Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TransLink Strategic Transportation Plan 2000 - 2005: Transit Improvements

Yesterday I had a look at some of the overall statistics about TransLink, comparing when the TransLink Strategic Transportation Plan 2000 - 2005 (STP) was released to now. Today I'll be looking at some of the proposed expansion plans for transit in the STP. Sadly, most of the plans have not come to past.
Express Bus Improvements. Select image to view full size.
Four new express bus routes were to be introduced connecting the following regional town centres: Richmond Centre and Metrotown, Richmond Centre and Surrey City Centre, Surrey City Centre to Coquitlam Centre, and Langley Centre to the new Braid Street SkyTrain Station or Downtown Vancouver. The Surrey/Langley buses were proposed to go over the Port Mann Bridge by 2005. Today none of these express bus services are in operation.
B-Line Bus Improvements. Select image to view full size
TransLink was also going to introduce a Downtown Vancouver/UBC B-Line, Downtown Vancouver/SFU B-Line, and Surrey B-Line bus service by 2005. None of these B-Lines are in operation.

When It comes to the Evergreen Line, it has been the number on priority since TransLink has been around.
The SkyTrain project currently being built by the provincial Rapid Transit Project Office is comprised of parts of two of the lines identified by both the Province and the GVRD as high priority. These are the New Westminster to Coquitlam Centre line and the Central Broadway to Lougheed Mall line and together are referred to as the ‘T’-Line.

The completion of these two lines, particularly the connection to Coquitlam Centre, is critically important to the achievement of the goals of the Livable Region Strategic Plan. While there is a funding agreement in place to complete the line to Coquitlam, there is not yet a design or final timeline, and the legal agreement between the Province and TransLink has not been finalized.
The Canada Line also had a different plan back in 2001 as TransLink was going to "work with the City of Vancouver and Canadian Pacific Railways to preserve the Arbutus railway corridor for transportation purposes."

Dues to the decade long fight about how to fund transit in our region, service improvements have not come anywhere close to what was originally planned. The recently proposed 2-cent gas tax increase is a step in the right direction to funding transit, but even the gas tax increase will not be enough to pay for the level of transit service that everyone claims to wants.

Tomorrow I'll look at the road improvements that TransLink proposed back in 2000.

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