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    Metro Vancouver, British Columbia

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  1. This will probably be controversial, posting here: TransLink resolution for SkyTrain proposes cancellation of Fraser Highway B-Line Important things to know: SkyTrain construction expected to impact the Fraser Hwy B-Line within years of its introduction in 2019 The main concern is most permanent infrastructure for the B-Line (i.e. digital next bus signs, shelters, dedicated lanes for buses) would be torn up within years to accommodate for SkyTrain construction. This is what happened for all of the 98 B-Line infrastructures on No. 3 Road (dedicated lanes, shelters, etc) when Canada Line construction began. In lieu of Fraser B-Line, TransLink will improve and redesign the existing 502/503. This will address overcrowding and service quality. The new service could be a combination of local and all-day, limited-stop express service (i.e. improved 503) and for all we know articulated buses might still be introduced. In lieu of Fraser B-Line, existing 96 B-Line to be IMMEDIATELY IMPROVED to the upgraded B-Line standard. These improvements had not been planned for, as the assumption was to replace 96 with LRT by 2023. Now, 96 riders will enjoy new branding, customer information, possibly improved service frequency, and improved infrastructure such as traffic signal priority and more dedicated bus lanes. 'Cost-effective' transit priority measures on Fraser Highway will STILL be pursued. Worth pointing out too but as a trade-off, 503 service will remain as-is (express) instead of converted to a local service. And could be improved significantly as part of the new interim service plan. Personally, I trust that TransLink will deliver a reasonable interim service plan and solid improvements for Fraser Hwy, but my expectation is that some people (especially in Langley) will be ticked off by what will obviously be presented mainly as the cancellation of the Fraser B-Line. I can already see the objections coming from Langley City (at least certain people). Just hoping people won't forget that this is in lieu of SKYTRAIN coming in 2025. What are your thoughts everyone?
  2. 8800GTX

    Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    So this is a big one and I will try to summarize it as best as I possibly can. TransLink releases briefing outlining development of Surrey-Langley SkyTrain work plan. It is in the Mayors' Council Dec 13 agenda. LINK: https://www.translink.ca/-/media/Doc...c-13-FINAL.PDF Important things to know: Project work to proceed with the aim to start service for the Expo Line: Langley Extension in 2025 SkyTrain delivery will be 3-4 YEARS SOONER than a Surrey-Langley LRT (was expected to be completed 5 years after an SNG LRT, so that means 2028-29) 15-month schedule to fully develop the SkyTrain work plan; 8-month schedule to develop an overall South of Fraser transit strategy Draft business case for SkyTrain expected in month 7-9, final business case review & approval expected around month 12 8 stations on initial Expo: Langley extension, provision for 1 FUTURE station at Fraser Highway and 148 St. TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond wrote to the provincial Deputy Minister Jacquie Dawes to CONFIRM that the province will support the Expo: Langley Extension under the provincial CAMF framework, which as the same as for the other projects. TEXT OF TRANSLINK RESOLUTION TO BE CONSIDERED BY MAYORS' COUNCIL AT DEC 13 MEETING: If approved, SkyTrain is a go! 😁 For discussion on the proposed Fraser B-Line cancellation, I posted more info on the transit service discussion thread:
  3. 8800GTX

    2018 Standard 40' Bus Procurement

    18170 was in service yesterday. Spotted it at King George. They're bringing these in pretty quickly...
  4. 8800GTX

    Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    The final SNG LRT business case documents have been up on the LRT website for a while now in case anyone wanted to look them over. The two documents of note are the "Project Business Case" and the "Strategic Analysis Options", which includes comparisons of the selected LRT alternative with BRT. https://surreylightrail.ca/DocumentLibrary The strategic options report is interesting. This is the one trying to explain why LRT was chosen and why Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as an alternative is rejected. In almost all areas the BRT alternative matches the performance of the LRT (same travel times, etc.) and has far lower operating costs (in fact their expectation is that building BRT would result in an operating PROFIT of $13 million each year). The argument against BRT banks on the assumption that a BRT would be "at capacity" and unexpandable, and would have to be replaced by/upgraded to LRT at some point. However, the study is based on the assumption that the BRT alternative is capped at under 2,000 pphpd. The study's explanation is that frequencies of over 5 minutes are considered to be unreliable (going to, say, 3 minutes would constrain the traffic signal priority and would cause delays for other road users). However, it's clear that the capabilities of BRT as a technology are completely underestimated. Here's where I take issue: No consideration of different high-capacity vehicle types (i.e. 24m bi-articulated buses, double decker buses) No consideration of interlining benefits (i.e. routes could extend beyond Newton & Guildford termini, removing transfer penalty to other routes) Ignores that the frequency issue could be addressed by employing bus platooning (scheduling convoys of two or more buses together). This solution is being considered by Los Angeles's Metro Orange Line to increase capacity, and is already used by cities like Xiamen and Seoul. Another way to justify platooning is that buses could split towards different destinations beyond the busway. Ignores capital cost headroom to add features like station passing lanes and aerial (elevated) stations. Where is the "enhanced BRT" alternative? Ignores operating cost headroom (again, $13m operating PROFIT with BRT) to double or triple capacity any time by employing bus platooning Concedes that BRT at over 5 minutes would cause "worsening congestion" even though the LRT would cause same worsening congestion by-design. Vehicle capacity used in the study appears to be grossly understated (the "planning capacity" for a bus on the BRT option is 85 passengers. This is less than the stated maximum capacity for both double decker buses (~100) and articulated buses (~120) and far less than the maximum capacity for bi-articulated buses (~180).) Doesn't consider offset to negative impacts if BRT is phased (i.e. delay 104 Ave portion until certain that a busway can be built while retaining 4 lanes of traffic) Little consideration of upcoming technological advances (i.e. autonomous rail rapid transit). ---------------------- For everyone curious about the expected benefit-cost ratio (BCR) for the SNG LRT, yes, it is below 1.0.
  5. I have to admit, I don't like this new livery at all. I'd like to see how they explain what the green stands for. It is shiny and all, but to me it certainly does not convey 'rapid'. When I see green I find myself reminded about the green buses in Seoul that explicitly denote feeder - not rapid - routes. I would have been happier if they did this livery but kept the yellow. I don't think this is actually the new B-Line branding by the way (I recall TL is looking at doing a branding for the highway rapid buses - furthermore the fact that this livery is on R12024, which might be seen on the 620, but is not used on any B-Line routes, convinces me that it's the new highway bus livery).
  6. I have to wonder if the B-Line program means doing something about the crunch in Kerrisdale on 41st EB. 41s, 43s and 480s often get stuck there because it's 1 lane eastbound and lots of queueing. It's pretty much because of the bottleneck - you never get congestion there going WB in the AM and that's because there are actually 2 lanes. Usually I would avoid this by taking the 49 instead. It was especially bad in the summer last few years when they closed off Marine Dr... I just remember passing by going WB and seeing the lines of cars, buses...
  7. Haha, no I was not. Changed that to "must". A 503 extension to YXX or a nearby exchange would be pretty awesome, BTW.
  8. Beyond all of the criticisms already levied... I think the new 503 is just too long. It doesn't help that it's essentially returning to being the 502 Aldergrove except just retaining the 503 number (since the 502's "15 min" freq is really going to be the 502 and 503 each running every 30 mins. Booo, hisss). The repercussions of something like an accident on the route could be pretty massive. A block in the highway east of Langley (or even a bus break-down) and suddenly there's a 30 minute gap between local buses west of Langley. Cut off the highway west of Langley, and you introduce further delays as the 503 will now have to pick up other stranded local passengers while en route to Langley. I can just see the PR repercussions of such incidents: local residents at a stop for 20-30 minutes, waiting for a westbound 503 bus that is stuck somewhere in Murrayville while B-Line buses that aren't stopping pass by every 8 minutes. I really can't think of a better way to douse peoples' enthusiasm for Fraser B-Line service... Keeping the 503 separate from the 502 is definitely a must - whether it is by outright truncating 503 at Langley Centre (so 503 riders funnel onto the big B-Line buses), or continuing to run it as an express or non-stop service. A reasonable compromise would be to run the continuing express service to King George Station during peak hours, similar to how the 501 shadows 96 service on 104th. However, given the connection to BC Transit in Aldergrove (and the potential that this connection could be improved by BC Transit, i.e. connected to the growing Abbotsford Airport), I would actually like to see continuous 503 express service maintained all-day - or at least for however long the 21 is operating, otherwise terminate @ Langley Centre. One thing TL has been curiously quiet about is the peak-hour supplemental routes in Fleetwood (345 and 395). With the introduction of the B-Line and its supporting infrastructure, I feel like changing these routes into faster express services should be done, since both routes are geared towards City Centre & SkyTrain commuters rather than local commuters. These routes would then supplement the B-Line service. This could be done later as a measure to alleviate overcrowding in Fleetwood, in case the B-Line is extremely popular.
  9. Hopefully those running time adjustments will allow for the realization of those B-Line time savings. Enough times now I've been on the 95 coming from the SFU only for it to arrive at Kootenay Loop a little early and end up waiting there for several minutes before continuing. I think because the 95 is essentially still following the 135 schedule for run-time, but it is obviously much more reliable making fewer express stops (with an FTN 160 also relieving some of the passenger volume).
  10. Continuing to run 503 as a super-express during peak hours, or as a B-Line alternative such as the 501 is today (and the former 48X/49X routes), would make the most sense. Unfortunately it seems that TransLink's intention is to actually take the Surrey Central-Langley segment and convert it into a local route. Way to gimp the 503.... this will greatly diminish its regional role due to a far slower trip or an added connection to get to BC Transit's route 21 in Aldergrove...
  11. Interesting that they chose to stop at Leslie rather than FS Alderbridge. Anyone heading to the shopping complex will have to walk another block up to the intersection before crossing. I reckon most will try to cross right there, which doesn't make much sense as 1. there's no light yet, and 2. only access from Garden City is at the corner. It's also an extra walk to the mid-rises on the SW corner, so I feel like there's ridership potential that will be missed there. On the other hand I find this stop location to be quite favourable for accessing the businesses to the west of the intersection - so, like, the restaurant row on Alexandria. I usually just do the 10 min walk from Lansdowne Stn, but I might be taking the 430 to get there sometimes now.
  12. What!? How frequent was it going to be at the time?
  13. 5/6 is pretty simple for me. 5 runs on Robson, 6 runs on Denman. The routes also traverse some other streets but generally you can refer to the routes as belonging to those respective corridors.