The new B-Line rapid bus running from West through North Vancouver is shaping up to be the biggest new and improved transit service in the North Shore since the introduction of the SeaBus.
It is one of four new B-Line routes that will be launched by the end of 2019, and it will be 25% faster than existing services with a 45-minute travel time during the busy peak period from the western terminus at Dundarave in West Vancouver and the eastern terminus at Phibbs Exchange.
The new 14-km-long service will use three-door articulated buses and arrive every eight minutes during the peak period and 10 to 15 minutes during other times. The B-Line will operate from 6 am to 1 am everyday, and its capacity of 1,100 passengers per hour will be equivalent to adding a lane of cars to Marine Drive.
The buses and stops will have a different unique look that immediately identifies the B-Line as a superior service. New special bus shelters will have real-time information displaying the arrival times of the next buses and there will be route information inside the buses.
TransLink is also working with all three North Shore municipal governments to implement extensive traffic signal priority for buses, bus lanes, and queue jumpers.
These are 13 proposed stops on the route, with the stops spaced about one kilometre apart:
In the future, two stops could also be added at St. Andrews Avenue and Maplewood. However, there are no plans to extend the route to serve Capilano University and Horseshoe Bay.
“I think there are constraints in terms of financing and demand,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond last month in response to a question on whether the route could be extended to Horseshoe Bay.
“There’s very good transit service to Horseshoe Bay now from a variety of different routes that both connect to downtown Vancouver and within the North Shore. As we think about those routes, maybe in the future an extension. I know there’s interest in extending the route further east as a matter of fact. So we want to chase the demand, make sure it is well used, and make sure each of the B-Line routes meet the needs of the local communities.”
There will be some changes to existing bus services, including the discontinuation of the No. 239 to avoid a duplication with the B-Line and a shift of the No. 255 to Keith Road with reduced frequency, but it will provide a faster link from Capilano University to Central Lonsdale.
The No. 240 will see its frequency increased and route extended to Lynn Valley.