TransLink speeding up major Vancouver bus route by removing 25% of the stops

Aug 20 2020, 11:34 pm

The No. 2 Macdonald/Downtown bus route in Vancouver will see some temporary changes early this fall for a pilot project to help reduce travel times and improve reliability.

TransLink states the pilot on the No. 2 will run over a six-week-long period from September 21 to October 31, when 22 of the route’s bus stops will be removed. This accounts for 25% of approximately 90 bus stops along the entire 8.6-km-long route that begins near Burrard Station and ends at Dunbar Loop.

The No. 2 was chosen for the pilot as it has some of the closest bus stop spacing in the region, with half of the stops less than 205 metres apart — roughly two city blocks or a distance that is shorter than between Waterfront Station’s SeaBus terminal and Expo Line platform.

These changes will reduce travel times by over four minutes each round trip, and result in annual operational cost savings of over $140,000 and 1,300 weekday service hours. The cost savings could be redirected to other bus routes in need of increased service.

translink no 2 bus stop balancing 2020

Bus stop balancing on the No. 2 Macdonald/Downtown route. (TransLink)

The public transit authority states 86% of the No. 2’s passengers will not need to change their trip; only 14% may experience a longer walk of up to three minutes, which will be offset by a shorter bus trip.

In 2019, according to TransLink’s statistics, the No. 2 was the 16th busiest bus route with 5.02 million annual boardings. It saw 15,780 average weekday boardings, 10,700 average Saturday boardings, and 8,430 average Sunday and holiday boardings.

As outlined in a Mayors’ Council meeting earlier this summer, TransLink is targeting problematic corridors with slow bus service due to congestion and other road design factors.

It has awarded funding to over 20 city-led bus priority projects along the top 20 problematic corridors for congestion, including bus priority lanes, bus bulbs, small tactical changes to turning lanes, and the elimination of bus stops spaced closely together.

The No. 2 is listed as one of the problematic corridors, with bus priority measures on the route focusing on “bus stop balancing.”

translink bus priority

TransLink bus priority measures quick response plan. (TransLink)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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