Wednesday, October 28, 2020

“Quick win” projects to improve bus reliability in Metro Vancouver

Buses are an effective way to move people around. Private vehicles can carry approximately 600 to 1,600 people per hour. Buses mixed with private vehicles can move about 1,000 to 2,800 people per hour. Buses travelling in their own lane can carry 4,000 to 8,000 people per hour.

In most of the region, buses travel with private vehicle traffic. This means that as congestion increases, bus reliability and efficiency decreases.

Over the years, municipalities, TransLink, and the provincial government have invested in building bus priority measures such as dedicated bus lanes, bus bulbs, and traffic signal prioritization throughout the region. This year, municipalities and TransLink are delivering $1.5 million in “quick win” projects to speed up bus service.

The following map shows the top 20 busiest bus corridors in the region.

Map showing existing bus priority and quick-win projects by expected completion date

The blue lines represent bus prioritization measures that existed before this year. The green represents projects that are completed or will be completed this year. The orange represents projects that will be completed in 2021, while red projects currently do not have a timeline.

The projects this year include:

  • Robson and Main: Temporary bus bulbs (Completed)
  • Granville: Downtown northbound bus-only lanes extended to Nelson Street (Completed)
  • Fraser Highway: Bus approach lanes at 96th Avenue and 148th Street intersections (Completed)
  • Vancouver/Route 2: Eliminated some closely spaced bus stop (Completed)
  • Granville, Main, 41st, and Georgia in Vancouver: 19 km of new or extended bus priority lanes
  • 49th Ave (Van), Edmonds St (Burnaby), and Bridgeport Rd (Richmond): Tactical changes
  • 8th St (New West) and Lonsdale Ave (City of North Vancouver): Bus bulbs

There is still more work to be done on the top 20 corridors. TransLink is looking to invest $4.15 million in bus prioritization measures in 2021 with partner municipalities’ support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a great deal of financial uncertainty. By focusing on high-impact, low-cost projects, TransLink and municipalities can quickly improve transit service without breaking the bank.

Find out more by reading the latest Mayors’ Council agenda.

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