Demand for alternative transportation options such as taxis, car share, and carpooling will certainly soar next week during the complete shutdown of Metro Vancouver’s bus and SeaBus services, as the union representing the majority of the region’s transit workers escalates its disruptions.
Unifor says its 5,000 members will not be reporting for their shifts for three consecutive weekdays from Wednesday, November 27 to Friday, November 29. Buses see the majority of number of boardings of all transit modes combined, and as a result the shutdown will effectively cripple the region.
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Transit workers will return to their full shifts on Saturday, November 30 to resume regular service, but a continued impasse between Unifor and TransLink subsidiary Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) could mean prolonged shutdowns beyond this date.
- What is affected and will be completely shut down:
- CMBC-operated buses
- What is NOT affected and will operate normally:
- SkyTrain Expo Line
- SkyTrain Millennium Line
- SkyTrain Canada Line
- West Coast Express
- West Vancouver Blue Bus
- 214 Blueridge / Phibbs Exch / Vancouver
- 215 Indian River / Phibbs Exch
- 227 Lynn Valley Centre / Phibbs Exchange
- 250 Horseshoe Bay / Dundarave / Vancouver
- 251 Queens / Park Royal
- 252 Inglewood / Park Royal
- 253 Caulfeild / Vancouver / Park Royal
- 254 British Properties / Park Royal / Van
- 255 Dundarave / Capilano University
- 256 Whitby Estate / Park Royal / Spuraway
- 258 UBC / West Vancouver
- 262 Lions Bay / Caulfeild
- 280 Bluewater / Snug Cove
- 281 Eagle Cliff / Snug Cove
- 282 Mt Gardner / Snug Cove
- 370 Cloverdale / Willowbrook
- 372 Clayton Heights / Langley Centre
- 560 Murrayville / Langley Centre
- 561 Langley Centre / Brookswood
- 562 Langley Centre / Walnut Grove
- 563 Langley Centre / Fernridge
- 564 Langley Ctr / Willowbrook
Expect the possibility of longer travel times on these remaining operating transit services due to higher volumes.
If SkyTrain is feasible for at least a leg of your trip, consider possible park-and-ride facilities — including side streets where parking is permitted — near SkyTrain stations.
Extra road traffic volumes and congestion are possible. If you are driving, please note parking will likely be short in supply.
For non-transit alternatives, aside from a private single-occupancy vehicle and riding with your own bike, consider the following options (these services will be in exceedingly high demand):
Consider carpooling apps such as Poparide, which is one of the most-used carpooling apps in the country. It is a safe and convenient platform to carpooling — like Airbnb but for sharing rides. The prices are generally affordable.
Also consider online communities where carpools are being organized, such as university student groups on Facebook. This includes a highly-active Facebook group page for Simon Fraser University students looking for carpool rides.
UBC’s website also provides tips on how carpool rides can be organized.
There are roughly 3,500 carshare vehicles in Metro Vancouver; however, the vast majority of these vehicles are based within the city boundaries of Vancouver.
Some of these operators offer free usage minutes to students at certain post-secondary institutions if they are not already members.
Evo Car Share:
The Mobi by Shaw bike share system‘s fleet of 2,000 bikes operates within the inner core areas of the City of Vancouver.
The service area is limited to the downtown Vancouver peninsula and the Central Broadway Corridor, framed by Arbutus Street to the west, West 16th Avenue to the south, and Commercial Drive to the east.
Some municipalities and jurisdictions also have their own dockless bike share program, such as HOPR at UBC, but their service areas are extremely limited.
There are about 2,100 taxi vehicles across the various cab companies in Metro Vancouver. But the actual supply is constrained even further because of municipal boundaries. As a result, only about 900 of these cabs registered with the City of Vancouver can pick up passengers within the city.