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Translink Buzzer Blog

Ask TransLink CEO, Ian Jarvis, your questions, and share your ideas

Send in those questions and ideas for Ian!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Commissioner’s Review and asked for your feedback on how TransLink can plan for the future. There have been some fantastic comments and novel ideas shared. While I continue to respond to comments and find answers for others, I’ve managed to reserve some time with TransLink CEO, Ian Jarvis, to put a few to him directly.

I’m collecting some of your comments from that previous post and posing them as questions for him. However, if you didn’t get a chance to present your ideas or to ask your question previously, now is your chance to do so.

I’ll be again collecting questions today and tomorrow via the comments section. As I’ll have a finite amount of time with Ian, I won’t be able to ask all your questions. Please keep them straightforward so that they are answered as clearly as possible.

If you’re not sure what to ask or if your questions has been answered already, Ian took questions from media and Buzzer blog readers via a video and phone briefing in April.

Ian and I look forward to answering your questions and hearing your ideas!


  • By peter b, May 7, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    Suggestion: In honor of one of Vancouver’s oldest transit routes, and Vancouver’s “civic center” — can we put restoration of route #1 FAIRVIEW somewhere in translink’s plans??? Present day route #50/#15 seems like such a great solution — Fairview is a major destination, whether you’re departing from downtown or from the south end of Cambie.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 7, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    This is a suggestion to readers of the blog.

    Jarrett Walker, a transit guru extraordinaire, wrote a bit about prioritizing service.

    He tried to explain that sending buses into low service areas do not necessarily improve ridership. The key to getting people out of their cars seems to be adding service to park-n-rides, and busy corridors.

    In light of that, I’d be willing to \give up\ the #329, which I love, if it would improve service in other areas.

  • By Gary, May 7, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    My employer provides me with a choice: a subsidized parking spot or a monthly transit pass. I choose transit as I care about the environment. The Commissioner’s “Efficiency Review of TransLink” seems to take the opposite approach, critcizing TransLink for expanding its trolley bus fleet. My question for Ian Jarvis is: What is TransLink doing to ensure the maximum utilization of its trolley bus fleet? The only way to increase the use of these vehicles is to increase frequency of exisiting routes or to have capital projects to expand the network. Please do what you can to maitain this unique and emmission free part of our transit network.

  • By Sheba, May 7, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

    Hmmm where to start? Who starts the planning process on routes – as in do Vancouver people makes suggestions on Vancouver routes, Richmond people for Richmond routes, etc. I ask as Vancouver has a really nice grid system while the rest of the lower mainland does not.

    Also why is it still set up for traveling to/from downtown Vancouver and if you want to go most anywhere else you have to go through downtown to get there. For decades people having been saying they don’t always want to go downtown. The hope was that with Translink planning would be done on a local level and east/west connections throughout the region would improve – in some areas they still barely exist.

    That’s an excellent point about park and rides Eugene. We need more of them so people in more outlying areas can access transit – currently many people drive everywhere as there aren’t enough options for them to take transit for part of their trip instead.

    I’m also hoping for the graphic that I mentioned in a previous post, that would show where the money comes from and where it is spent. Many drivers think they’re subsidizing transit riders – an education campaign (with that graphic showing up on the news as opposed to only online) would be a start. Will something along those lines happen?

    In the past rush hour fares were only in effect from start of service until 9:30am and then from 3:00-6:00pm, with the quieter time of 9:30am – 3:00pm being one zone. Is there any chance of that returning when the Compass card/faregates start?

    I could keep going but I think that’s enough for now :)

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, May 7, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    Thanks, Sheba.

    The credit goes to Jarrett, which I’m sure that you meant. I remember, roughly 10 years ago, that I used to think that P&Rs were an evil compromise to encourage car use. For some reason, I’m so much more open to them now. I think that it’s because I subconsciously see that the transit system is trying to be all things for all people.

    Maybe Translink needs to build on the idea of P&Rs.

    In Surrey and Coquitlam, there is tons of parking. A lot of it is unnecessary, except for peak periods. Much of it is forced on developers by the *municipalities* that are trying to force us out of the cars. Perhaps the property owners should be given the right to create paid parking for at least 1 space on every property, up to a certain percentage. It would be a public relations nightmare, but it would work, if we could pull it off.

    They could say, “Park here for $2, all day, and take the bus. You are here. The bus stop is over there.”. The sign would need to show a map, but it could ease traffic a lot.

    Paying extra to commute, each day, seems like a problem, but there are people who are willing to get off the road, and pay more for transit. They should be our target. If they can park near the FTN, and be guaranteed space on a bus, then it would pay off in spades.

    Remember the extra amount that they pay does not have to be money directed to transit. It can also be money directed to somebody else to improve transit.

    With extra riders paying more, Translink can then afford to reinforce the FTN.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, May 8, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

    peter b: I’ve put your comment to our planning department. I’ll hopefully report back soon!

    Gary: That’s a good question!

    Sheba: Sorry I haven’t replied to your question about TransLink’s financials yet. There’s a nice graphic on page 7 of the 2010 annual report found here – With Compass Card will come a lot more data that can be used to help us plan the system. With this will come a more accurate measure of peek hours.

    Eugene: I’m not an expert on Park and Ride, so I’m going to get planning to weigh in on this as well.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, May 8, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

    peter b: I’ve got an answer for you from planning: I don’t think we’ll be re-naming any route to the #1 Fairview anytime in the near future. However, whenever we do assign a number/name to a new or revised route we often explore the past to see if there’s any opportunity to revive historical transit nomenclature. For example, the #14 Hastings/UBC, which was ‘re-introduced’ in April 2011.

  • By Kelly, May 8, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    A Fairview Belt line is a good idea. Gawsh, just wished if 1 of those trolley buses were an observation open air bus. Just like they did for the streetcar years. Or maybe have an old trolley brill bus reroute the observation route again. (Unless I contact TRAMS-BC and find out.)

  • By Taylor, May 10, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

    I completely agree with what Eugene said. Probably one of the more “successful” P&Rs is the south surrey one; It always fills up every morning.

    I really think you guys have to introduce a new 350/353 peak hour bus route that runs from the P&R to Bridgeport in the morning, and then goes from Bridgeport to the P&R in the evening. As it is already, tons of people drive to the P&R and take the bus to get to Vancouver, and this would just make it more convenient for them. Not to mention this would help ease any overcrowding on the 351 at peak-hours. (I can recall one time where 10 people had to stand all the way from bridgeport to the P&R)

    Now I know it’s not possible to just instantly start up a bus route. One way to make a 350/353 possible would be to turn the 352 & 354 into a single route. Have it start at white rock centre, do the “loop” that takes it back to white rock centre (part of the current 354), but then have it head west down 16th-north up 128th-then head to hwy 99 down crescent road (part of the current 352). The 352 has very little ridership south of the P&R, and most people who take the 354 already live in areas served by the 351 (except for the “loop” south of white rock centre). This would help free up buses and bus drivers to handle the new route, and you guys wouldn’t even have to spend money to make this possible!

    Oh, and my question to the CEO: why haven’t you implemented this^? :-)

  • By Marvin B, May 11, 2012 @ 7:21 am

    I think the 15/50 bus route should be renumbered to reflect only 1 route the whole way. Its too confusing when using the mobile site to see where the bus is to go back and forth between numbers. I’m sure people would be okay with a 50 that extends all the way to Marine Drive without changing the route number. (and less confusing for those people downtown trying to catch a 15). Of course signs should be put up at bus stops to tell people these things once the route number changes. (I hope this happens!)

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, May 28, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    Eugene: Our planning department has some answers to your questions. Here they are:

    Park & Rides can be an effective means of reducing VKT (vehicle-kilometres travelled). The idea is that they intercept travelers early in their journey, and shift a portion of their trip from driving to transit.However, there are tradeoffs to be considered: for example, what could the land dedicated to a Park & Ride be used for otherwise? If the land use around that P&R changes over time to support a more transit-oriented development, how feasible would it be to transform the P&R into a more intense, transit-oriented use?

    Eugene you raise the question around trading off feeder bus service for improved “trunk” service, and relying on P&R lots to feed the trunk. An important consideration here is that feeder bus services provide all-day mobility throughout the community (albeit at low frequencies in some cases).It may not be desirable to eliminate these feeder services, since some customers depend on them to get around, and because they provide a more sustainable alternative. Thus, taking a more P&R-intensive approach might not result in much savings from feeder bus services.

    The tradeoffs are complex. TransLink is currently working on a “Getting to Transit” policy that will shape our decision making around the provision of Park & Ride facilities. We are aiming to have something complete by the end of this year.

    Eugene, you also raise the issue of pricing. This is an important consideration for TransLink, and will be reviewed as part of current work on a Getting to Transit policy. What we’ve learned from other agencies is that pricing can be an effective demand-management tool, and that willingness to pay of P&R users depends largely on the price of parking at their ultimate destination.

  • By Andrew, August 14, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    I would like to ask a question. When the Compass card comes here to B.C. very soon will we be able to purchase monthly fare cards? I have been a faithful user of Translink for a while now and I am very concerned about the issue of monthly fare cards.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, August 14, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    Andrew: When the Compass card comes into effect, you’ll be able to load the card with a monthly pass and use it like you do your existing monthly fare card. A bit more info about the Compass project can be found here:

  • By Sandy, January 22, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    The Stanley park bus is late again. I am standing at 51190 waiting for the 8:18 bus but it’s not here yet. It was like that last week too. When I called translink they said they don’t know why it’s delay and when you ask the driver they told me not to bother him as he only drive the bus. So why are we paying more money when the service is equally bad? Why is it only that bus that’s having problems

  • By Sandy, January 22, 2013 @ 8:49 am

    So the bus came and it’s the same driver who is always late. Yesterday the bus was on time and it was a different driver. can we have that driver back? This driver is always late and in the past the 8:18 Stanley park bus will come on time to stop 51190. There are many people who are late thanks to that incompetent driver. Oh yeah and that driver always drop people off before the actual stop

  • By Sukhninder Singh, January 10, 2018 @ 2:32 pm

    Hi I want a share something as on new year eve the translink make highly appreciated change that is to open all the three exist for 96 b line . I want to share that make this idea more productive and safe that is due to this there is no line up for 96 b when the doors open people start rushing into buses in inordered manner as result some sick or old people didn’t get seat

    so there three mark on every stop that correspond to three exit door of the bus so people will lineup according to that

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  1. The Buzzer blog » Ian Jarvis answers and replies to your questions and ideas — May 15, 2012 @ 5:37 pm

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