COPE candidate pushes for expansion of bus service on Vancouver routes

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      COPE city council candidate Tim Louis wants to see larger express buses studied as an option for expanding transit service on Vancouver's Broadway corridor.

      At a news conference outside the Broadway and Commercial SkyTrain Station today, Louis said (October 17) COPE will urge TransLink to launch a study of the feasibility of three-section B-line buses along Broadway.

      Louis said in other cities around the world, double articulated buses are being used to increase bus capacity.

      “Overnight, this would eliminate what we have happening right now: passengers left behind as the bus goes by full,” Louis told reporters. “This would increase capacity by 50 percent.”

      The candidate claimed that the three-section buses would not increase operating costs, but that additional capital costs would be required to purchase the longer vehicles. He didn’t provide an estimate on the capital costs.

      “The capital cost is a mere fraction of the much more expensive alternatives, such as underground SkyTrain,” he said.

      Louis would want the feasibility study to address factors including the potential for increased fuel costs, and whether current B-line bus stops would be large enough to accommodate a three-section bus.

      As part of COPE’s transportation policies, Louis said the party also wants to see buses equipped with a traffic light control to ensure buses can clear intersections before the light turns, and a freeze on fares.

      “We recognize that Vancouver city council does not have jurisdiction over fares, but COPE city councillors will advocate in partnership with community groups to put pressure on TransLink to freeze fares,” he said.

      Louis noted another potential transit solution that is not part of COPE’s election platform but that the party is “looking into” is the possibility of making the B-line a free service during off-peak hours.

      “It would mean that the driver wouldn’t need to be concerned about people coming in the back and not having paid,” he said.

      Louis is one of three COPE candidates running for city council in the November 19 civic election.




      Oct 17, 2011 at 1:56pm

      Reminder to Tim and other candidates you will not be paid extra for attending any Metro Vancouver meeting this is part of your job, if you do not understand this do not run, candidates will be confronted before voting!


      Oct 17, 2011 at 2:13pm

      Good idea. Another alternative is to purchase double-decker buses similar to those which now operate in Victoria as part of the BC Transit fleet.

      Tom W.

      Oct 17, 2011 at 6:01pm

      Double deckers are cool and all, but they require a major commitment to clearing the route of low-hanging branches, and besides, the existing B-Line buses have about the same passenger capacity (~120). I think Tim's suggestion is definitely worth looking at - we need transit solutions for today, not just 15 years from now.

      Jo-Anne Teal

      Oct 17, 2011 at 6:48pm

      If Mr. Louis is suggesting COPE will consider pushing for a free B line during off hours, then they darn well also should be considering this for the Davie/Denman/Robson service that seniors rely on in the West End. Also, I'm not a fan of train like buses. Other solutions such as light rapid transit, or increased services are better. I wouldn't want 1 driver to 200 passengers. Safety issue.

      Xian Qi

      Oct 17, 2011 at 11:20pm

      Although I think what Tim Louis did to David Cadman was unseemly, and I don't want to vote for him, I'm tempted to vote for him anyway for his position on transit alone.

      @ Xian Qi

      Oct 18, 2011 at 8:43am

      Silly comment -- David Cadman did what he did to himself by showing lack of interest in his job (he missed many council meetings). Cadman contributed little and should have left long ago.

      Evil Eye

      Oct 18, 2011 at 11:18am

      Why not just build a streetcar on Broadway. Cost $15 mil/km to $20 mil/km. and it would pay for itself in 5 years and after that, it would run at a profit.

      Xian Qi

      Oct 18, 2011 at 1:48pm

      To follow up on Jo-Anne's comment, it's true, we should be talking more about the fare disparities throughout Vancouver rather than just on Broadway. Why should it cost $2.50 to go from Denman to Bute, when the same fare will take you to UBC or South Fraser? When Translink brings in the electronic Farecard system, they have an opportunity to create distance-based fares. I bet they won't, but somebody (Tim Louis?) needs to start pushing for it.


      Oct 18, 2011 at 7:20pm

      When was the last time you saw a driver care about passengers getting in the back door of a bus? It happens all the time, not just on the B-Lines, and frankly I don't blame the drivers for turning a blind eye. I ride the Canada Line daily, both ways, and since it's been opened I've had my fare checked once by transit cops. I always pay, but it's clear that the odds of being caught are mighty slim - so in fact transit is carrying a lot of free riders already! Set it up so everybody has to pay, or make it free for everybody and find some other way to pay for it. I don't doubt that my taxes and my own fares are paying for five other people to ride for nothing. That needs to be fixed.

      johnny shuster

      Oct 18, 2011 at 10:37pm

      It must be Halloween. Wasn't Tim on council once?

      The competition looks scary.

      How much thought was put into Tim's idea? The current double long buses don't fit and run cars off the roads, now. How are triple long buses going to work?

      I'm almost 100% sure that if the buses were banned and people drove, things would be much better.