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.