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Transit Service Discussion (Articulated/Conventional/Shuttle/Skytrain/Seabus)

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2 hours ago, ygk said:

TransLink doesn’t mark the 99 extension from Commercial Stn to Boundary on the system map (where there are quite a few trips daily) but they marked the 112 and 321 early morning single trips.

But the 99 boundary trips, just duplicate 9 service, basically.

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Due to lack of funding from both levels of Government, lower Gas Tax revenue, with low ridership & no farebox revenue due to Covid-19 Translink will be temporarily laying off close to 1500 employees. A huge cut to the system will take place this coming this Wednesday & Friday lasting until September. TransLink and the Province of BC have been working closely to ensure that funding is available to allow TransLink to reverse layoffs and return to near-regular operations in time for back-to-school in September.

The effected changes & cuts are as follows.

SkyTrain Service

  • Beginning Wednesday (April 22), Expo and Millennium Line capacity will be further reduced.
    • Expo Line capacity will be reduced by 20% during peak hours. During middays, early evenings, and weekends, capacity will be reduced by 20% to 40%, depending on the time of day.
      • These capacity reductions are in addition to a 17% reduction during peak hours and a 20% reduction on Friday and Saturday evenings, which were implemented last month.
    • Millennium Line capacity will be reduced by 15% during peak hours. During middays, early evenings, and weekends, capacity will be reduced by 20% to 40%, depending on the time of day.
      • These capacity reductions are in addition to a 17% reduction during peak hours and a 20% reduction on Friday and Saturday evenings, which were implemented last month.
    • Canada Line capacity has been reduced by 18% during peak hours.

Bus Service

  • Beginning Friday (April 24), 18 bus routes will be suspended.
    • Suspended routes: 15, 32, 50, 68, 105, 131, 132, 143, 222, 480, 414, R3.
      • Most of these routes have other transit as alternatives
    • Suspended NightBus routes: N8, N15, N17, N22, N24, N35.
  • Beginning in early May, we expect another 47 routes will be suspended, and frequency reduced on many remaining routes.
    • Expected route suspensions: 251, 252, 262, 280, 281, 282, 370, 563, 564, 044, 170, 181, 182, 231, 241, 247, 258, 345, 352, 354, 391, 393, 394, 395, 416, 509, 602, 603, 604, 606, 608, 614, 616, 617, 618, 619, 719, 722, 733, 741, 744, 748, 749, 791, 042, 150, 179.
    • Precise timing for these suspensions and reductions will be released in due course.
  • TransLink is prioritizing service to routes serving hospitals and other health facilities.
  • Routes selected for suspension either duplicate other routes or are in low ridership areas.
  • The number of people TransLink can move on buses was reduced to around 30% of normal levels due to physical distancing measures. Once all planned service reductions are implemented, the number of people TransLink can move will decrease further, to around 20% of normal levels.

SeaBus Service

  • Beginning Wednesday (April 22), SeaBus will end service earlier.
    • The last SeaBus sailing of the day will happen at 7:30 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay and 7:45 p.m. from Waterfront.
  • SeaBus will continue sailings every 30-minutes.

West Coast Express Service

  • Beginning Wednesday (April 22), West Coast Express trains One, Three, and Five will continue to operate on existing schedules but will have fewer cars.
  • Trains Two and Four remain suspended.
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Sorry to hear of layoffs. Not pleasant for anyone ever, and particularly not right now. 

 

I did have a feeling funding would appear, and it seems to have in part to allow the system to stand back to when it's the right time. 

 

Challenging times. I'm curious what time will hold for the rest of the Province. 

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What a horrible thing to hear - both in terms of the layoffs and the service cuts. I can understand many of the routes, such as the 44 and 251, But a lot of these, especially the NightBuses really don't have much of an alternative.

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These layoffs are definitely unfortunate. I was talking to a driver on Facebook from Surrey and he said the top 30% of seniority stay working while the lower 70% of seniority are temporarily laid off. 

I can understand reducing and/or cancelling bus routes, but why Skytrain? Skytrain doesn't require an operator, so they should be able to keep the same amount of service right? 

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8 minutes ago, Matt Dunlop said:

These layoffs are definitely unfortunate. I was talking to a driver on Facebook from Surrey and he said the top 30% of seniority stay working while the lower 70% of seniority are temporarily laid off. 

I can understand reducing and/or cancelling bus routes, but why Skytrain? Skytrain doesn't require an operator, so they should be able to keep the same amount of service right? 

Ridership is low and they are trying to save as much money as possible, Skytrain still costs money to operate

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3 hours ago, Matt Dunlop said:

These layoffs are definitely unfortunate. I was talking to a driver on Facebook from Surrey and he said the top 30% of seniority stay working while the lower 70% of seniority are temporarily laid off. 

Your numbers are off.

It might be helpful for the discussion here if you made statements based on publicly info, especially ones that can easily be sense checked.

If they were to lay off 70% of the operators, they would have to cut service by 70%. That is not what has been announced. 

Here's a note from the Vancouver Sun: https://vancouversun.com/news/covid-19-service-reductions-layoffs-executive-pay-cuts-begin-this-week-at-translink/
"McGarrigle said there are about 3,800 transit operators, and 997 of them received layoff notices — or about 25 per cent of the workforce. Of the approximately 1,100 maintenance staff, 200 were laid off." 

If 70% of 3800 operators were laid off that would be 2660 employees - a number larger than the total number of announced lay offs (1500).

Perhaps the news media would be a better source than "a driver on Facebook."

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in decades of being in the workforce is that you never rely on information from your coworkers, especially those ones that always hang out at work after hours 😆

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8 hours ago, Dane said:

I did have a feeling funding would appear, and it seems to have in part to allow the system to stand back to when it's the right time.  

I think Horgan, Stewart, and co. realise that functioning public transit could be a key factor in restarting the economy, especially if people (A) are ready/willing to be in close company of strangers again and (B) if financially-strained people can no longer afford cars to get to their jobs.

That being said, though, I have a question that might not be immediately answerable or might be incredibly obvious, but I'll ask it anyway

Is this reduced income going to lead to TL deferring or cancelling orders for future busses? The wiki says that we're supposed to be getting 25 more deckers and 19 artics this year. plus around 80 units in 2021.

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On 3/23/2020 at 2:54 PM, Zortan said:

OK fine - car owners complain.

Regardless, transit is an essential service, and making it cost money is essentially discriminating against those who are choosing to live a more environmentally responsible, lower-cost life by not owning or using a car.

People don't expect to pay for roads or sidewalks - why should they expect to pay for an extension of that - an extension which is vital to having a healthy city?

Transit is the only environmentally responsible way to get around, and many car owners don't take it because it's "more expensive" even when it isn't. If it was free - no one would have to worry about zone fares, if they have enough loaded on their card, etc. Those would be worries of the past, and people would be able to choose a method of transport that is essential to having a good city and a good lifestyle.

Sorry this is getting quite off topic oops!

I guess ya got your answer in regards to "free" transit, huh? 

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3 hours ago, 9924 said:

I guess ya got your answer in regards to "free" transit, huh? 

Hmm what do you call free transit? Fully free bus system without removal of service? That's news to me! 

Of course there's gotta be cancellations. Driver's can get sick. 

 

Just making a point about service. If i went off topic i apologize

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1 hour ago, Busmanic92 said:

Hmm what do you call free transit? Fully free bus system without removal of service? That's news to me!

It's happened elsewhere, not to say it could here. But it isn't unimaginable.

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They need to start fare collection and front door boarding again. Too many crackheads taking up seats that people need to get to and from work.

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Once again, ignoring the benefits of free transit and pointing out the issues:

Funding shortfalls are because drivers are always so over-funded. Why are roads free? Why is the entire oil / gas industry subsidized? Because the government has decided it's more important to fund road users than transit users. If transit was funded as much as cars are funded by the government, it could be completely free and they'd have money left over for pretty big expansions.

Blaming homeless people on transit is just not acceptable at all. The homeless problem has nothing to do with the availability of transit and/or free transit, and complaining that homeless people are on buses is like complaining that homeless people are walking down the street. It is our responsibility to deal with the homeless crisis, and considering it a terrible thing to have homeless people on transit is really sad. Imagine if your life had gone so wrong that you ended up on the street, and then people didn't even let you get on a bus so you could go try and get help.

The issue with transit we're having now should never be happening. It's because people are treating transit agencies as companies. They were never meant to be profitable - that's not their purpose. The purpose of transit is to provide efficient and effective transportation to everyone in the service area. Denying that basic right to people by charging them money to use it is pretty unacceptable. Imagine if someone told you it would cost $3 to open the door of your house and walk outside. Charging for transit is the same thing.

Free transit is not unfeasible - all it requires is a reasonable amount of government funding - still far, far less than car-based transportation gets. Transit isn't meant to make money - it isn't meant to be a business. Transit is there as a mobility solution for the millions of people who live here - and it needs to start being available as one to everyone.

However, the most important argument is that transit is an essential service if we want to ever survive through the climate crisis. Having an ineffective network and high fares means more people in their cars, and there is no way to have an environmentally responsible city with cars in it. Cars take up more room, create congestion and worst of all are stinky pollution machines contributing to the climate crisis and therefore the eventual downfall of human civilization.

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4 hours ago, Translink69 said:

They need to start fare collection and front door boarding again. Too many crackheads taking up seats that people need to get to and from work.

This has got to be one of the stupidest and most ignorant things I've read today. I'd give you a trophy but something called social-distancing prevents me from doing so.

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I still don’t understand why they didn’t move the mobile validator (on buses that only have one) to the back door, and then announce the permanent discontinuation of cash fare payment on the buses. They’ve been trying to figure out a replacement for the fareboxes for a while now — just bite the bullet!

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1 hour ago, GORDOOM said:

I still don’t understand why they didn’t move the mobile validator (on buses that only have one) to the back door, and then announce the permanent discontinuation of cash fare payment on the buses. They’ve been trying to figure out a replacement for the fareboxes for a while now — just bite the bullet!

I do agree with that, I think going from full fare payment to nothing on buses was a terrible move and now TL employees and people who rely on these lower-demand routes are going to be paying the price for it. What conventional buses don't have rear-door Compass validators? I don't recall seeing a single bus without one in the back aside from a D40LF that was temporarily pulled out of retirement in 2018, and suburban models don't count.

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9 hours ago, 8010 said:

I do agree with that, I think going from full fare payment to nothing on buses was a terrible move and now TL employees and people who rely on these lower-demand routes are going to be paying the price for it. What conventional buses don't have rear-door Compass validators? I don't recall seeing a single bus without one in the back aside from a D40LF that was temporarily pulled out of retirement in 2018, and suburban models don't count.

Didn’t they remove some back door ones from 40-footers for the new expansion fleet? Obviously they could use the extra front ones now.

What percentage of boardings are cash fare anyways? Can’t be more than 4-5%

11 hours ago, 8010 said:

This has got to be one of the stupidest and most ignorant things I've read today. I'd give you a trophy but something called social-distancing prevents me from doing so.

K. Don’t exactly see why. Fares would provide extra cash right now, and I don’t think I’m that offside in saying that people who wouldn’t normally be taking transit are taking up seats, especially in the downtown core...

12 hours ago, Zortan said:

Once again, ignoring the benefits of free transit and pointing out the issues:

Funding shortfalls are because drivers are always so over-funded. Why are roads free? Why is the entire oil / gas industry subsidized? Because the government has decided it's more important to fund road users than transit users. If transit was funded as much as cars are funded by the government, it could be completely free and they'd have money left over for pretty big expansions.

Blaming homeless people on transit is just not acceptable at all. The homeless problem has nothing to do with the availability of transit and/or free transit, and complaining that homeless people are on buses is like complaining that homeless people are walking down the street. It is our responsibility to deal with the homeless crisis, and considering it a terrible thing to have homeless people on transit is really sad. Imagine if your life had gone so wrong that you ended up on the street, and then people didn't even let you get on a bus so you could go try and get help.

The issue with transit we're having now should never be happening. It's because people are treating transit agencies as companies. They were never meant to be profitable - that's not their purpose. The purpose of transit is to provide efficient and effective transportation to everyone in the service area. Denying that basic right to people by charging them money to use it is pretty unacceptable. Imagine if someone told you it would cost $3 to open the door of your house and walk outside. Charging for transit is the same thing.

Free transit is not unfeasible - all it requires is a reasonable amount of government funding - still far, far less than car-based transportation gets. Transit isn't meant to make money - it isn't meant to be a business. Transit is there as a mobility solution for the millions of people who live here - and it needs to start being available as one to everyone.

However, the most important argument is that transit is an essential service if we want to ever survive through the climate crisis. Having an ineffective network and high fares means more people in their cars, and there is no way to have an environmentally responsible city with cars in it. Cars take up more room, create congestion and worst of all are stinky pollution machines contributing to the climate crisis and therefore the eventual downfall of human civilization.

A) that’s why it costs drivers hundreds of dollars a month to drive vs. At most, $200 dollars a months for transit use. The key is, like we’ve stated before, no matter how good transit is, it will never beat the convenience of a car.

B ) as someone who has seen the dark side of the homelessness crisis, I don’t need to be lectured about it. When a bus is limited in capacity, having seats taken up by people who don’t need to be taking it is not what we need. Freedom of mobility is called walking, if you want to take the service that costs money, pay up. 
What you said about me being charged for leaving my house and charged for using transit being the same, is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read in my life, and I’ve read a lot of stupid stuff.

C) This free, everything is subsidized fantasy’s land that you live in would be sweet, but it ain’t gonna happen. Fully subsidized transit IS unfeasible, because we cannot print money on trees. 
 

if you want to make a strong argument to persuade me, saying “this climate crisis will lead to the downfall of human civilization because transit isn’t free” is not the way to go. 

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Friend of mine works for 1 of the major tv stations here sent me a copy of a media statement put out by Translink on Monday regarding Covid-19 & what lies ahead down the road. Here is what Translink sent out..

As a result of a significant decrease in ridership, the temporary suspension of fare collection on buses to allow for rear-door boarding, and a 60% drop in fuel tax revenue due to fewer people driving, TransLink revenues have seen a dramatic reduction. Although we continue to move approximately 75,000 people every weekday, many of whom are essential workers, TransLink is currently losing $75 million per month. As a result of these significant financial challenges, there have been some cost-saving reductions, including the following:

 

  • Further suspension of transit services on Bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express, beginning this week.

  • The issuance of temporary layoff notices to 1,492 employees. These employees work in various positions at TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company, and British Columbia Rapid Transit Company.

  • Senior executive salaries and Board remuneration are being reduced by 10%.

  • We are reducing organizational costs and program expenditures, including:

    • Deferring of the 2020 Major Road Network operations, maintenance and rehabilitation program funding to municipalities.

    • Deferring 2020 service expansions

    • Spending cash reserves to sustain current essential service operations through to the end of 2020.

 

Prior to the above announcement, in recent weeks we have significantly reduced trips on many of our routes system-wide, including trolley routes. However, we have done our best given the circumstances to maintain essential levels by providing supplemental service in some locations where customers are experiencing significant pass-ups. When this additional service is provided on trolley routes, often diesel buses are used as they offer greater flexibility to provide faster service to reduce pass-ups and crowding. Often it is more efficient to have a diesel bus report to its first in service stop on a route from a transit centre as compared to a trolley. Additionally, these diesel buses can begin this supplemental service at different parts of a given route where the need to increase service is required, given they are not tied to the path of trolley wires.

 

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I was out today doing some shopping & delivering groceries to elderly family relatives who are staying in their homes or yards because of the Covid-19. While I was out doing these grocery trips I noticed a lot of routes had "Sorry Bus Full". These were routes in Vancouver, Burnaby, New West & Delta. I don't think I recall seeing that many on a Saturday until today. I wonder if the reduction in service which took effect yesterday were way to severe?

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1 hour ago, dover5949 said:

I was out today doing some shopping & delivering groceries to elderly family relatives who are staying in their homes or yards because of the Covid-19. While I was out doing these grocery trips I noticed a lot of routes had "Sorry Bus Full". These were routes in Vancouver, Burnaby, New West & Delta. I don't think I recall seeing that many on a Saturday until today. I wonder if the reduction in service which took effect yesterday were way to severe?

I was out biking today, and I also noticed that - I stopped for a bit at a few transit hubs. I think that it most likely has to do with the service reduction.

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4 hours ago, Zortan said:

I was out biking today, and I also noticed that - I stopped for a bit at a few transit hubs. I think that it most likely has to do with the service reduction.

The one community shuttle was “full” with only 3 people in it.
Does Translink have some sort of social distancing max capacities for buses?

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6 hours ago, dover5949 said:

I was out today doing some shopping & delivering groceries to elderly family relatives who are staying in their homes or yards because of the Covid-19. While I was out doing these grocery trips I noticed a lot of routes had "Sorry Bus Full". These were routes in Vancouver, Burnaby, New West & Delta. I don't think I recall seeing that many on a Saturday until today. I wonder if the reduction in service which took effect yesterday were way to severe?

Some routes have been "Sorry Bus Full" since they started with the seat restrictions.  Ridership will pick-up in the next weeks on many routes, plus some people will end up taking other routes if the route they normally take has been cut.  As long as they keep the seat restrictions in place, its gonna get harder to get on a bus.

4 minutes ago, Thomasw said:

The one community shuttle was “full” with only 3 people in it.
Does Translink have some sort of social distancing max capacities for buses?

Could be that the driver forgot to turn the PR message off.

Not sure how many seats are closed on the shuttles but the 40fters usually have about 17 seats available and the 60fters have about 25 seats available.  I don't thing that there's an actual "official" layout though, I've had some buses with the back row "closed/open/closed/open/closed" and others with "open/closed/open/closed/open" and others with "closed/closed/open/closed/closed".

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7 hours ago, 9924 said:

Not sure how many seats are closed on the shuttles but the 40fters usually have about 17 seats available and the 60fters have about 25 seats available.  I don't thing that there's an actual "official" layout though, I've had some buses with the back row "closed/open/closed/open/closed" and others with "open/closed/open/closed/open" and others with "closed/closed/open/closed/closed".

I was on 19540 a few days ago and it only had 9 or 10 seats available.

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