This is a neat video from 4 am to 4 am that shows the transit activity in Metro Vancouver, based on the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data made available by Translink.
After watching the video you’ll notice that much of the transit activity happens north of the Fraser river. Naturally, this will conjure up feelings of resent from those living in the car-oriented developed suburbs south of the Fraser. To suggest that those living in the valley don’t deserve more transit options would be ridiculous. However, what form that transit takes is the great debate.
It’s well understood that Surrey is growing and fast, double the pace of the well established Vancouver, and that is the number one argument for immediate additional rapid transit in Surrey. However, Surrey currently does not have the population, employment, retail, public health and educational density that Vancouver does and I’d argue that in our lifetimes it never will. Currently, more people work in the Broadway Corridor than they do in Surrey’s slowly emerging city centre. From a purely financial and intellectual perspective rapid transit down Broadway should be the next big transit investment. Once constructed this would allow Translink to deploy the B-line buses to the South of the Fraser and slowly transition a car-oriented suburban culture into a more transit friendly suburban culture ready to fully embrace rapid transit.
Nobody knows for sure what the future will hold for Metro Vancouver but this may be what Vancouver’s transit network would like in 100 years.