Wednesday, June 24, 2020

TransLink funding “quick-win” projects to improve bus speed. Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project continues to move forward.

As I posted about yesterday, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a reduction in vehicle and transit volumes throughout Metro Vancouver. At the same time, there has been an increase in walking and cycling.

Many municipalities have responded by reallocating road space to make walking and cycling more comfortable.

This current reduction in vehicle and transit volumes has given TransLink staff the opportunity to evaluate the bus network with the eye to increase the travel speeds of buses with “quick-win” projects. Some of the ideas that TransLink staff are evaluating include:

Bus stop optimization:
Some locations present opportunities to remove or consolidate bus stops where they are too closely spaced relative to adopted Transit Service Guidelines (2018). This can improve bus performance and expand public realm by freeing up sidewalk space.

Bus bulges and boarding islands:
Curb extensions or boarding islands are real ‘win/wins’ by reducing delays for buses entering and exiting traffic while also increasing sidewalk space for walking, queuing, patios, etc.

Lines & signs:
There is a suite of other bus priority measures that can often be implemented quickly or trialed with temporary materials. These include regulatory changes (rush regulations, turn restriction, right turn pocket), and lane designations (bus/HOV lane, transit approach lane, queue jump) that reduce bus delay.

While TransLink can optimize bus stops without the support of municipalities, municipal partnership is needed for the other two categories of “quick-win” projects.

To that end, TransLink is making $547,000 available immediately for municipalities to implement “quick-win” projects.

A while back, there were some headlines that implied that SkyTrain to Langley was going to be delay significantly. While the original timeline for federal and provincial sign-off of the project has moved from this summer to this fall, work is still ongoing.

TransLink staff provided an update to its board on the on-going work to build the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension. This work includes:

  • Preparing the procurement documents including a request for qualifications, request for proposal, and draft project agreement
  • Refining the reference design concept
  • Negotiating a Municipal Access Agreement with the City of Surrey
  • Coordinating with BC Hydro on the design of transmission tower relocations at two locations
  • Continuing studies supporting the environmental screening review
  • Preparing specific project approval documentation for internal capital project approval
  • Coordinating with parallel projects including those being delivered in the Expo Millennium Line Program and Broadway Subway project.

I am still confident that the SkyTrain extension project will be moving forward.

1 comment:

Nathan Davidowicz said...

You should post Prof. Boston (SFU) comments so we can understand the mistakes that TransLink is making on SLS and misleading information.

Bus stop optimization need approval from cities.
In Vancouver, we lost over 100 bus stops over the last 10 years making it harde4r for many seniors/disable passengers. If you want faster travel time than put in an express bus service on top of the local bus service.

Nathan Davidowicz