Metro Vancouver’s public transit bus network will receive a major boost in speed, frequency, and connectivity in 2019 when four new B-Line routes go into service.
TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond announced last week the timeline of the launch for the new routes, which is aligned with the Mayors’ Council’s approval of the $2-billion phase one service expansion last year.
These are the four new B-Line routes that will run across the region:
“By expanding and enhancing our bus services in suburban areas that have been historically underserved and car dependent, we are now committing to make transit a more realistic option for more people throughout our region. We do need to catch up,” said Desmond.
Late last year as part of phase one, TransLink initiated the 95 B-Line service, running along Hastings Street between Burrard Station in downtown Vancouver and the Simon Fraser University campus atop Burnaby Mountain.
For service improvements beyond 2019, the public transit authority is also examining the feasibility of a B-Line service from Metrotown Station to Richmond-Brighouse Station.
Additionally, Desmond spoke about the service improvements to regional bus routes made in time for the start of the new school year.
TransLink implemented 105,000 additional service hours to the bus system this month, resulting in permanent service improvements to 17 bus routes, including upgrades to four of the 10 most overcrowded routes based on 2016 data: 99 B-Line, 41 UBC/Joyce, 20 Victoria/Downtown, and 49 UBC/Metrotown.
“It means providing better connections and expanding service hours earlier in the morning and later in the evening to meet the changing needs of our customers,” he said.
“Most excitingly, it means 20,000 people living in Surrey, Langley, and Maple Ridge now live within a five minute walk from our transit system for the very first time thanks to new and expanded routes in suburban communities.”
This is the third time bus service levels were permanently increased this year as part of the expansion plan. About 65,000 service hours were added in April and another 24,000 service hours were introduced in June.
By the end of the year, there will be over 200,000 service hours of additional bus service. As well, double decker buses will also be placed into service on some routes to test their suitability in Metro Vancouver.
Based on TransLink’s ridership data from the first six months of the year, ridership across the system is on track to reach a new record in 2017.