TransLink presents possibilities for North Shore transit upgrades
North Vancouver's Martin Davies could take the bus to his job in Harbourside if he wanted to, but the Grand Boulevard resident opts to walk most days.
That's because catching the #228 on Queensbury Avenue to Lonsdale Quay, only to wait for the #236 to get to Harbourside takes about 35 minutes. Walking takes him about the same amount of time.
"The transit network on the North Shore doesn't reflect reality. There's been so much growth and I believe so much greater interest in taking transit," said Davies.
"In my view of the Vancouver area, it's getting harder and harder to get around by car. If that is the case then it has to be made easier for people to take transit."
The perfect transit system — an idyllic web of simple, quick and never-delayed routes — exists in as many possibilities as there are people who use the service. And some of those varied opinions were shared Thursday evening in West Vancouver's Seniors Activity Centre, the venue for a TransLink open house on potential changes and upgrades to North Shore transit.
As part of the the North Shore Area Transit Plan, a sweeping analysis of TransLink's service in the area launched in September 2010, the transit authority has outlined 10 projects that may become candidates for "near-term priority" work. Near-term, as defined by TransLink, is up to 10 years from a green light being given to a job.
The potential projects outlined at the meeting were:
1) A B-Line style service on Marine Drive running from Dundarave to Phibbs Exchange. TransLink's B-Line service is an express bus that makes stops every 800-1000 metres, unlike regular routes that stop more frequently.
2) A re-design of the #251 and #252 in West Van, allowing for two-way community shuttle service instead of the current one-way routes.
3) A re-design of the service to Lynn Valley. Instead of the existing #229, which travels from Lonsdale Quay to Lynn Valley and then Phibbs Exchange, TransLink is proposing a route from the Quay to Lynn Valley, and a separate community shuttle from Lynn Valley to Phibbs. This new scheme would require a transfer in Lynn Valley to go to Phibbs Exchange, the current route does not.
4) A brand-new east-west route travelling from Lynn Valley Town Centre to Park Royal along East 29th Street, Edgemont Boulevard, Capilano Road and Marine Drive. This plan would require only one bus. Currently, it takes three — #246, #232, and #229 — to accomplish the trip.
5) Increased SeaBus sailings. Instead of 15-minute service during peak periods, 10-minute sailings are being considered.
6) An inter-regional Sea-to-Sky service, connecting Vancouver to Squamish during rush hours. Currently, TransLink offers service to Lions Bay. Extending to Squamish would require negotiations with BC Transit. TransLink does offer other out-of-area service such as the West Coast Express.
7) New Highway 1 service, connecting Horseshoe Bay to Brentwood Town Centre in Burnaby, with 30-minute frequency all week.
8) A re-design of the service in Westmount and Caulfeild, replacing the one-way #253 loop with two-way service. A new community shuttle from the current C12 route, connecting Horseshoe Bay and Caulfeild via Marine Drive would be established.
9) Improvements to Phibbs Exchange facilities such as increased lighting and more bus shelters.
10) Improvements to the Park Royal exchange. Adequate shelters and new crosswalks are being considered.
These 10 projects come from a list of 44 that are being evaluated for the North Shore. According to Kristin Lillyman, a TransLink representative, all projects will be discussed again in the spring.
Prior to presenting options to the public, TransLink consulted with various North Shore groups, including school districts and large employers, about their transit concerns.
The last time a North Shore transit plan was completed was December 2000. This new work is part of a larger TransLink process to develop a 30-year transit vision. Currently, 10 per cent of all trips are being made on transit. By 2040, TransLink hopes to increase that share to 15 per cent.
For more information on the North Shore Area Transit Plan, visit translink.ca or contact Kristin Lillyman at 604-453-4687 or firstname.lastname@example.org.