Construction begins on street changes for Vancouver's new B-Line rapid bus route

Jun 13 2019, 8:15 pm

After some delays, construction has now begun on the street changes on 41st Avenue and Joyce Street in Vancouver for new bus-priority measures to create an enhanced 41st Avenue B-Line rapid bus service.

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TransLink says construction has begun on changing the design of the streets the bus route will operate on, which entails implementing bus-only lanes on much of the route’s curb side lane, which necessitates removing curb side parking in the affected areas.

Some of the bus-only lanes will be 24/7, while others will be effective from 7 am to 7 pm.

There will also be new turning bays at key intersections, concrete pads for bus stops, and new special B-Line bus shelters with real-time next-bus digital screens.

These street changes and additions will help ensure the frequent buses operate reliably at fast speeds, and the new passenger amenities will help establish the route as a superior service.

41st Avenue B-Line

May 2019 plan for the 41st Avenue road design changes to accommodate the new 41st Avenue B-Line rapid bus. Click on the image for an expanded version. (City of Vancouver)

“Right now, 40% to 60% of people travelling on 41st Avenue between Dunbar and Granville Street during rush hour are on buses,” said Sarah Ross, TransLink’s director of system planning, in a statement, adding that this is the second busiest bus corridor in Metro Vancouver after Broadway.

“There are 36,000 bus boardings each weekday on routes No. 41 and No. 43. All of these customers will benefit from the street changes even before B-Line service launches.”

41st Avenue B-Line

February 2019 route map of 41st Avenue B-Line. (TransLink)

The new B-Line will also mean changes to the existing No. 41 and No. 43; the No. 41 will be converted into a trolley service, short-turning at Crown Street instead of continuing westwards to UBC and switch to electric trolley vehicles, while the No. 43 will be cancelled as it is duplicated by the B-Line.

Overall, the 41st Avenue B-Line — between UBC Exchange and Joyce-Collingwood Station — will provide 33% more capacity than existing services and reduce waiting times by 50% compared to the existing No. 43.

During peak hours, articulated buses will run every three to six minutes, giving the route a peak capacity of up to 2,200 passengers per hour per direction.

End-to-end travel times of between 45 and 60 minutes during the busy peak periods are projected.

transportation capacity

Transportation mode capacity comparison. (City of Vancouver)

The 41st Avenue B-Line, along with new B-Line routes in the North Shore (Park Royal to Phibbs Exchange) and Lougheed Highway (Coquitlam Central Station to Maple Ridge), will launch in January 2020.

All three bus routes were originally slated for a Fall 2019 launch, but a decision was recently made to push this target date to early next year due to the extra time needed to implement the street changes. Construction for the Lougheed Highway B-Line and Marine Drive B-Line will begin later this month.

41st Avenue B-Line-related street changes on Wesbrook Mall at UBC began earlier this year, and road construction is nearing completion on 41st Avenue outside Oakridge Centre for the removal of the shopping mall’s tunnel ramp.

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