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Translink Buzzer Blog

Full details of proposed 2013 bus service optimization changes are now online: send us your feedback, or come to an open house!

See the detailed proposals and complete the online questionnaire

Service optimization helped us do more with less in 2011. Click for a larger version!

Hey hey: the full details of our proposed 2013 bus service optimization changes are now online!

To see PDF diagrams of each proposed service change, just visit the Service Optimization consultation page, and click the name of each consultation date.

Then once you’ve had a look, click the Take the Questionnaire button on the same page and give us your feedback!

First three open houses are this week!


As mentioned two weeks ago, we’ve also scheduled a series of open houses around the region where you can come talk optimization in person. Here’s the details for this week’s events:

Nov. 20, 2012 – Vancouver
Affected Routes: 2, 22, C21, C23
Time: 4 – 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre – Room B
Address: 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, V6Z 2W3

Nov. 21, 2012 – Coquitlam
Affected Routes: C24, C29, C30, C38, 153, 159, 177, 179, 189
Time: 4 – 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Evergreen Cultural Centre – Studio Theatre
Address: 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, V3B 7Y3

Nov 22, 2012 – New Westminster
Affected Routes: 101, 154, C98, C99
Time: 4 – 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Royal City Centre – Community Room
Address: 610 6th St., New Westminster, V3L 5V1

Seven more open houses are planned: here’s the full list of dates and venues.

Feel free to share any questions below and we’ll get answers for you!


  • By Eugene Wong, November 19, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

    @ Translink

    I already left positive remarks in the survey. If people don’t show up to leave positive comments at the open houses, then are you going to interpret that as lack of support?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 19, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    Hi Eugene: our planning staff sent through this response.

    Generally speaking (based on experience), when a transit agency does public consultation on changes to the transit network we hear loud and clear from those who don’t like the change, we almost never get feedback from people who are ambivalent (those who don’t care one way or another) and hear only a little from those who may actually like the change. People tend to stand up against that which they don’t like more than they stand up to support that which they do.

    That’s why it is very important to verbalize your thoughts and ideas, whether you like a change or not – but especially if you like the change – for yourselves as much as for the planners and decision-makers. Otherwise your voice is in danger of being outnumbered and a change that may benefit you and the majority of people may be cancelled based on a small but vocal minority who don’t like it.

    Thanks for your comments Eugene!!

  • By Eugene Wong, November 19, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    @ Jhenifer

    Sorry, I should be clearer. Do we need to physically show up? Will our approval be just as loud, if we participated in the survey or if we comment here? I’m open to speaking via phone, or sending an email.

    I ask, because I’m low on cash, and I don’t want to pay for a transit ride to the open house, unless I have to.

  • By Donald, November 19, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

    I like the 502/503 change, I hated being on a local service 502 when trekking from Mission to Vancouver.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 19, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    Eugene: Your approval is just as loud if you speak in the survey or if you go to the open house. The survey is an equally valid form of providing input as an open house and we treat it as such!

  • By SS, November 19, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    I know from previous experience that when TransLink create a new route, they’ll use a route number that’s closely resemble a former route if possible. Examples of these would be the #14 and #337. For the 502/503 change, I wonder what’s the case for the #503 being chosen over the former #511 (Aldergrove/Willowbrook). Maybe the upcoming Fraser Highway B-Line is going to be called “93 B-Line”?

  • By voony, November 19, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

    This service optimization round is a good step in the right direction.

    On Vancouver
    Any reason why the C23 is stopping few hundred meter short of VCC CLark?
    a marginal decrease in frequency could buy the extension, isn’it?

    Ideally, I think it should be the 22 which should be routed on Terminal, and C23 on Prior…Improving DT access from Knight (people on 22 could transfer at Main, like people on the 3 and 8 does).
    Similarly there is a big redundancy on Davie (C23/6) in bare need to be addressed (a rerouted 6 thru Yaletown)…
    (reader of my blog will know many other optimization idea ;)
    so it is work in progress, andit is good to process by step.

    Overall it is good

    PS: What about the byzantine route 5? Why you accept gratuitous bus attack by the Vancouver municipality?

  • By Gary, November 20, 2012 @ 12:08 am

    Hi Jhenifer:

    Read the changes and they don’t really affect me. Three questions though for your planners:

    1. The 2013 projected bus map shows the C20 and C22 being merged. However, no explanation is provided. I think your planners forgot about this one. UBC area residents probably would like to know more.

    2. The 2/22 service levels are very poorly explained and it’s hard to tell which segments get more service and which get less. Why not publish 2 tables, showing before and after service levels for the line in purple, the line in green and the new pink dotted line from 16th to Knight and Kingsway?

    3. The public should have a better sense of how resources are being shifted throughout the system. The increase or decrease in annual service hours for each change should me made available.

    I must complement your map division. The use of colors makes it easy to follow everything, other than for the 2/22.

  • By Eugene Wong, November 20, 2012 @ 1:59 am

    @ Jhenifer

    Thanks for the clarification!

    @ Gary

    Maybe I misunderstand you. I checked the PDF for the 2/22, and there are 2 tables that clearly show with segments get increased service and decreased service. Were you looking even finer detail?

  • By Sheba, November 20, 2012 @ 10:52 am

    I’ve gotta say I’m disappointed – all the hype of public input and this is all we get? Plenty of the route changes are only minor tweaks, and the questionnaire only asks really basic questions. How about asking about the route changes by city/region.

    I don’t know all of these routes really well, so I had to trust what was written about them. Who’s up for posting comments about their area?

    For all the talk of ‘simple, legible routes’ and all TransLink could do in Burnaby is join two community shuttles and extend it to make a logical end point? There are so many routes that could have been tweaked (and many more that need an overhaul) that were ignored.

    Also mainland New West. Their routes tend to be grouped too close together with big gaps in service, and all that’s being changed is the first part of two routes are being swapped so that one of them is a straight line across New West.

    I had been hoping for ‘go big or go home’ – most of what I see here are timid little steps. Sure not everyone would have agreed with every change, but that’s why you ask people about routes by city/region and what they do or don’t like about the suggested changes.

  • By Sheba, November 20, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    Also I’m with Gary on the map for the 2/22 changes. There is only the one map there instead of the standard before and after maps that the other route changes get.

  • By Eric B, November 20, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    @ Sheba & Gary:

    The 2/22 doesn’t need a second map, because there are no changes to the coloured lines that are there. It’s easily explainable:
    – The purple line is the main cross-town 22 Knight/Macdonald.

    – The green line is the current 2 Macdonald-16th, providing additional service through between Downtown and Kitsilano, and is the highest-demand segment of the full 22 route. To me, it doesn’t make sense to have two different route numbers that serve the same corridor, so I like that TransLink is proposing to fold the 2 back into the 22.

    – The pink line has been identified as a section of the full 22 route that has high demand throughout, including Clark/Knight to Kingsway. This does overlap with the green line.

    The Proposed Service Levels table for each of the green, pink, and purple segments breaks down how that demand can be spread out through the entire route of the 22. This will mean short-turns to Macdonald & 16th and/or Knight & Kingsway to cover the pink segment.

    Think of the 9 Broadway, which has a similar pattern. The section of highest demand is between Granville and Commercial, so most trips on the 9 operate in that section. Duplication with the 14 and 16 means not every 9 bus has to travel west of Granville. Similarly, duplication with Millennium Line means not every 9 travels east of Commercial.

    Hope that helps.

  • By Gary, November 20, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    Sheba understands what the issue is. For example, if I’m boarding the bus in Kits headed for Burrard Station or to Clark & Kingsway, what are current combined service levels with the existing 2/22 vs the new 22? It’s unclear from the information presented.

  • By Eugene Wong, November 20, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    @ Sheba

    I’m surprised that you have no positive comments about New Westminster. I can’t say for sure, but I have a feeling that they would have never considered the route realignments, had it not been brought up by you and the others and me. I could be wrong, though.

    The bottom line is that that realignment seems to achieve the specific goals that we had for 8 Ave. I’m too lazy to check.

    Regarding Surrey, the changes are good.

    Simplifying the #312 is good. Riders would need to walk a distance in one direction, so we might as well make them do it for both.

    The #335 extension is great because it connects 2 town centres. Before, we had to travel from Newton Exchange to Surrey Central Station to Fleetwood area, and vice versa, but now it’s just 1 bus. This is huge!

    Honestly, a while ago, travelling across King George was really hard. Then they added the #364, and that White-Rock-Langley bus, and this bus, and the #555. It all looks pretty good to me. It won’t be frequent, but it will be reasonable.

    The other changes seem reasonable, too.

    Also, I think that the survey is meant to be simple for people who don’t have a lot to say. You could always show up at an open house. Also, I bet that just commenting here is enough, too.

    If I recall correctly, they had a blank box for any other comments. We could have commented about other regions in there.

    Most importantly, this is an opportunity to comment on the specific changes, and not on all the problems.

  • By Sheba, November 20, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

    Eugene: I’m happy that it shows a straight route across New West. What I had suggested was moving the route from 8th up to 10th, and then moving the first part of the 101 (to be moved onto 6th) up higher, say around 14th, to make that a straighter line across. That would have gone a long way towards spreading the routes evenly across New West and filling in most of the gaps. This hasn’t done any of that.

    Also why can’t they just “short-turn” some of the 155’s from 22nd Street Station to 6th and 6th (just like they’re doing with the 2/22 downtown) instead of running two different routes on the same section.

    I was hoping for more than minor tweaking to the routes, which is most of the changes. Admittedly Surrey did get some actual changes with the 332/335 going down to Newton (my parents live over there so I’m betting they’re going to cheer that one) and the 502/503.

    On a side note, when I was growing up in N Delta, the bus loop used to be around Scottsdale Mall – it was one of the things that kept the mall alive. But for some reason the mall didn’t like it, which is one reason why the exchange got moved to where it is now. I’m not sure (because I haven’t been over there in aeons) but has the mall ever recovered from that?

    Believe me when I say I filled in the ‘additional comments’ box at the end. In fact if there was a limit I might have overfilled it!

  • By Sheba, November 20, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    voony: If you think the 5 is byzantine, you should check out the 134 (among many other routes outside Vancouver).

  • By SS, November 20, 2012 @ 5:16 pm


    Before you create a grid system and making every route straight, one question you have to ask is, will there be enough riders to support this systems? If you looking at the map, you can sort of guess that many of the ridership come from the area between 6th and 8th, where most uptown New West routes converged. If you actually ride the bus, you can see that is actually pretty much the case. When you move a route far away from the major destination but does not have the resource to create a frequent service, how many people will use the service? How many people do you think is willing to accept a forced transfer to an infrequent route? The reason that grid system works in Vancouver is because almost all routes get frequent service and there is enough riders for such service. But this is certainly not the case in New West.

    Similarly, you can make the 134 straight and omit all SkyTrain stations. But the problem is, where would the rider coming from? Will people willing to make an untimed transfer between routes with 30min frequency just to go a few blocks to get home?

  • By SS, November 20, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    Forget to add.. If you think the 134 is bad, check out the new 335! Its as bad as every route that you’re unsatisfied with.

    – Both 335 and 337 serves the same road, and they should be combined to the same route and omit Guildford.
    – The 345 and 375 north of Fleetwood is a service duplication, so all 345/375 should terminate at Fleetwood.
    – The 341 should skip the detour to Newton and stay on 144th.
    – The 301, 319 should terminate at Scottsdale, and a separate route, say 372, would be created to go the entire length of 72nd to 152nd.
    – The 341 should stay on Hwy 10 instead of going up to 64th.

    How much of these actually make sense to you? This is basically some of the changes you’re suggesting to New West and Burnaby.

  • By Sheba, November 20, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    I was going to mention some minor tweaks they could have made in Burnaby and didn’t – such as:

    110 – split into two routes at Sperling Station (Sperling to Lougheed would probably be converted to a community shuttle)
    129 – spilt into two routes (not sure if it should be split at Gilmore or Holdom Station)
    130 – split into two routes at Kootenay Loop (half the trips don’t continue above there anyway)

    Also 116 – take out the loop around Kaymar Ravine Park (already covered by the C6)
    C6 – possibly increase frequency (due to the change to the 116)

    The average person can’t walk “a few blocks”? I actually count as sickly and I manage it to get to/from transit, as do the many seniors who live near me.

  • By Eric B, November 20, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    @ Gary:

    I think I understand your concern. Yeah, there could be another table that has the combined (existing) 2/22 frequency between Macdonald/16th and Downtown. But looking at the proposed frequency levels, all of the 22 will benefit with increased frequencies, such as 10 minutes midday weekdays, compared with the current 12-15.

  • By voony, November 20, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

    dropped at the open house tonight,

    Glad to see the planners think about the C23 VCC extension
    The planner apparently didn’t think of the permutation C23/22 on Terminal/Prior (it is basically same time, thought I think Terminal is shorter, at least less mileage so better to have the big bus there and the small on Prior). Hopefully they will give a good look at it, since it can save a good 8mn if not more on DT access from Knight street (by transferring on the Skytrain at Main-Terminal), doesn’t reduce the coverage (save for one bus stop at Pender/Gore) and improve the system connectivity

    here is the map of the idea:

  • By mike0123, November 21, 2012 @ 12:01 am

    The byzantine bus network in Burnaby and New West is the reason for its low typical frequency. Straightening routes and spacing routes as far apart as in Vancouver can free up enough service to increase the typical frequency from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes. A more legible and more direct network also come for free..

  • By Cliff, November 21, 2012 @ 1:55 am

    Bus service from Cape Horn is now 100% gone. There is no way for people in this area to access transit.

    How is this optimization?

    Why not route the 169 up Chilko, Mariner, Cape Horn, Brunette, Schoolhouse, Lougheed?

    Would this routing really be so hard to do? One can already take the 97 or even the 152 between Coquitlam Station and Lougheed Station. Riverview still has employees and patients. It is still an active hospital, despite what you may have heard on the news. How will people here be able to move around now?

    A major part of a major city has lost its bus service. Why is this okay?

  • By SS, November 21, 2012 @ 8:46 am


    Adding a detour to a frequent and high ridership route would actually require a lot of additional service. Currently each riders takes 19 minutes of resource on the 169 to go to/from Coquitlam Station. Your suggestion now force them to use 30 minutes of resource on the 152, 32 minutes on the 97, or 31 minutes on the new 169. There’s not much spare capacity left in those routes in peak hours which means additional service would be required to transport these passengers. That’s 60% increase in cost to transport each passenger. How is this an optimization? It is actually much cheaper to retain the 177 and convert it to community shuttle.

  • By Cliff, November 21, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    Well, what’s the alternative? A large part of Coquitlam is now without service.

    Route the 152 to its former Dartmoor routing.

    Route the 152 via Lougheed, Colony Farm, Cape Horn, United, Mariner, Hickey. (Most reasonable. Would still require the occasional Chilko detour. Massive service duplication on Mariner Way helps justify this change.)

    Route the 152 via Mariner, Cape Horn, Dawes Hill, Mundy, LeClair, Hickey. (Major reroute)

    Route the 156 via Cape Horn, Dawes Hill, Mundy (loss of service on Mundy in this area is not that bad as the 156 is currently ‘doubling’ back as Mundy and Brunette are both very close and parallel to each other. Customers can board on Brunette or Cape Horn, whichever is now closer)

    Route the 156 via Mundy, Dawes Hill, Cape Horn, Mariner, Hickey, LeClair, Mundy (A very long detour)

    Route the 169 via Colony Farm, United, Lougheed

    Create bus stops for the 169 on Lougheed Highway at Colony Farm, United, Halfway to Coleman, Coleman. No route changes would be needed for this. Shoulder is certainly wide enough to accommodate most new stops. Probably the cheapest solution.

    Why does TransLink think that removing transit service from Cape Horn is an acceptable sacrifice? People here will now have 0 in the way of transit service if this change is made. It boggles the mind that this type of cut is even remotely a good idea.

  • By SS, November 21, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    Or.. Retain the 177 as community shuttle. Omit the Riverview portion and stay on Lougheed if no one want to go here anymore (which I somewhat doubt). Cut into the original route at Colony Farm and Cape Horn, take over the 159 detours on both sides of United Blvd to save some service hours, then continue original routing. This also solve the problem for people to go from central Coquitlam to Fraser Mills. Even a hourly off-peak service for the route is better than no service at all, right?

    The 169 could at least add a stop at Colony Farm Road.. The pedestrian crossing is already in place…

  • By SS, November 21, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    And to further save resource after retaining 177, what about only diverting those peak hours “via Meridian” 159 trips to United while retaining the rest on Lougheed to save running time? Since that’s about the only time extra capacity is needed on United Blvd. For the other time, 791 and 177 shuttle is probably sufficient.

  • By Eugene Wong, November 21, 2012 @ 10:59 am

    @ Translink

    The C21/C23 change seems good to me, because I want to go to that area near VCC-Clark, once in a while, for business purposes, and currently, it is very pedestrian unfriendly.

  • By Cliff, November 21, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    Stick the 159 and 791 on Highway 1 and have them share the transit ramps at Government with the 555 or exit at Brunette. The 791 is intended to provide service to and from Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge, not provide local service within Coquitlam. The same can pretty much be said of the 159 and Port Coquitlam. This concept can even be expended to the 169. With the 153 now providing service along Lougheed, the 169 no longer has to.

    An issue with putting stops on Lougheed is the speed limit. There is space, but cars are not obligated to yield when the speed limit is 70+. A solution to this will have to be found first.

    Retaining the 177 as a community shuttle and having it run down Lougheed to Colony Farm is a brilliant idea. This can be done after Riverview is fully closed.

    Consider rerouting the 169 during late evenings along Cape Horn and even replacing the 156 along Brunette all the way to Braid after 10pm. This could mean saving hours from the 156 by not having it run after 10pm as is the case now with the 153 and 157. A similar scheme was employed in the past with the 169 and Riverview. The 156 along most parts is already close enough to other services for such a discontinuation to not have a large impact.

    Also, I’m not sure service on Lougheed between Brunette and North is even required. The 152 is close enough on Rochester up to about Guilby and the stop at Alderson is close enough to Brunette and Blue Mountain Streets.

    Whatever is done, removing transit service for residents for a large portion of south Coquitlam residents is just mind boggling. Some form of service needs to be kept or provided here.

  • By Kyle, November 21, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

    Voony, that change btwn the C23 and 22 is a brilliant idea. Rather than having the passengers transfer to Chinatown, it wouldn’t take much to have it turn down main (many of the people from Knight go to chinatown). This change can really speed up the 22, and should be taken seriously by translink. Also, have the C23 run down pender instead of Keefer.

    Also, what do you think of my C23/21 redesign?

  • By Bobo, November 22, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    Just want to add my agreement that the C23 needs to go to VCC-Clark. I can’t even believe this route was proposed without the connection! (Maybe some Translink planners need to take a peaceful stroll from the station to Terminal and Glen.)

    I also really like voony’s suggestion for altering the C23/22. I live in the neighbourhood, and this change would make the 22 a lot more useful for me. Right now, I rarely take it despite it being the closest bus route to me.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, November 22, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    Hi Gary: We received the following responses to your questions from our planning department:

    1. UBC Campus & Community Planning are leading the consultation effort on this proposed redesign. They’re holding an open house on Monday November 26th 4-7pm at Thunderbird Arena. More info on that consultation process can be found at

    2. The boards include pretty much exactly what you describe, though it is admittedly a complicated service design to explain. The current service levels are shown separately because they are two separate routes and admittedly not blended as well as they could be (something that’s being resolved Dec 3rd). We’re not applying any additional resources to the routes, so frequencies will only be marginally improved on the short-turn segments, while decreased slightly on the tails of the route.

    3. Service hours are difficult for most people to wrap their heads around. Most of the changes involve fairly modest changes in terms of service hours and the detailed scheduling hasn’t been done yet. Overall, the amount of service provided to the region isn’t changing. There is a bit of give and take across the municipal boundaries, but TransLink operates a regional, integrated transit network and makes service allocation decisions on that basis.

    Thanks for your questions Gary.

  • By Eugene Wong, November 22, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    @ Bobo

    I sympathize with you. I hate it when we can’t use the routes that are the closest to us.

  • By Kyle, November 26, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    Quick Question to ask planning: how will the C23 route make its u turn at the end of davie (at bidwell)?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, November 27, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    Hi Kyle: I sent it over to planning and here’s the response.

    We’ve field tested a number of options, and the one that looks most promising was Davie, Beach, Morton, Denman and back to Davie with the terminus at eastbound Morton farside Beach.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Proposed changes to UBC community shuttle routes: have your say online or at the open house! — November 23, 2012 @ 11:44 am

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