North Van city hunting for new bus depot location
The City of North Vancouver is once again asking TransLink to abandon plans to shutter its North Vancouver Transit Centre and instead build a new bus depot on the North Shore.
The unanimously approved motion came Monday as delegates from the Canadian Autoworkers Union and the Amalgamated Transit Union — which operate both buses and SeaBuses — asked council to find a site for a new transit depot and block TransLink from leaving North Vancouver in 2015.
That’s when the regional transit provider plans to move its fleet of 82 buses from the Third Street depot to Burnaby, where they would begin and end their usual North Shore service each day.
But CAW Local 111 representative Raj Janjua told council 95 per cent of drivers doing North Shore routes live on the North Shore already and don’t want the added commute. Council agreed, saying operators traveling to Burnaby each morning only to turn around and drive an empty bus back home — and then repeat the trip at the end of the day — flies in the face of both TransLink’s and the city’s stated commitments to green transportation.
“TransLink seems to be saying, ‘Do as I say but not as I do,’” said Coun. Linda Buchanan. “We’re asking our communities to get out of their cars and spend less time in their cars, and yet we’re asking these drivers to drive across the bridge and back so they can pick up the people in our community who’ve made that choice that we’ve asked them to. It seems a bit ludicrous to me.”
TransLink is expected to come before city council to discuss the possibility or impossibility of establishing another transit centre on the North Shore, be it pairing with West Vancouver’s Blue Bus depot on Lloyd Avenue adjacent to the ICBC centre, or establishing a separate depot somewhere else.
“ICBC is a provincial agency and now I hear that if you don’t pay your TransLink ticket you’re not going to not be able to renew your licence,” said Coun. Craig Keating. “So clearly TransLink and ICBC have something going on the side when they want to. Here’s a great opportunity where they should be working together to try to find a site.”
Coun. Rod Clark said sharing Capilano University’s parking facilities could be another solution as the parking lots are empty at night. Other sites suggested by the mayor and council included some waterfront property near Cargill and a lot behind the Grant Connell Tennis Centre.
However, all of these properties are in the District of North Vancouver, so any decision on them would chiefly concern district council.