City of Burnaby to install up to 370 new TransLink bus stop shelters

Apr 14 2023, 12:56 am

By 2030, the City of Burnaby is aiming to complete the installation of 370 new replacement and additional TransLink bus stop shelters.

And it is kicking off with an initial round of new all-weather shelters this year, with the municipal government recently closing its bidding process seeking a contractor to design, supply, and install 50 new bus stop shelters by early December 2023.

Burnaby City Council’s recently approved 2023-2027 five-year financial plan sets aside about $6.75 million for new bus stop shelters, including $1 million in 2023, another $1 million in 2024, $1.5 million in 2025, $1.75 million in 2026, and $2.25 million in 2027.

These annual funding levels will allow the municipal government to install about 50 bus stop shelters per year.

This represents a very significant ramp-up in the pace of bus shelter installation. In contrast, the City installed only two bus stop shelters in 2019, 16 in 2020, and about 20 in 2021.

The municipal government has yet to award the contract, but it intends to award an initial contract for a two-year term, with three one-year options available for the City to exercise — for a total potential contract of five years.

The bus stop shelter locations will be determined by the City based on identifying priority sites.

“The evaluation framework considered transit indicators such as daily boarding, number of transit routes on the corridor, and level of transit service, as well as other inputs such as proximity to schools, recreational facilities, and commercial areas,” reads the budget.

translink burnaby bus stop willingdon avenue

A typical City of Burnaby bus shelter design for a TransLink bus stop. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Within Metro Vancouver, the design, installation, and maintenance of bus stop shelters on the curbside of city streets — including the associated financial costs — are the responsibility of the individual municipal governments, not the public transit authority.

A 2021 report by City of Burnaby staff noted the each new bus stop shelter costs about $30,000 to design, fabricate, and install. Following the rampant inflationary conditions since early 2022, the costs are likely now far higher.

At the time, in 2021, there were 968 bus stops within Burnaby’s borders, with 231 featuring a shelter structure and the remaining 737 with only a bench or no enhancements. This means roughly 75% of bus stops in Burnaby do not have shelters.

Based on the 2021 estimated cost of $30,000 per unit, it would cost roughly $22 million to install a shelter structure with nighttime lighting at all of the bus stops without any overhead protection.

In contrast, the vast majority of bus stops within Vancouver already have a shelter, following the municipal government’s significant street furniture overhaul program in the 2000s. The City of Vancouver has a public-private partnership with Outfront JC Decaux for street furniture and amenities, including bus shelters, in exchange for allowing advertising revenue opportunities.

Separately, TransLink is currently in the process of creating a new standard design for bus stop shelters found on property owned by the public transit authority — such as at bus loops, exchanges, and SkyTrain stations. Based on TransLink’s previous bidding process details for a contractor, its future standard design could have modular components.

TransLink’s 2022-released passenger amenities strategy notes the public transit authority is looking to install more shelters, which is one of the top amenity requests in a public survey about two years ago. More real-time information digital displays and multi-lingual signs will also be installed.

Across Metro Vancouver, there are roughly 8,400 TransLink bus stops, with less than half of these bus stops featuring a shelter and/or bench. At some locations, shelters and/or benches are not possible due to location-based constraints, such as a narrow sidewalk.

TransLink recently spent $7 million to install braille bus stop signs at all bus stops — providing information on bus stop ID numbers, bus routes serving that particular stop, bay or bus stop indicators, and TransLink’s customer information phone number. This also includes the cost of installing yellow tactile strips on the sidewalk of select bus stop locations.

In 2021, BC Transit was provided with $5 million in combined federal and provincial funding to install 150 new bus stop shelters across the province outside Metro Vancouver.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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