When it comes to making transit a reasonable transportation choice, rapid transit and frequent transit service are the only kinds of service that matters. According to TransLink, frequent transit is “corridors where transit service runs at least every 15 minutes in both directions throughout the day and into the evening, every day of the week.” So it was interesting to have a look at a map of the frequent transit network for Metro Vancouver that TransLink published. I have a few observations.
|TransLink's Frequent Transit Network. ">Download the PDF|
The first observation is that the frequent transit network in the South of Fraser leaves much to be desired. North Surrey has densities that are higher or the same as Burnaby, yet Burnaby has a much tighter frequent transit network grid. In Metro Vancouver, we seem to have this notion that towers are need to provide frequent transit service. Given the fact that the 502 is one of the most congested routes in the region and it goes through low to medium density areas, I have to wonder if the real reason that people don’t take transit in the South of Fraser is because there isn’t enough frequent transit network routes.
What concerns me of late is that the TransLink Commissioner Martin Crilly (who lives in Victoria) suggested that some routes in the frequent transit network be “rationalized”. I’d like to know which routes he thinks should be cut because what we need is more frequent transit route in the South of Fraser, not less.
Another thing that stood out to be is that the Township of Langley is the only municipality (beside the tiny towns of Anmore, Belcarra, Bowen Island, and Lions Bay) that does not have a single route on the frequent transit network. This is just not acceptable. The Township of Langley has the density and destination in Walnut Grove and along the 200th Street corridor to support frequent transit service. The really interesting thing is that both the 501 and 595 (which are 30 minutes services) are scheduled within 10 minutes of each other. When some creative scheduling they could actually provide frequent transit level service in the Township of Langley along 200th Street.
TransLink’s Frequent Transit Network map shows me that there is still much work to do in giving people real transportation choice in the South of Fraser.