Monday, April 29, 2024

TransLink releases bus congestion-busting plan to speed up service and lower costs.

Last year, TransLink spent $80 million to maintain existing bus service levels due to congestion. This number grows each year. For example, TransLink spent an additional $2 million in 2023. As congestion grows, so does the time for a bus to complete its route. So, more buses are needed to maintain the same service frequency.

Over time, TransLink has invested in partnership with willing municipalities on bus priority measures to speed up bus service, using those cost savings to invest in more bus service in our region. Speeding up service and saving money is why Langley City and TransLink added bus lanes around Downtown Langley a few years ago.

This year, TransLink plans to invest a one-time $17 million to speed up bus service along five corridors: Kingsway, 49th Ave, Granville St, Marine Dr, Hastings St in Vancouver and Burnaby.

Map of five selected corridors for bus priority investment. Select the map to enlarge.

This investment will pay for itself in under ten years as TransLink will not have to continue to add buses to maintain the same level of service on these corridors.

Based on a comprehensive evaluation of travel corridors that factored in congestion and transit ridership, TransLink developed the following map, which lays out where we should invest in bus priority measures to save money and speed up service.

Bus Priority Vision Map. Select the map to enlarge.

Corridors with Very High Intensity priority need all-day bus lanes. Such measures are needed along sections of Fraser Highway, 203rd Street, and Logan Avenue in Langley City.

Medium to High Intensity priority corridors would see some time-of-day bus lanes and intersection improvements to keep buses going. Low Intensity priority corridors would see smaller measures such as bus stop relocation to keep service speedy.

Reducing congestion will require the support of municipalities to install transit priority measures, which can be easier said than done, as sometimes this means changing general travel lanes into bus-only lanes in already congested areas. Though counterintuitive, swapping general travel lanes into bus lanes increases the number of people travelling along a corridor. TransLink works with willing municipalities to implement these measures.

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