TransLink has increasingly sought to shuffle service hours between bus routes to carry more passengers without spending more money.

Losing bus routes eyed as TransLink shifts service

Best, worst runs flagged in transit performance review

A review by TransLink has flagged underperforming bus routes that may be targeted for “service optimization” to wring more efficiency from the transit system.

For a couple of years now, transit planners have strategically trimmed hours from some routes at times when buses roll by mostly empty and added more service to routes they think could carry more riders.

Beneficiaries have included the 99 B-Line in Vancouver, where a 10 per cent increase in service has been added to reduce overcrowding.

And an all-new White Rock-Langley route was also created to meet demand from passengers who couldn’t reasonably get between the two cities on transit.

Overall, TransLink says the strategy has helped it increase the number of of transit trips taken by 3.4 per cent while the average cost per trip dropped.

But while the system has gained, there have been winners and losers.

Richmond lost 5.5 per cent of its service hours – a change planners say is due to ongoing right-sizing to reflect the 2010 introduction of the Canada Line.

And the northeast sector lost 2.3 per cent of its bus hours.

The biggest gains were South of the Fraser (excluding south Delta) where 3.5 per cent more hours were added, the North Shore (up 3.4 per cent) and Vancouver (up 1.9 per cent).

According to the review, some of the lowest performing individual bus routes are in south Delta, where the average cost to carry a passenger is $2.67, the highest in the region and nearly double the Metro average of $1.34.

The per passenger cost was $2.13 in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, $1.92 in the Tri-Cities and $1.84 South of Fraser (North Delta-Surrey-Langley-White Rock.)

Vancouver had the lowest costs of $1.08 to carry the average passenger.

Most of the 25 poorest performing suburban bus routes are served with community shuttles, and include two in Ladner, two in Tsawwassen, two in Richmond/Queensborough and one each in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and Lions Bay.

The top performing routes are mainly in Vancouver and Burnaby.

According to TransLink planner Peter Klitz, poorly performing routes typically are in lower density areas where residents are more car-dependent and sometimes suffer from circuitous routes or the lack of a strong anchor destination at each end.

There are already plans to make more changes to some of the underperformers in September or December, he said.

Should residents in car-dependent areas with underperforming bus routes expect further frequency reductions, making transit an even worse option?

Klitz said that could happen in some areas but the best solution is working harder to ensure local land-use planning supports transportation.

“We need to organize where we put people and jobs to maximize the effectiveness of the transit network.”

TransLink says its strategy of right-sizing routes to try to serve more riders with the same amount of money has also generated more fare revenue – an increase of $15 million or 3.5 per cent last year.

“Our expectation is we will continue to look for opportunities to optimize our service in the coming years,” Klitz said.

The province has so far refused Metro Vancouver mayors’ requests for more money so TransLink can expand.

But Klitz argued service optimization is a good strategy, whether or not TransLink remains at a funding standstill.

Just Posted

Delta mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

White Rock dog poop conspiracy picks up steam

Opponent says theory is a ‘load of crap’

Surrey MLA slams NDP poverty reduction strategy plan

Liberal MLA Marvin Hunt says the NDP’s poverty reduction plan is ‘underwhelming’

Father thanks Surrey Mountie for shooting hoops with kids, ‘changing perspectives’

‘We’re just like everyone else,’ says Surrey officer who stopped to play basketball with kids

Surrey Memorial is first in B.C. with POEM machine used for endoscopic treatment

Surgeon says equipment is ‘next-level, futuristic-type’

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Most Read

l -->