Downtown Vancouver bus routes to be redrawn to improve service

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Vancouver bus

TransLink is exploring options to redraw downtown Vancouver’s bus routes in an effort to improve bus service and accommodate future ridership demand.

According to the transportation agency, the current design of the bus network predates much of the growth and developments that are now seen in Yaletown, Downtown South and around False Creek. In some cases, bus routes are confusing and inconvenient and they are unable to meet demand.

Considerations are also being given for the possibility of permanent road closures on the 800-block of Robson Street (for conversion into a year-round street level public plaza at Robson Square) and the 600-block of Cambie Street to create a new plaza between West Georgia and Dunsmuir Streets for the future Larwill Park location of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Several alternative options are being proposed to improve services for Downtown-only routes, including the implementation of a new Downtown Loop route, and Cambie Bridge and Eastern Corridor routes.

The public is asked to provide input at open houses held on: Wednesday, April 9 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Woodward’s atrium; Thursday, April 10 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Roundhouse Community Centre; and Saturday, April 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Library Square.

Those who are unable to attend the open houses can also give feedback via TransLink’s online questionnaire.

Downtown-only Routes

Current

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.13.17 PM
Key Issues and Opportunities:

  • Service between the West End and Yaletown does not meet demand.
  • No trolley wires on Davie Street east of Richards.
  • Ongoing, planned or potential road closures that affect bus routes.
  • No direct services connecting the West End or Yaletown to Gastown.
  • Interest in a “loop” service connecting downtown neighbourhoods.

Alternative A1: L-shaped Loop

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.15.08 PM

Concept:

  • 6 would extend via Davie and Cambie Streets to Yaletown and Stadium Station.
  • 5 would remain on Robson Street and Granville Street and connects with the 6 near Stadium Station.
  • C21 would provide service along Beach Avenue and through Northeast False Creek to Main Street Station, replacing the C23.

Benefits and Trade-offs:

  • Easy to understand loop covering the downtown peninsula.
  • Improved connections between West End, Yaletown and Gastown.
  • Connections to rapid transit lines maintained or enhanced.
  • Maintains direct connections from Robson Street to key destinations on Granville Street.
  • Direct routes improve reliability and speed.
  • 5 would need to be rerouted during closures of Granville or Robson Streets.
  • Transfer required from Davie Street to access destinations at north end of Granville Street.
  • C21 offers direct connections from Beach Avenue to Expo/Millennium Line Stations.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.20.06 PM

Alternative A2: Rectangular Loop

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.30.45 PM

Concept:

  • 6 would extend via Davie Street to Yaletown Station.
  • 5 would extend along the full length of Robson Street and connects with the 6 on Cambie Street.
  • C21 would provide service along Beach Avenue and through Northeast False Creek to Main Street Station, replacing the C23.

Benefits and Trade-offs:

  • Easy to understand loop stretching full length of downtown peninsula.
  • Improved connections between West End and Yaletown.
  • Loss of direct connections to some rapid transit stations and the Central Business District.
  • Direct routes improve reliability and speed.
  • C21 offers direct connections from Beach Avenue to Expo/Millennium Line Stations.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.30.57 PM

 

Cambie Bridge Routes

Current

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.37.43 PM

Key Issues and Opportunities:

  • One-way loop service is unclear and inconvenient for some customers, particularly for trips within downtown.
  • Current trolley wire prevents two-way service on Cambie Street and limits options for turning locations.
  • This is the only direct service connecting Yaletown to Gastown, Chinatown and the Central Business District.
  • The possible relocation of the Vancouver Art Gallery may involve the closure of 600-block of Cambie Street (between Georgia and Dunsmuir)

Alternative B1: Two-way 17 route via Cambie

Downtown Vancouver Bus Reroute

Benefits and Trade-offs:

  • Improves clarity and usefulness.
  • Improves connections between Yaletown and Gastown.
  • Maintains connections with rapid transit stations.
  • Loss of direct access to Granville Street and parts of the Central Business District.
  • Requires introduction of trolley wires north-bound on Cambie Street.
  • Would be impacted by closure of 600-block of Cambie Street

Alternative B2: Two-way 17 route via Robson and Granville

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.44.27 PM

Benefits and Trade-offs:

  • Improves clarity and usefulness.
  • Reduces connections between Gastown and Yaletown.
  • Maintains connections with rapid transit stations.
  • Maintains direct access to Granville Street and parts of the Central Business District.
  • Could be implemented without changes to trolley wires.
  • Would not be impacted by closure of 600-block of Cambie Street.

 

Eastern Corridor Routes

Current

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.47.44 PM

Key Issues and Opportunities:

  • Routes 4, 7, and 200s follow confusing and inconsistent routings in and out of downtown, using Powell Street and Pender Street westbound and Cordova eastbound.
  • Routes 3, 8 and 19 operate on different streets downtown while serving the same Main Street corridor.
  • The variety of service routings in and out of downtown creates confusion and frustration for customers.
  • Services operating on Pender Street are particularly slow due to traffic congestion and pedestrian volumes.

Alternative C1: Simplified Routes West of Main Street

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 1.52.56 PM

New Concept:

  • 4, 7 and 200s would be rerouted via Hastings inbound west of Main Street.
  • All Main Street local services (3, 8, 19) would operate via Pender Street.
  • All other Eastern Corridor routes would remain the same including the 20, 22 and 135.

Benefits and Trade-offs:

  • Improves clarity and usefulness from grouping Main Street services onto Pender Street and some city-wide/regional services onto Hastings Street (inbound) and Cordova Street (outbound).
  • May improve service speed and reliability.
  • May require additional transit priority measures to manage increased bus service on Hastings Street

Source/Images: TransLink

 

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