Thursday, January 21, 2010

Please keep our bus service...

I read a depressing story in the Globe and Mail about funding issues and TransLink. This is nothing new, but the following comment gave me a bit of a scare.
So one result of the efficiency drive and the poor economy will be a shift in bus routes "to move from less productive service to more productive service," Mr. Jarvis said. That means routes with lower ridership may end up with longer waits between buses. He said those routes haven't been identified yet.
This comment basically means that TransLink will be shifting bus service from the South Fraser and moving it to Vancouver. This really sucks. It’s true that the South Fraser has less “productive” routes than Vancouver, but there is a reason.

TransLink has added many new bus routes in our region -I’m happy about the 364 and 595- but all these new services run every hour or half-hour. To attract riders, you need to run service every 15min or better. If we want to improve transit in the South Fraser, we need to be adding more 15min routes, not taking away service.

Taking away what little transit service we have will lock the South Fraser into single modal transpiration and give us no transportation options. I’m starting to like what Councilor Collette from Oregon Metro said at our event last week. If communities in the Portland area don’t like the transit service they are getting from the regional TriMet transit agency, they can start their own agency. In Portland, some have. With over 600,000 people in the South Fraser, I’m sure we could get a decent transit system. Maybe even light rail. Calgary did it with less people. Of course the reality is that the province controls transit in our region, so it’s really up to the province to step up to the plate and fix transit.

1 comment:

Paul Hillsdon said...

I'm glad you noticed that too Nathan. I'll be writing a scathing editorial on my blog shortly.

I proposed a couple of months ago that Surrey, the Langleys, Delta, and White Rock formally break off and start our own BRT network. Doing so, we could still stay under TransLink, while also providing high quality transit along the main transport corridors. The proposal was based off the VIVA system in the York region of Ontario, a large suburb of Toronto. That system has won many awards for its customer service and branding and has achieved great ridership.

While that solution may no longer be the best option, I think it's becoming clearer and clearer that we must, as a sub-region, take this matter into our own hands.