Photos: Taking the 99 B-Line in Vancouver

Every morning when I get off the SkyTrain at the Broadway-Commercial Drive station, this is the sight that greets me: a ridiculously long lineup of commuters waiting for the 99 B-Line headed west.

Today's wait was mercifully short; I managed to catch the third bus that showed up. To Translink's credit, they were running the B-Lines just about back-to-back this morning.

But this isn't even the worst lineup I've seen. Sometimes they wrap all the way out the Commercial Drive exit and/or down the hallway that leads to the Millennium Line.

How was your commute this morning, Vancouver?

Keep in mind, this is only the back of the lineup.
Miranda Nelson
I'm not good with estimating but there are a lot of folks waiting, easily 50-60 in this line alone (and there are three lines, one for each door on the bus) when this photo was snapped.
Miranda Nelson
Comments (16) Add New Comment
teddy
Yes, it's unbelievable. A light-weight rail system needs to be installed. ASAP. Get some investors in and get it done.
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K-
Yep, it's pretty bad, though the buses at least can pack a lot of people in once they're inside.

But yes, during peak hours, and even running buses back to back, there are queues.

It's difficult to see how currently planned levels of investment in transit will work over the next 30 years across Metro Van. The system is far from adequate now, and will become more and more strained as rising oil prices drive people away from single-car commuting.

I guess the problem is viewing the investment in strictly capitalist terms - what will pay off - rather than in terms of overall benefit to society.
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Carlinator
This is pure propaganda. Why am I not surprised the Georgia Straight is trying to interfere with Surrey's plan to attract an overdue transit expansion that will save commuters hundreds of hours per year by relieving congestion on the highway
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Michael K.
I guess the problem is viewing the investment in strictly capitalist terms - what will pay off - rather than in terms of overall benefit to society.


That's a problem not only for transit in North America, essentially any and all Government service are treated like it's a business that only has this one revenue source instead of looking at the bigger picture.

Until 30 years of Thatchernomics and Reagonomics are being undone nothing will change and we will cripple ourselves for a long time to come.

There is / was / should be enough money in the "Federal Stimulus Fund" to have invested in transit, instead they build bridges and other things that, although nice to have, will be less important in the long run.

But as it goes with us humans: We're only doing the right thing when we have no other choice, until then we try everything else.
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Michael K.
This is pure propaganda. Why am I not surprised the Georgia Straight is trying to interfere with Surrey's plan to attract an overdue transit expansion that will save commuters hundreds of hours per year by relieving congestion on the highway


Just out of curiosity, once these thousands of Surrey people have left Surrey and are at Broadway & Commerical, how will they get to their destination?

Expansion is nice (and necessary), but not if you cannot even handle the current capacity requirements.
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GregEh
My morning bike commute was swell, despite heavy rain. Bit of an investment in gear and biking in the rain is no problem.
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Birdy
re: Michael K - "Until 30 years of Thatchernomics and Reagonomics are being undone nothing will change"

That wouldn't change anything. The problem isn't capitalism, we essentially have socialism already, but it's upside down and forcibly feeds wealth from the poor to the elite.

Capitalism and socialism are both promising ideas in theory, but neither will work in the long term if combined with debt based money and private money creation!

Arguing about whether capitalism or socialism is better without addressing money creation is a waste of time. It's like arguing over what color bandaid to put on a wound that needs stitches and antibiotics.

An economy based on fractional reserve money creation NEEDS exponential growth in order to survive. It takes away the ability of a nation to plateau, which creates the requirement for bubbles, derivatives, lies and theft to create false growth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional-reserve_banking
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full-reserve_banking
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Andrew
Extending the Millenium Line to Cambie and Broadway would be a great first step in reducing some of the overcrowding on the 99 B-Line. Then take the Broadway Skytrain to Granville or Arbutus as a step 2. Finally look at MacDonald or UBC as a step 3.
Peak oil is coming, and we have to invest NOW in public transit so that we can make a smooth transition to an electric based economy. The Broadway corridor is the busiest in the lower mainland, and ridership on the buses is growing exponentially - a Skytrain solution is needed urgently.
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Drew Snider
Drew here, from TransLink. Consider this: if there are 50-60 people in each of 3 lineups for a 99 B-Line ... and a B-Line bus holds approximately 100 passengers with a full standing load ... and the B-Lines at that hour of the day run virtually back-to-back ... any math majors out there, who can tell us how many buses the folks in these pictures would have to wait? But this is why we encourage people to examine their own commutes and see what they can change to make it easier on themselves and others: look for alternatives for that east-west run (we've been building up service on the 25, 33, 41 and 43) or understand that the crush-loading time is a relatively small window and if there's another time one can make the commute, consider doing that. Check out our TravelSmart pages at www.translink.ca
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@birdy
money isn't real.
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Atticus
Light-rail, or streetcar, is a great idea for the Broadway corridor. Wasn't there a meeting about it a few weeks back? What is going on with that idea?
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will sue
yes lets build light rail along Broadway, all the business can make lots of money suing translink for government money.
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Pragmatist
Obviously there is demand as this photo montage so shockingly illustrates. Broadway is THE biggest corridor within the city. Sure... there's not much demand west of Alma (besides UBC of course) or East of Nanaimo but the in between parts are a seething mass of people, attractions and connections.

What fool citizenry wouldn't get a reasonable solution in place?

Alas me thinks that money is the hold up. This reason could be debated until the end of the earth but that is the ultimate reality, as complex as it is... what to do? What to do?

I might suggest the city of Vancouver ammend bylaws so a certain Arbutus corridor property owner could profit and therefore contribute to such an endeavour. The Canada Line is built. Done. Fin. Arbutus? I doubt the original intent when the rail line was built back even before the first was not about green space or yoga pants. It was about transport plain and simple. Translate that transport resource to where it's needed now, for the better of the overall community at large.

We can give the busses to Surrey.
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wouldn't a SeaBus avoid the Cambie Street repeat?
Hey TransLink, try a 600 seat aluminum ferry from Kits Beach or False Creek to UBC. Peak transit volume on the 99 B-Line is 1200 people per hour and we could do wonders by cutting this volume in half with a couple ferries for about 1/10th the cost of silly trains. The Pacific Ocean is right there, use it TransLink idiots or we'll replace you with smarter people.
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MrNogatco
Trams? FERRIES? About as silly as the current practice of running buses along one of Metro Vancouver's busiest transit corridors.

A subway bored under Broadway (non of this cut and cover RAV line nonsense) is the only viable solution. Yes, it will cost money but if there's a will there's a way.

Ah well, maybe in twenty years or so after millions of dollars are spent "consulting" and sending politicians to Europe to see how real mass transit works. Again.
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@MrNogatco
Nice to see you spending someone else's money. Have you thought about going into politics? We could use more prudent people like you in this province.

The skanky B-Lines move 15,000 people daily and boring to UBC is going to cost $3 billion. Skanky B-Lines carry mostly students who pay $200 for eight months at UBC.

Estimated B-Line revenue with half paying $1000/yr and half paying $200/yr is $0.009 billion/yr. Good investment. Payback is only 333 years. Stick with the ferries which we can afford at $300 million and a 33 year payback.
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