A shuffling of bus schedules this spring should improve transit service south of the Fraser

A shuffling of bus schedules this spring should improve transit service south of the Fraser

Bus service reconfiguration to roll out soon

South-of-Fraser area to be net beneficiary

A shuffling of transit service that will make buses more frequent in some parts of Metro Vancouver and more scarce on other routes should start to become noticeable this spring.

TransLink’s so-called service optimization initiative aims to wring more revenue out of the transit system with the same budget and number of service hours.

“We’re not cutting back service, but we’re moving it around from where it’s not doing much good to where it will do more good,” spokesman Ken Hardie said.

Boosting service on runs at times where full buses drive by passengers waiting by the road and trimming back the schedule when buses run near empty should, TransLink projects, have the effect of improving performance overall, carrying more passengers and increasing fare revenue.

It estimates an extra $10 to $15 million per year could be generated through the planned reshuffling of about 4.5 per cent of total service hours.

It’s expected to be a fine-tuning of the schedule, with changes in bus frequency rather than elimination of entire routes.

“The intent is to nip-and-tuck-out service hours that are really not being utilized and reallocate them to different parts of the system,” Hardie said.

It’s too early to say which runs and times stand to gain and which stand to be cut, he said.

But areas like Surrey, Delta and Langley should be net beneficiaries.

“There will be some pretty good lifts in service in the South of Fraser in April as a result of the service optimization,” Hardie predicted.

TransLink acknowledges its service south of the river has not yet caught up to what’s required by the rapidly growing population, he said.

He downplayed the impact on routes where service will be trimmed and passengers will wait longer for a bus.

“We don’t want to raise general concern that there will be widespread reductions in service,” he said. “Done appropriately, very few people will notice.”

Hardie said a few of the changes actually started to happen in December with little fanfare.

Changes that start in April will still be modest, Hardie said, with more reallocation of service to come in September and December.

TransLink has set out principles to guide the changes.

They call for the protection of service to transit-dependent riders who don’t own cars; maintaining runs that are strategic in connecting the network; and protecting growing markets that are experiencing substantial ridership increases.

The strategy is part of TransLink’s effort to work within its budget – which climbed by $130 million a year when tax and fare hikes were approved in 2009 – until it gets approval to collect more revenue for a more ambitious expansion of the system.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Corner of Fraser Highway and 152 Street traffic camera. (Surrey Cosmos)
One dead after targeted shooting in Surrey

Incident took place near shopping complex at the corner of 152 Street and Fraser Highway

Items collected from last year’s Ocean Park Food Drive. (Contributed file photo)
Ocean Park Food Drive expands, open to residents south of 32 Avenue

Homeowners south of 32 Avenue and west of 160 Street encouraged to put donations on doorstep

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Kathy McIntyre

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Most Read