All your transit alternatives during the mass bus shutdown in Metro Vancouver

Nov 25 2019, 12:43 pm

In anticipation of a full-scale, three-day shutdown of the bus system in Metro Vancouver this week, TransLink said on Monday morning it is “presenting options” for commuters who regularly rely on the bus.

In a release, the company said it is “getting ready by working with partners around the region to help the 350,000 customers who rely on bus and SeaBus services each weekday.”

These initiatives “won’t replace bus and SeaBus service, but we are doing what we can, providing options so commuters can reach their destination or connect to other modes, which are unaffected by job action,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.

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During the planned shutdown, a number of public transportation options will still be available and in service. These include the following:

  • SkyTrain (Expo and Millennium Lines)
  • Canada Line
  • West Coast Express
  • HandyDART
  • West Vancouver Blue Bus (Routes 214, 215, 227 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 258, 259, 262)
  • Community shuttle service on Bowen Island and Langley (Routes 280, 281, 282, 560, 561, 562, 563, 564, 379, 372)

Desmond also said that “off-peak” SkyTrain service will be increased, and there will be “higher levels of SkyTrain attendants and police at stations to assist with customer flow. As well, the number of pick-up/drop-off locations will be increased – including designated unused bus stops near SkyTrain stations.

For transit pass holders who do not use any public transit during the three-day strike, a pro-rated Stored Value credit will be automatically applied to their Compass accounts.

Other options, according to Desmond, include the following:

  • Carpooling
    • GobyRIDE and Lifttango
    • UBC vanpool pilot project
    • There will be designated carpooling parking spots at SkyTrain Park and Rides
  • Carsharing
    • Evo and Car2Go are expanding their drop-off and pick-up boundaries
  • Cycling
    • Expanded bike parking at stations by introducing complimentary bike valets at key stations to be operated by BEST (7 am to 6 pm)
    • Regulations will be “relaxed,” and bicycles will be allowed on the SkyTrain all day in the last car of each train during peak travel hours
    • More Mobi bikes will be available at and near SkyTrain stations
    • Mobi bike share with staff on hand to respond to the volume of bikes in high-volume locations

Desmond also noted that TransLink’s transportation modelling suggests as many as 36,000 additional cars will be on the road during morning rush hour due to the union’s shutdown.

As such, he said, “TransLink is encouraging businesses to allow employees to telecommute and permit more flexible work schedules.”

The full-scale bus service shutdown is scheduled to take place this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, should no deal be reached before then.