Vancouver City Councillor

Category — Transit

1999 Broadway Corridor transit study found LRT most expensive, predicted bus service would be at capacity . . . now

As the Translink Mayors Council works to create a regional transportation investment plan to put before voters, the findings of a 1999 study on Broadway Corridor transit options seem eerily prescient.

As those long-ago planners predicted, bus rapid transit on the corridor is bursting at the seams, well ahead of their 2021 estimate,  and light rail options won’t do the job. That left a Skytrain tunnel option at least to Arbutus (combined with rapid bus to UBC) as the best option, because it’s faster, less disruptive and cheaper overall than LRT.

The $200,000 joint study by Translink, Vancouver and the province predicted that rapid bus service from Commercial to UBC would have “its capacity tested in 15 to 20 years.”

Fifteen years later and the 99 B-Line carries more riders than the Millennium Line, despite help from a range of new crosstown routes introduced in the meantime.

(A more recent Translink study has confirmed that it’s time for rail on the corridor.)

The favoured solution in 1999? The report did not make recommendations, but it is striking to see light rail transit was beaten by Skytrain for overall cost and operating cost, not to mention impacts on the nighbourhoods west of Commercial.

As the 1999 report concluded, [

April 18, 2014

Washington State regulators laying groundwork to regulate party buses

Moves to regulate party buses in Washington State, now under consideration by the state Utility and Transportation Commission, underline how far behind BC is falling in a North America-wide push to ensure public safety in the industry.

Although BC Transportation Minister Todd Stone has so far rejected calls for regulation here, more Lower Mainland municipalities are joining Vancouver’s call for action.

California has already passed comprehensive regulation and pressure for action is rising in Oregon, where Portland has stepped enforcement after a fatality in that city.

When will BC act? Grad season will soon be upon us, as Julie Raymond, who lost her daughter Shannon in a BC party bus incident in 2010, recently reminded Todd Stone. There’s no time like the present.

April 7, 2014

Metro Mayors review Stone’s comments in Legislature for hints on future of transit referendum

Metro Vancouver Mayors are poring over the transcript of this week’s Legislature exchange between Transportation Minister Todd Stone and George Heyman, the opposition critic and NDP MLA for Fairview.

The takeaway: no breaking stories in this debate during estimates, but confirmation of some important developments in the continuing transit funding saga, including funding for a Pattullo Bridge replacement and a willingness to implement road pricing if it’s approved by voters.

Here’s the transcript, which can be found here: [Read more →]

April 4, 2014

Urban Futures survey shows massive and growing support for public transit investment to tackle congestion

Do Metro mayors face a tough sell on the upcoming transit referendum, as Ken Cameron suggests in this Tyee review of the new Urban Futures survey? Or is public opinion waiting for elected officials to catch up?

In fact, as Cameron notes in his analysis, this massive 2012 review of Metro public opinion found support for transit investment growing very significantly since the last survey was conducted in 1990. The relevant chart is on page 46 here.

Not so reassuring: the declining anxiety about the housing supply.

March 26, 2014