Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

More buses key plank of plan

with 5 comments

Richmond Review

TransLink’s plan for 2008 will add 94 new buses or community shuttles to expand the fleet, over and above the 160 more new buses slated to replace old ones.

That will push up total transit service by 5.9 per cent next year, about one per cent more than the projected increase in demand.

The extra buses will allow full bus rapid transit service along the new 95-B Line route that follows Hastings Avenue to SFU.

At least two dozen new buses will go to meet demand in areas south of the Fraser, including the 152 Street corridor to White Rock.

TransLink officials say the net effect of the extra buses will be to greatly extend the frequent transit network they define as providing service at least every 15 minutes, 15 hours a day.

Nearly all of the network is so far concentrated in Vancouver, apart from SkyTrain and some B-Line routes.

By the end of 2008, however, nearly one million residents—or 46 per cent of the GVRD population, up from 36 per cent now—will live within 450-metre walking distance of the network.

Among the bus routes that will go frequent in 2008: from 22nd Street Station to Richmond Centre via Highway 91; and from Richmond Centre to Steveston.

Next year, TransLink plans to launch new area transit plans to identify local priorities for Richmond.

I am not sure what they mean by “full bus rapid transit service” since that is a very flexible term. BRT in many cities like Curitiba , Ottawa but, best of all Bogota means a completely segregated roadway – and that is certainly not going to be the case on Hastings. However that route already has bus/HOV lane provision at peaks. No bus priority at traffic signals, though, so far as I know. But I am pleased that now this blog is being more widely read there may be some comments from others better informed than I.

“Go frequent” (not the best English usage but we should let that alone) means 15 minute headway. I would rather reserve the term for the 7 minute headways common on some of the busier Vancouver trolley routes, but for Richmond it would certainly be an advance, especially if it applies off peak. And since there are four routes which connect Richmond Centre to Steveston (401, 402, 407, 410) which one are we talking about? The #410 already has 15 minute headways

Low floor 40′ new flyer (D40LF) Photo by Stephen Rees

One the things I will be pushing for in the new plan is more express bus service utilizing the freeway system. Nonstop, direct services between major regional centres. Richmond-Whalley, Richmond – New Westminster, Richmond-Metrotown, Whalley – Guildford -Coquitlam Town Centre would all be on my shopping list for early implementation.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 30, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Posted in transit

5 Responses

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  1. I also have frustrations with Translink’s development of their frequent transit network. Frankly, I don’t agree that 15 minute headways is frequent; it’s more like “a reasonable wait”. I agree that 7 minutes or maybe 8, should be classified as frequent. SkyTrain’s max is 6 I believe, and if we can get buses going on 7 or 8 minutes, you would see a huge surge in ridership. 15 minute headways does not cut it. And we aren’t even talking implementation of other technologies to increase reliability of routes (from AVL to HOV lanes).

    Paul Hillsdon

    June 30, 2007 at 4:47 pm

  2. I believe that for a route to be considered “frequent,” the 15 min headways need to be seven days a week.


    June 30, 2007 at 6:27 pm

  3. My understanding is that 15 min is the worst case scenario, on say a Sunday afternoon. Most the ‘frequent’ routes will be much more frequent during rush hour.


    July 1, 2007 at 9:18 am

  4. Stephen. I like your idea of pushing for direct services between regional centres. I was pleased when CMBC introduced the 430 Metrotown-Richmond Centre route. That’s the kind of routes that we need to get from region to region.

    With respect to frequency, I think 15 minutes is not frequent. I live along 41st Avenue and that bus is fairly frequent, but sometimes I need to take the 26 bus. That runs every 15 minutes during the day, but it sure doesn’t feel frequent.


    July 1, 2007 at 9:19 am

  5. I’m pretty sure that Translink’s definition in their Frequent Transit Network is not by route (i.e Main #3, Fraser #8) but by corridor. So they say that as along as a bus is scheduled to pass by you every 15 min then it is ‘frequent’ service – only it may not actually be your bus. And I agree – 15 min – for the bus you actually want! – is not frequent service.

    David Hendry

    July 7, 2007 at 6:44 am

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