TransLink to dismantle LED real-time next bus digital displays along Main Street

Dec 28 2020, 5:47 pm

The system of LED real-time information displays found at select bus stops along the Main Street corridor in Vancouver will go offline permanently starting on December 31, 2020.

TransLink states it has made a decision to dismantle the digital signs that show bus arrival times, as its service provider will no longer support the 2G network used by the signs as of the start of 2021.

A total of 27 next bus signs were installed at major bus stop locations along Main Street in 2006 as part of a pilot project supported by Transport Canada and the City of Vancouver.

The project cost $7.7 million, including not only the signs but also wider sidewalks, improved street furniture, more trees and public art, and new curb extensions at bus stops so that trolleys running on Main Street can load and unload without leaving the traffic lane.

Over the years, TransLink and municipal governments across the region have been installing more curb extensions as a strategy to help speed up buses and improve reliability.

translink main street digital bus sign

LED real-time information sign at the southbound bus stop at the intersection of Main Street and King Edward Avenue. (TransLink)

The process of retiring and removing the Main Street signs will begin shortly. Over the years, the signs have experienced some issues with reliability and accuracy with their estimated bus arrival times.

The signs display arrival times for the No. 3 Downtown/Main-Marine Drive, No. 8 Fraser/Downtown, and No. 19 Metrotown/Stanley Park, as well as night buses N8 and N19.

Similar displays using the same technology at Carvolth Exchange in Langley and the South Surrey Park and Ride facility will also be decommissioned at the same time.

The displays at both South of Fraser locations and at Main Street-Science World Station will be replaced with newer models to continue providing passengers with timely information at these transit hubs.

For the recently launched RapidBus routes, TransLink installed real-time digital displays that use monochrome LCD screens. These signs are backlit at night, and powered by a three-year battery, unlike the LED models that require a fixed wire electricity connection.

The bus stops for the long-defunct 98 B-Line between downtown Vancouver and Richmond had LED real-time information screens similar to those found along Main Street.

translink rapidbus

RapidBus monochrome LCD bus stop sign. (TransLink)