TransLink created a transit plan for the South of Fraser back in 2007 focusing up to the year 2013. The plan outlined how TransLink will deliver and enhance transit service in the South of Fraser.
One of the problems with many transit plans, and planning visions in general, is that they don’t have any required monitoring or follow-up. Without monitoring, it is difficult to keep organizations accountable on their plan’s deliverables. It is also difficult for organizations to gauge the success of their plans, so they can find where they did well, what constraints they ran into, and how they can improve.
For example, the City of Langley has a great plan for it Downtown Core. Unfortunately, there is no monitoring or follow-up for the plan. The City has not made any public documents available on the success of its implementation.
TransLink, on the other hand, follows up on its area transportation plans. So how did TransLink do in delivering what it outlined in its 2007 South of Fraser Area Transit Plan?
TransLink recently released a report which outlined the progress made towards implementing the plan. The report covered the period from 2007 through 2013.
One of the targets set in the area transit plan was to see transit mode share in the South of Fraser increase to 7% by 2011. Transit mode share increased from 4.5% in 2004 to 8.5% in 2011. This is a marked increase, and really shows how TransLink has been investing in transit service in the South of Fraser.
One of the key priorities in the area transit plan was to introduce B-Line service along Fraser Highways, along 200th Street, and along the King George/104th corridor between White Rock, Downtown Surrey, and Guildford. Unfortunately, TransLink was only able to implement B-Line service between Newton Exchange and Guildford along King George/104th due to funding constraints.
TransLink also planned on implementing frequent, all-day transit service along Highway 1 between Carvolth, Guildford, Lougheed Town Centre, and Coquitlam Town Centre. Due to funding constraints, TransLink was only able to implement the 555 express bus service.
While not as sexy as B-Line service or light rail, transit service that runs every 15 minutes or better all day, is key to increasing transit mode share. While TransLink wasn’t able to fully implement its envisioned frequent transit network due to funding constraints, it was able to build out most of the vision. This is one of the main reasons why transit mode share has increased sharply in the South of Fraser. During the reporting period, TransLink was able to almost double the amount of people and businesses within a short walk of the frequent transit network.
One of the areas where TransLink wasn’t successful in implementing, between 2007 through 2013, was building-out transit service in new, growing communities. For example, transit service is lacking in areas like Clayton, South Surrey, and Willoughby. Not to sound like a broken record, but the only reason why TransLink wasn’t able to delivery these planned improvements was because of a lack of funding from the province/local governments.
The following tables show that TransLink was able to increase ridership during the reporting period, while keeping the cost of delivering that service stable.
|2010-2013 South of Fraser transit performance statistics. Select tables to enlarge.|
If you want to dive into more details, I suggest you check out the full monitoring report. While TransLink wasn’t really able to deliver rapid transit service in the South of Fraser, it was able to build-out the frequent transit network which has shifted more people onto transit.