Are you ready for Tuesday and the first week of school? If you’re like many, you’ll be enjoying your last few days of holidays this long weekend and worrying about next week…next week. Well, the buzzer is here to give you a little help with some light reading on how you can make next week a little less stressful when it comes to commuting.
You can bet your bottom dollar that major bus routes and SkyTrains will have more people on them during the morning and afternoon rush hour next week. This phenomenon, known as the Post-Labour Day Crunch (PLDC), can be challenging for both our returning and regular riders. To ease the transition to PLDC, we’ve created some helpful tips to improve your transit experience.
Advice for transit riders
1. Keep your fare handy
Plan your trip in advance using our Trip Planner and familiarize yourself with the route. When boarding (especially a bus), have your valid fare or cash ready or in hand so you are not holding back the line.
2. Patience young grasshopper
We’ve had a long summer. Not everyone will remember the best way to travel back to school or work. The first few weeks of September will likely be the busiest as our 1.2 million riders per day plan their best route options. Count on your trips taking a bit longer – if they don’t, bonus!
3. Try time shifting
This sounds more fancy than it is, but it’s useful! SkyTrain’s busiest spots, especially at the ‘peak of the peak’ times are at the Commercial/Broadway, Production Way/University and Brighouse stations. So, try traveling during off-peak hours.
For example, at the Commercial/Broadway station, there’s usually a long line-up for the #99 B-Line bus from about 8:15 to 8:45 am, but only a short wait immediately before or after. To alleviate long lineups and queuing challenges, we now have painted lines on sidewalks to help direct passengers and free sidewalk space for walkers. Upstairs at Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station platforms 3 and 4, there is a steady build-up of passengers between 7-8 a.m. and then the heaviest loads between 8-8:45 a.m. before the rush begins tapering off to normal daytime volumes by about 9:30 a.m.
Canada Line sees its heaviest crowds at the Brighouse Station between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.
4. About that backpack…
For those using backpacks, please be kind to your fellow passengers by carrying or putting your backpack down by your feet. Remember, don’t be a birdie big bags and put them on the seat beside you.
5. There is no “I” in Team
Cooperation makes getting through PLDC easier for everyone. Remember to move away from the doors to allow more room for others to get on. On SkyTrain station platforms, please stand back so passengers can leave the train more easily. The sooner they’re off, the easier you can get on.
6. Alternatives are a good thing
As everyone tries to get on major bus routes and SkyTrains, it’s always a good idea to see if there are any alternative ways to get to your destination faster. Check out our TravelSmart program to learn about other travel options such as walking, cycling, or carpooling. Mixing modes of travel may also speed up your journey and avoid the crowds.
If you are heading from Yaletown to Metrotown Station, instead of transferring from Yaletown to Waterfront Station on the Canada Line and then hopping on the Expo line to get off at Metrotown Station, why not walk from Yaletown Station to Granville Station – a direct connection to the Expo line. A 15-minute walk can save you time and benefit your health.
Choosing smarter, sustainable modes of travel benefits our health, our communities and the environment.
Advice for motorists
1. Sharing is more fun
Consider ride-sharing, shifting your travel times or even arranging to work from home if possible to reduce the number of vehicles trying to move in the peak traffic periods.
2. Slow your roll
Remember that school zone speed limits will be in effect again. Watch out for kids going to kindergarten and elementary classes!
3. Bikes are vehicles too
More people will be cycling to work and school, so drivers also need to take care near cycling lanes and to watch for cyclists when changing lanes or making turns.
4. Do the time shift
See #3 in Advice for transit riders above.
Advice for pedestrians
1. There’s a time to walk and not walk
Even pedestrians can make a difference by obeying the “DON’T WALK” signs, particularly when crossing intersections along major bus routes. That allows vehicles to complete turns and all of the traffic waiting behind them, including buses, to move more efficiently.
We’ve shared our tips gearing up for PLDC. Do you have any other suggestions to add? We’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below!