Price Tags contributor Scot Bathgate of the Daily Scot sent this CTV news article reporting on the increase in the dreaded “Bus Pass Ups” in Metro Vancouver.As reported by Jon Woodward , those people left waiting at a bus stop while the bus passes by have increased by 50 per cent over the last five years. The reason? Increasing ridership and delayed infrastructure investments, like the Broadway subway extension.
“Every time a bus leaves someone behind, bus drivers press a button that logs the incident. In 2010, bus drivers pressed that button 211,184 times.In 2011, after the Canada Line opened, that number actually dropped to 199,743. But in subsequent years that number increased again, to 259,994 in 2012, and 317,276 in 2013.
As TransLink was pressed to reorganize its routes for efficiency, bus pass-ups dropped in 2014, to 297,217. But that improvement was short-lived: last year, the number rose again to 313,744, and this year it was at 214,080 in August – putting it on track to be around the 320,000 mark by the end of the year.”
The most crowded routes are no surprise-Four of the five most crowded routes travel east and west through Vancouver: the 49, which heads from Metrotown to UBC; the 41, which heads from Joyce Station to UBC; the 25, which heads from Brentwood Town Centre to UBC; and the 99 B-Line, which goes along Broadway from Commercial Drive to UBC.
As people move to the region, they use the bus. Unfortunately those newcomers are also using the most popular, well serviced routes. Ridership increased 2.8 per cent since last year, or approximately 6.6 million rides. And some of those routes, like the popular 99 B-Line is at capacity, with a three-minute service at stops along the route.
The answer-Resources. The Broadway subway has been on the table since 2008 with a promise of connecting to the University of British Columbia. That plan was nixed by the current Premier Christy Clark who wanted a regional vote on a sales tax to fund transit improvements, including a shorter Broadway line that would terminate at Arbutus.
The Federal government has offered transit project funding but it is dependent on provincial and municipal governments matching contributions. It is time now to start that conversation so that the region can move forward efficiently and sustainably in its transit services.