north end of Lions Gate Bridge. It was taking longer to wait in the lineup than it does to get from Lonsdale Ave. to the bridge, or from Stanley Park to the downtown terminus. It was bad before the construction, but has been downright awful during. The completion of this project will be a huge relief!

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, June 17, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

    I’m disappointed that you built a new road for it; that is, if I understand correctly.

    I’m definitely glad that you are giving transit better priority. Congratulations. It takes a bit of courage do it.

  • By Reva, June 17, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

    Eugene, they simply widened the existing roads and ramps. They had to replace the Marine Drive overpass, as it was aging and could not accommodate the widening, and they also replaced the north half of the Capilano River bridge (which probably would be replaced soon regardless of this project as it was decrepit), but other than that, no new roads were built.

    ANYTHING to improve the traffic flow in that bottleneck is welcome. This is a GREAT project in that it adds bus lanes (and bike lanes), but not at the expense of lanes of regular traffic.

    I have a feeling when single-occupancy-vehicle drivers realize how nice it must be to ride on one of those awesome buses that just swoops around all that frustrated gridlock and rolls onto the bridge and on its way, that they might finally give transit a try. Beats wasting half an hour of your life every day just sitting in traffic.

  • By Cliff, June 19, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    So no more motorcycles in the bus lanes over there? What a shame. Still glad to see this area revamped. It’s needed it for decades.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, June 20, 2011 @ 8:22 am

    Hi Cliff: I received this message from Drew Snider, TransLink’s Public Information Officer – “the new bus-only lanes go into full revenue service on Marine Drive in the North Shore.

    These lanes run towards Lions Gate Bridge — westbound between Tatlow and the cloverleaf in North Vancouver and eastbound from Pound Road (east end of Ambleside Park) to Taylor Way in West Van.

    The bus-only restriction is in effect 24/7; the only time non-transit vehicles are allowed to use them is to make a right turn at the next available opportunity — a driveway or intersection.

    Also in effect is the transit priority signal on Marine Drive at Taylor Way, heading towards Lions Gate Bridge. This signal allows buses to cut diagonally across the intersection to get to the queue-jumper lane.

    The transit signal comes on after the left-turn signals but before the through-traffic signal, so motorists driving towards Lions Gate Bridge on Marine Drive have to be careful not to “jump the gun” and wait until the through-traffic signal turns green.

    Also, motorists coming off Taylor Way onto the approach to Lions Gate Bridge must make sure they do not block the intersection. Police have said they will watch for violations.

    The transit signal priority and the bus-only lanes are designed to make commuting more efficient and reliable — and more attractive to others, helping to reduce congestion on Lions Gate bridge.”

  • By Reva, June 20, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

    What is the problem that is causing the new lanes not to be used today? Will they be in full service soon?

  • By Moreno, June 20, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    In West Vancouver, the “Bus Only” lane must also include cyclists, as it does in North Vancouver. As it stands now, cyclists are forced into the right most motor vehicle travel lane. This is reckless abandonment on the part of the planners at Translink. Northbound bridge cyclists turning east off the bridge are dumped into a North Vancouver motor vehicle lane. Not only is this set-up grossly inadequate for adults (let alone children and youth), but dumping and abandoning cyclists into motor vehicle traffic and then stating cyclists should “always ride with care” amounts to ridicule.
    Regarding Reva’s comments, while no new roads were built, the bus-only lane does represent a widened road; more lanes, either by way of a new road or a widened one, is the same thing. Please note, you state that bike lanes were added, this is untrue. There is no cycling infrastructure added as part of this project. Marine Drive is lacking safe cycling infrastructure of any type, irrespective of cycle paths located elsewhere. The best way to improve transit and cycling mode share is to provide safe and convenient infrastructure through general purpose space re-allocations, not by expanding the road’s right of way. It would have been much faster and less expensive to re-allocate a general purpose lane, than it was to add additional travel lanes. Re-allocation would not only provide the priority for fast and convenient transit service and safe cycling infrastructure, but it would also reduce capacity for automobiles which would further expedite the modal shift to the sustainable modes. As you said Reva, when the bus is flying by, but you’re stuck in half-hour traffic jams, it makes sense to use transit instead. Re-allocating general purpose lanes for transit and cycling improvements kills two birds.
    In addition, such lane re-allocations supports our long range transportation vision which sets goals for a precipitous decline in automobile travel, along with a shift to walking, cycling, and transit. If this is the future, what is the need for adding additional lanes in place of re-purposing the space we already have? Is it because of the political ease in adding infrastructure which does not interfere with car lanes? Perhaps.
    While this project improves conditions for transit riders, planners were extremely careful to not impinge upon the number of motor vehicle lanes at the expense of much needed improvements to cycling infrastructure on this corridor.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, June 21, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    Hi Moreno: I shared you comment with our infrastructure planning department. Here’s what they had to say –

    Although the westbound bus lane on the North Vancouver side is (4.3 m) wide enough to meet Canadian Guidelines for side by side operation with bikes and buses, the eastbound West Vancouver bus lane in front of Park Royal is only (3.3m) wide enough for single file operation with bikes and buses. Unfortunately, it was beyond the scope of the bus lane project in West Vancouver to widen all the lanes on Marine Drive to current guidelines and add space for cyclists. Although cyclists may share the bus lane in front of Park Royal, it is not a designated bike route and buses will be stopping in the lane. Cyclists and buses will need to change lanes to pass each other in front of Park Royal. The designated bike route in West Vancouver is south of Park Royal on the Spirit Trail. Signing will direct cyclists to the Spirit Trail.

    For eastbound cyclists leaving the Lions Gate heading for North Vancouver, the lanes on Marine Drive will be 4.3m wide and signed and marked for cyclists to share the lane with motor vehicle traffic as far as McKay which is the border between the City and the District of North Vancouver.

    While the bus lane project is largely complete some construction, signing and lane painting are just being finished, due to delays caused by the rainy spring.

  • By Reva, June 27, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    Got a chance to ride a bus and use the bus lane! IT’S WONDERFUL!!! I love it sooooo much! The time and anxiety and curse words it saved me in just one afternoon was GREAT!! I can’t wait to use it all the time!!! Thank you Translink!!!

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