Bus-priority lanes will be rolled out along long stretches of Vancouver’s major arterial roadways, used by some of the region’s bus routes, before the end of the year.
The City of Vancouver announced today it is partnering with TransLink on converting curbside lanes on several corridors that experience the worst bus delays.
The public transit authority announced its plan over the summer to work with municipal governments across the region to take quick actions to implement bus priority measures that will help keep buses reliable and operating costs stable.
TransLink is providing funding to municipal governments to support these measures, which will help address bus reliability now that vehicle traffic volumes on roads have returned to near-normal levels.
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“It’s critical people have efficient options for getting around the city as the economy recovers,” said Lon LaClaire, general manager of engineering services for the City of Vancouver, in a statement.
“These measures will help ensure transit remains a good option for the tens of thousands of people who use Vancouver buses every day to get to their jobs and to access businesses and essential services. By ensuring transit remains a reliable option, we can better manage road congestion at a time when supporting the movement of people and goods has never been more important.”
The various new measures are intended to be a one-year pilot project to inform possible permanent changes.
The most significant interventions are planned for Granville Street south of West 16th Avenue to Southwest Marine Drive, and 49th Avenue between Main Street and Boundary Road. Changes are also planned for Main Street and Kingsway within Mount Pleasant.
Granville Street south of 16th Avenue
Bus lanes along Granville Street support the No. 10 Granville/Downtown trolley bus route, which is the region’s 19th busiest bus route with 15,580 average weekday boardings. Granville Street is the 10th most delayed transit corridor in the region.
The bus lanes begin immediately south of the South Granville retail district. There are no changes to on-street parking along the corridor, which already restricts on-street parking during peak times.
- Southbound curbside bus lane on Granville Street:
- West 16th Avenue to Southwest Marine Drive: 3 pm to 6 pm, weekdays
- Northbound curbside bus lane on Granville Street:
- West 16th Avenue to King Edward Avenue: 7 am to 9:30 am and 3 pm to 6 pm on weekdays
- King Edward Avenue to Southwest Marine Drive: 7 am to 9:30 am on weekdays
49th Avenue east of Main Street
The No. 49 bus route uses articulated buses, and with an average of 31,350 weekday boardings, it is the second busiest bus route in the region after the 99 B-Line. Delays from traffic congestion and bus bunching are chronic issues on the 49th Avenue corridor within Vancouver.
- Westbound curbside bus lane on 49th Avenue:
- Prince Edward Street to Main Street: 7 am to 9:30 am and 3 pm to 6 pm on weekdays
- Bruce Street to Knight Street: 7 am to 9:30 am and 3 pm to 6 pm on weekdays
- Gladstone Street to Victoria Drive: 7 am to 9:30 am and 3 pm to 6 pm on weekdays
- Tyne Street to Kerr Street: 7 am to 9:30 am and 3 pm to 6 pm on weekdays
- Arlington Street to Tyne Street: 7 am to 9:30 am and 3 pm to 6 pm on weekdays
- Eastbound curbside bus lane on 49th Avenue:
- Inverness Street to Knight Street: 7 am to 7 pm daily
- Windsor Street to Inverness Street: 3 pm to 6 pm on weekdays
- Bruce Street to Victoria Drive: 7 am to 9:30 am and 3 pm to 6 pm on weekdays
- Arlington Street to Boundary Road: 7 am to 7 pm daily
The bus lanes along the corridor will be marked by temporary paint lines and bus diamonds. A number of locations will also see a bus zone extension.
Main Street and Kingsway within Mount Pleasant
New bus lanes on the Main Street and Kingsway corridors within Mount Pleasant will benefit the No. 3 Main/Downtown, No. 8 Fraser/Downtown, and No. 19 Metrotown/Stanley Park bus routes. Over 23,000 passengers use the bus stops within this area daily on average.
Moreover, all three routes are amongst the busiest bus routes in the region, with each route seeing an average of roughly 20,000 boardings each weekday.
- Main Street
- Southbound curbside bus lane from Terminal Avenue to Kingsway: 7 am to 7 pm daily
- Northbound curbside bus lane from Terminal Avenue to 4th Avenue: 7 am to 7 pm daily
- Northbound curbside bus lane from 4th Avenue to Kingsway: 7 am to 9:30 am on weekdays
- Westbound curbside bus lane from Broadway to Fraser Street: 7 am to 9:30 am on weekdays
- Eastbound curbside bus lane from Main Street to Fraser Street: 3 pm to 6 pm on weekdays
Other measures to help speed up buses in the region include removing bus stops on routes that have stops spaced too closely together. As an initial project, TransLink removed about 25% of the stops on the No. 2 Macdonald/Downtown bus route for a pilot project this fall.
On Robson Street within the West End, the curbside lane at key locations has been repurposed as a sidewalk extension to reduce the need for the No. 5 Robson/Downtown trolley bus to merge in and out of traffic, and to provide waiting passengers and passersby on the sidewalk with more space. Other select bus stops on Robson Street have been closed for temporary sidewalk widening.
New bus bulges and wider sidewalks on the curb lanes of the 1000 and 1100 block of Robson Street.
— Kenneth Chan (@iamkennethchan) August 24, 2020
This follow TransLink’s recent bus-priority measures for its new RapidBus routes, launched earlier this year. This includes extensive bus-only lanes along the R4 RapidBus along Wesbrook Mall and 41st Avenue between UBC and SkyTrain’s Joyce-Collingwood Station.