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  1. Interesting to see that the 3 routes I have used the most often (96, 319, 100) are all highest on the list of ridership growth! You can kind of tell why the growth is being seen on each of these routes, however. South of Fraser demand is driven by route network improvements (changed 335, etc) but I would pin a lot of the 96 growth on the introduction of the aircon XDE60s and exclusive bus lanes, more riders switching from the 320/321/501/509 and cancelled 590. The XDE60s were a massive improvement, and also resulted in more consistency in use of artic buses. Noteworthy is that the overcrowding rate at all times of day on the 96 is at 0%. The 319 is probably riding on those improvements with the 96 and the network. Meanwhile the popularity of the 100 is definitely an outcome of the opening of Marine Gateway in March.
  2. Skytrain MK I Refurbishments

    I think that the amount of refurbishment that is done is based on assessment. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The reason is that I know in the past we have seen a picture of a Mark I looking almost entirely disassembled on the inside. So we do know that some of the cars definitely went through a more thorough refurbishment. If things shift and we get more SkyTrain expansion throughout the region (i.e. out to UBC, out to Langley, and out to Poco) I think that will serve as some impetus to keep the Mk I cars even longer and further their lifespan while saving some cash as well. If allocation per-branch is possible, I would put the Mk Is on rush hour trains that service the Production Way branch. Then when they head out of service for the mid-day, Mark II/III trains take over.
  3. Sad... The 100 needs more evening service going eastbound (overcrowding) That would probably have more benefit in the summer than during other seasons though
  4. My guess on that "oddball route" is 340 Scottsdale. I think there have been rumours of it moving before. One thing I do see coming is #100 moving back to VTC, since the electric bus trial for next year will likely be based there (I will miss riding XN40s though...)
  5. Just announced at TL board: Double decker bus trial WILL be used on 555
  6. The second termini in Steveston was kind of more conceptual than final, I just thought it would make sense to improve connections out to Garry Point Park. On the creation of the 410/411/417: The 411 idea I am using was first discussed extensively on Voony's blog, and I think has been long necessary, I think a sizable segment of 410 ridership is regional ridership, going almost from end-to-end. I've routed it to Bridgeport Station to provide the best commute opportunities to YVR-Airport, in addition to the rest of Richmond. As discussed by Voony, 410 runs are actually not cost-efficient for facilitating a regional connection. A 411 run, taking the highways and facilitated by new Hwy 91 shoulder lanes, could take as little as half the time a 410E requires from end-to-end - so essentially, the same cost to do a 410E run would do two 411 runs. The 410 has something like 10 or 11 runs per hour going westbound in the peak hours today; if you were to take two of those runs back (still leaving 8 runs/hour or 7.5 min freq on the 410), you could have a 15 minute service on 411 without increasing costs, and the end result is an increase in carrying capacity when you factor both the 410 and the 411 together. The 417 helps retains connections to Westminster and the Fraserwood area from Richmond, but it also facilitates links to the Bridgeport/NE industrial area that are removed due to the proposed changes to the 405/407. The setup in my map would require few extra service hours. My 417 is supposed to run every half hour. So on Bridgeport, combined half-hour service with the 415 (peak-only) facilitates the proposed 15-min peak 407E service that was in SWATP. Same could happen in Queensborough, with 417/414 facilitating combined 15-min service (if 417 remains on Westminster, at least; I ended up choosing the Dyke Rd routing to have 417 expand coverage). 100 is not too bad. What it really needs is additional runs between Marine Stn and Knight St. That's where it's getting really busy, particularly in the evenings coming out of Marine Station with the new Marine Gateway complex, but I don't think there needs to be a change in service design if the goal is to better facilitate ridership. You could do that effectively by extending the 8. (I ride it every day at various times of day, I'd know). River District would probably be served best by routes connecting north-south to link with Metrotown, Joyce and other stations, which would give opportunities to connect with 100 and other east-west routes (including 49, 49-B, 43-B). While not shown, there would be no change to the 43-B plan and it would go ahead. I'm not following on the 422/423 service duplication you're talking about, the only corridor on which it creates duplication is on Lansdowne (the brief duplication on Cambie is because there's no other way across the Highway; and Alderbridge does not count as 301 is not making local stops there). A routing on Alderbridge would miss Lansdowne Station, while truncating it would really hurt connections and service productivity. It's not really a long segment, though I would say bound to become a busy one with higher-density redevelopment of Lansdowne Mall. One of the reasons I'm keeping 407 on Lulu Island is that I think that the benefits of bringing it up to Russ Baker would not outweigh the loss of connections to eastern bus routes and central Richmond. SWATP requires you to transfer twice if you just want to connect between 407W and 410E. Already, I'm noticing a loss in my map, as the 407W becomes the only Lulu Island route/corridor without any direct connection to the 301 (as a SOF rider, I will feel that loss). My original rendition actually had the 407 duplicate 402 service on Lansdowne and Garden City, while a retained C94/409 extends up the River Rd extension. I initially felt that running 407/402 together would be a suitable replacement for B-Line service on Garden City, but I ended up choosing this setup to reduce the service duplication.
  7. Didn't get a chance to post this previously, but in all my musing over the SWATP and Richmond (as most of you know I'm not a fan of many of the changes) I ended up creating my own full "ideas map" for that area, which is an expansion on something I had previously created. The link to view my map is here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zFxG-S2nY0OprJBGYxRIwtHatwA&usp=sharing Just thinking back at what other past ATPs have been like (i.e. the SOFATP) I felt like the SWATP didn't have the same kind of long-term thinking integrated into the process. Some routes and connections became outright degraded rather than improved. Corridors with transit use/potential (i.e. Lansdowne Rd) were totally missed. KPU students get shafted with the loss of most of the bus connections to the university, and no improvements from the added routes. My proposed routes are as follows: 401: FTN, as proposed in SWATP 402: FTN, New routing follows No. 2 to River Rd, connecting the Richmond Olympic Oval. Then: Lansdowne, Bridgeport to Bridgeport Station. 403: FTN, retains existing routing, with a reroute near Bridgeport Stn to service the new development on the current Night Market lands. 404: Retains existing routing; southern portion as proposed in SWATP (Ironwood) 405: As proposed in SWATP 406 (410W): FTN, as proposed but retaining FTN status. It shouldn't be too hard to continue running service at least once every 15 minutes. 407: New routing follows SWATP's proposed 402 alignment to Bridgeport Station. 410 (410E): FTN, routing follows Highway 91 all-day, every day; SWATP now advocates for the construction of shoulder bus lanes on Highway 91/91A. 411: NEW frequent regional express route connects 22nd St Station to Bridgeport Station via Highways 91A, 91 and 99. Makes use of shoulder bus lanes on all 3 highways. Bridgeport Station connection via Hwy 99 allows riders to connect to the Canada Line's YVR-Airport branch, and buses to South Surrey and Delta. Stations at: Howes St, Westminster Highway (connect to 301, 410, 414, 417) and (new) Cambie Rd (connect to 410, 422). Should run at least once every 15 minutes during peak periods 413 (C93): Retains existing routing. 414 (C98): As proposed in SWATP, but with a routing through Fraserwood. 415 (407E): NEW route follows current peak-hour 407 route from Bridgeport Station to Knight St exchange. Route does not operate on weekends. 417: NEW route replaces portions of 407, 405 and 410 via Fraserwood, and provides new coverage service on Dyke Rd and Salter St in Queensborough. From Bridgeport Station, proceeds on Bridgeport, No. 5, Vulcan Way, Viking, Cambie, No. 6, Westminster Hwy, Graybar Rd, Gordon Way, Fraserwood Pl, Fraserwood Way, Dyke Rd, Gifford St, Ewen Ave, Howes St, Hwy 91A to 22nd St Station. On weekends, can be operated with community shuttle buses. 422: NEW loop route replaces C92 as well as much of SWATP's 404 routing. Connects BCIT's Aerospace Campus, Olympic Oval, KPU, and Central at Garden City. 430: Discontinued. Replaced by 402 (Garden City), 420-B (Bridgeport) and 49B (49th) bus services. C94: Discontinued. Replaced by improved, frequent regular bus services. Rather than making the 430 itself into B-Line (as proposed in the Mayors' 10-year vision) I have proposed the following B-Line bus services: 49-B: 49th Avenue B-Line service B-Line service connects 49th Avenue from Metrotown Station to Langara-49th Station, connecting Langara College. Metrotown portion is interlined with proposed B-Line on Willingdon Ave. 420-B: Victoria Dr and Bridgeport Rd B-Line service B-Line service connects Bridgeport Rd with the Victoria Drive corridor, from Bridgeport Station to Commercial-Broadway. The 420 roughly achieves two B-Line objectives in the current Mayors' 10-year transit plan.
  8. Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    The problem with the City's poll is that it didn't really put the technology portion (SkyTrain or LRT) into question, which is what the other polls I'm citing did. I'm also really adamant about questioning whether or not the City's poll even asked the right people. I mean, 60% of their respondents weren't even previously aware about the LRT project; so only 40% of the respondents were coming into this knowing something, while 60% were coming in knowing absolutely nothing. Very few young people were asked, and their responses extrapolated, which I think is unfair because opinions might vary more among young people depending on how much they know. Perhaps the poll was properly commissioned, perhaps it was scientific, but it was neither asking the right questions nor giving the right answers. So far almost every time we see the question actually consider both SkyTrain expansion and building LRT, SkyTrain is coming out the winner. Whether it was the Leader's Poll, Vancity Buzz's previous poll, or the occasional News1130 polls. They're maybe not really the best sources on the matter. But my view of this is that other than those results, we have nothing. Then again, I might be contacting one of those polling agencies and SFS may commission a proper poll very soon. At the time the campaign didn't have a lot in terms of people & resources, that has since changed.
  9. TransLink Future - Dream's and Aspirations

    So the discussion here has been getting pretty interesting, and I thought I would take at stab at explaining why building more SkyTrain SoF beyond KG Station is so important. The way I see it, it's a simple matter: Automobile use here is growing faster here than in any other place in Metro Vancouver. In a region where automobile use is not set to grow significantly anywhere, Surrey and Langley stick out like sore thumbs. Let alone the local consequences, there are also strong consequences at a regional level. Road infrastructure isn't cheap: it costs millions of dollars to service and maintain. Orienting your lifestyle around the automobile isn't cheap either. Putting up the best transit alternative and getting the best possible ridership outcome is a matter of maintaining a strong economy. We need to have something that can effectively combat that growth in vehicle use. SkyTrain down Fraser, and BRT on the L-corridor, is the best possible way to spend that money to generate a long-term modal shift. Extending SkyTrain is the only alternative that directly integrates with the existing system connecting our region, and also offers the most travel time improvements even on its own. Extending SkyTrain, and not a separate second-rate system, sends a real message that this region is willing to take this area as seriously as any other part of the region when it comes to making places accessible by transit. Travel time improvement is perhaps the single most important metric you can consider when determining how to spend billions of dollars in a rapid transit system. Our excellence in this metric, by expanding SkyTrain, has awarded us with one of the most successful rapid transit systems on this continent, going by ridership numbers. Our success is built on the fact that we have been able to tie our entire region together with transit. As for why that extension should go down Fraser to Langley... I realize that in terms of how much population lives within close distance, the KGB and 104 corridors could potentially be within reach of most people. And for Fraser, I agree that BRT would be an excellent alternative; I would certainly advocate for it, especially because it can be set up and running so quickly. But again, building rapid transit is not just about reaching whoever is within a 10 min walking distance or within a 15 min bus ride: it's about tying our region together. That's the reason that building SkyTrain down Fraser is the best choice: it maximizes the opportunities that investing in rapid transit SoF can bring. TransLink studied an Expo Line extension to Newton, but found its benefits to be significantly lower. The communities that a Newton extension would reach are either not far from Surrey City Centre or existing SkyTrain service, wouldn't benefit from connecting to SkyTrain in Newton, or already have other means of connection with the rest of the region. For example, South Surrey commuters heading to Vancouver already have the best possible connection through the Highway 99 corridor and the #351. Extending the Expo Line down Fraser to Langley will bring the most useful travel time reductions to the most possible riders/population centres. If you were to travel from Waterfront Station to Langley, by current transit (502) it would take 1 hour and 45 minutes. BRT could reduce that to 1 hour 20, but a direct SkyTrain would take that down to less than an hour without transfer. That means that within the same 1h 45 min time frame it requires to get to Langley today, you would be able to access destinations on Abbotsford's South Fraser Way. Provided connecting bus service, of course. But the point is, if you never imagined that possibility, that's exactly what the problem is! I would say this is the inspiration I have taken from all of the tourism and roaming I've done in Japan: you can really go anywhere and everywhere in good time by transit, rarely ever requiring a supplementary transportation such as an Uber or a cab. Imagine the possibilities: Most people NoF wouldn't even think about making a trip down to Cloverdale, but being able to take SkyTrain as far as Clayton Centre will turn that into a more feasible possibility. (Imagine how much more awesome Canada Day in Cloverdale would be!) I wouldn’t be able to take a job based at the industrial areas down in Campbell Heights because I don’t have a car. Extending SkyTrain, however, will most likely result in improvements to bus routes serving Langley Centre like the 531, or new routes, so that will become a possibility. Clayton residents aren’t big users of transit, and that’s why there is a major parking problem in that community. Guess what happens when a SkyTrain station is built nearby. The goal of our rapid transit projects is to tie everything together with transit: that is, create the basis for which transit becomes the primary way to get around the city and region. The best way to do that South of Fraser is to make sure this system is fast and competitive, is integrated with what serves the rest of the region and is also well-integrated internally (i.e. avoid extra transfers). Street-level LRT is inferior on all three counts!
  10. Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    Yep, on Steele & Drex, that was back around the time that the federal budget was set to be announced, and the poll had also just wrapped up. The results were probably reported on one of the actual papers, you can probably find it on an E-edition online. For anyone else here opposed / enraged there is a new discussion group on FB: Light Rail is NOT for Surrey I put up a list of "10 Surrey LRT features for a fraction of the cost" on the SFS website, based on what you poured into this post, you'll probably enjoy the read
  11. When TransLink and the Mayors' Council have a mandate to expand and improve transit service in this region, I am bewildered that their plan is to take the 410 off of Highway 91, rather than working with the province to build dedicated bus lanes on Highway 91.
  12. TransLink Future - Dream's and Aspirations

    The only real way to make an LRT competitive with SkyTrain is to grade-separate most or all of the line, in which case it would absolutely make sense to extend the SkyTrain system because you don't run into the costs (capital, operating) and duplication from the new LRT OMC facilities. Running an LRT on-street (i.e. in median) presents significant limitations with speed (same as roadway), frequency, and reliability (prone to track closures). Most cities in the world with predominantly street-level LRT systems inherited them, rather than building them anew. It makes so little sense to build predominantly on-street LRT systems anew in 2017, when technological advances have allowed buses to operate safely while being as long as trams (see: http://www.cnn.com/videos/tech/2017/06/06/the-worlds-first-driverless-train-orig-tc.cnn). The way I see it, technological advances will make trams and on-street rail systems obsolete within 10 years.
  13. Vancouver general sightings and notes

    As a result of the repaving at King George Blvd near King George Station, the exclusive bus lane going northbound has been extended to 100 Avenue, sandwiched between through and right turn lanes. Since most other bus routes (including 96) try to switch immediately to the left-most lane here to prepare to turn left at 102, at the moment this only really benefits the 502 (which has a stop on the other side of 100). There's also no corresponding lane painting on the other side of the intersection just yet (if so, the lane would end shortly after passing 100th).
  14. I'd like to know more about this. The way you describe it, it seems to me that this system is centered around emergencies and unplanned closures rather than permit-awarded construction activities, short of full closures requiring long-term reroutes like on SW Marine Dr west of Marpole or Burrard Bridge. Surrey is certainly not the only one with the problem of not doing well to communicate construction road closures that create huge delays. Around a month ago crews were similarly closing down 2/3 lanes on eastbound SW Marine Dr at Jellicoe during AM rush hours, creating traffic jams extending as far as Knight St Bridge. I would pass this going westbound at 8-8:30AM and it was ridiculous, each time at least 1 or 2 100s caught in the fray. TL tweets I recall from the time suggested delays of as much as 40 minutes to the eastbound runs, and I was at least once impacted in my direction by delays accumulating on the previous run going eastbound. Anyway, I don't think we should expect TransLink to have someone there to constantly check city websites for these closures. If you're going to permit someone to impact traffic and users of the road including transit, it is your responsibility to tell everyone who gets affected - including transit. If this system is so "adhered-to" as you suggest, then TransLink follows it too and I'm having a hard time imagining how exactly TransLink "doesn't respond".
  15. I've witnessed this for the past two days now, yesterday while passing by on the southbound 96 to Newton and today while walking up to King George Station. I checked the City of Surrey website (see here) and according to that, the workers have a permit to perform this work on most days from now until around sometime in mid-June, on weekdays from 9:00AM to 4:50PM. Besides allowing these workers to proceed during parts of both AM and PM rush hours, the City of Surrey clearly hasn't done its part in communicating these paving closures to TransLink and to frustrated commuters. If it makes it any more clear that there wasn't any coordination between the City and TransLink, I actually witnessed a 96 driver open his doors to talk to one of the flag-workers; after a short wait, another worker subsequently moved a traffic cone to allow the 96 bus to pull into the King George bus bay (I guess the driver was unsure if he would be let through). I wonder if the City of Surrey can be fined by TransLink for its ineptitude in making such an unannounced closure on an MRN and B-Line corridor.