Transportation experts talk about the two functions of transit. It can primarily serve, which means putting most of your transit where existing demand is. Or it can be used to shape — so transit lines are built or routed into areas where demand isn’t strong yet, but the hope is that if transit goes there, development, density and demand will follow.
As a result of all the pressure to be efficient, efficient, efficient, the system — which had been very focused on shaping (many suburban bus lines running every 15 minutes even though not necessarily full, the Millennium Line, the West Coast Express, etc etc ) — is now shifting over more to the serving mode. As a result, this just-out announcement from TransLink consultations for “service optimiatization,” which to people in more suburban areas is likely to translate as service cuts.
Members of the public will have an opportunity to offer comments and suggestions on proposals to provide transit service around Metro Vancouver in more efficient and effective ways. Public consultation on a set of proposed bus service optimization changes will begin November 19. Draft plans for refining and redesigning certain services will be presented both online and at a series of local open houses across the region. Feedback received will be taken into consideration as the plans are finalized in the New Year.
Service optimization is a critical part of TransLink’s ongoing program of managing the transit network. Its goal is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the transit network by reallocating existing resources from areas of low-productivity to areas where demand is higher. Using technology such as automated passenger counters and GPS tracking, TransLink planners can see how each bus route in the system is being used and use this information to better match transit supply to demand.
“Demand for transit service is growing in the region,” says TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis. “Our goal is to match that demand with an efficient service. Last year, we added 14 million more rides at no extra cost. We’re building on that success, and have a robust process in place to ensure we’re thinking about our customers and taxpayers as we plan and deliver transit service. We’ve done an analysis and now we want to hear from the public.”
The guiding principles for Service Optimization were established through consultations in 2010. One of those principles is to maintain service, to the greatest degree possible for transit-dependent customers while being efficient. (The guiding principles for Service Optimization can be found online at www.translink.ca/
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The increased ridership in 2011 through the optimization initiative generated 5 per cent more transit revenue, simply by shifting resources to where they were needed most. This indicates that service optimization is not only addressing current demand, but also generating more ridership.
The online consultation and open houses will continue through 4pm, December 13, with feedback being used to help finalize service changes. Any service adjustments will take effect later in 2013 or after.
SERVICE OPTIMIZATION 2013 – CONSULTATION SCHEDULE
VANCOUVER (routes 2, 22, C21, C23)
Tues., Nov. 20, 4-7:30pm, Roundhouse Centre (Room B) – 181 Roundhouse Mews (off Pacific Blvd. at Davie)
2, 22: Combine as 22 and extend some short-turns to Knight and Kingsway
C21, C23: Separate services, extend C21 to Stanley Park and C23 along Terminal Ave
COQUITLAM (routes 153, 159, 177, 179, 189, C24, C29, C30, C38)
Wed. Nov. 21, 4 – 7:30 pm Evergreen Cultural Centre – Studio Theatre – 1205 Pinetree Way
153: Reroute via Schoolhouse Street to expand network coverage and reduce duplication
159, 177: Combine routes and discontinue service on low-demand segments
179, 189: Discontinue existing service and replace with new 188 David Avenue / Coast Meridian
C24: Reroute via Robinson and Foster to improve coverage and reduce duplication
C29, C30, C38: Reroute services near Coquitlam Centre to improve legibility and reliability
NEW WESTMINSTER (routes 101, 154, C98, C99)
Thurs. Nov. 22, 4 – 7:30pm Royal City Centre – Community Room – 620 – 6th St.
101, 154: Realign services to simplify network and improve directness of routes
C98, C99: Discontinue C99 and reroute C98 to improve service to Queensborough Landing area
SURREY (routes 312, 314, 332, 335, 502)
Wed. Nov. 28, Surrey City Central Library – Meeting Room 120 – 10350 University Drive (next to Surrey Central Station
312: Remove Scottsdale Mall detour to improve travel times and simplify route
314: Remove River Road segment to reduce duplication and simplify route
332, 335: Combine services and reroute via 72nd Ave to Newton Exchange
502: Introduce new 503 express service to Langley / Aldergrove and truncate 502 at Langley Centre
NORTH VANCOUVER (routes 211, 229, N24)
Thurs., Nov. 29, 4 – 7:30pm – Mollie Nye House, 940 Lynn Valley Rd.
211: Remove low-ridership Fairway detour
229: Split service at Lynn Valley and convert lower-demand portion to 227 community shuttle
N24: Reroute northern end of service to connect to Lynn Valley Town Centre
ALDERGROVE/LANGLEY (route 502)
Tues. Dec. 4, 5 – 7:30pm – Aldergrove Community High School (Small gym), 26850 – 29th Ave.
502: Introduce new 503 express service to Langley / Aldergrove and end 502 at Langley Centre
PITT MEADOWS (route C41)
Wed. Dec. 5, 4 – 7:30pm – Pitt Meadows Family Rec Centre, 12027 Harris Road
C41: Convert to two-way service with reduced frequency and reroute via civic centre
MAPLE RIDGE (routes C48 & C49)
Thurs. Dec. 6, 4 – 7:30pm, ACT Arts Centre & Theatre, 11944 Haney Place
C48, C49: Discontinue service on lowest-demand segments and reroute C48 to connect with West Coast Express
WEST VANCOUVER (routes 251, 252)
Tues. Dec. 11, 4 – 7:30pm, West Vancouver Memorial Library (Welsh Hall), 1950 Marine Dr.
251, 252: Reroute and convert to two-way service with connections to higher-frequency 250
BURNABY (routes C1, C2)
Wed. Dec. 12, 5 – 7:30pm. Gilmore Community School (Gym), 50 South Gilmore Ave.
C1, C2: Combine routes and extend to Kensington Square