Here’s my first post in a series of what is being proposed as a part of the upcoming Transportation and Transit Plan Referendum/Plebiscite. The Mayor’s Council has put forward a vision for Regional Transportation Investments for Metro Vancouver for the next 10 years. Some of these investments will happen within the next 5 years. Others will happen between 2020 and 2025. This all depends on those living in Metro Vancouver voting Yes in the upcoming mail-in referendum/plebiscite ballot.
Here’s the first project-by-project look at the Regional Transportation Investments.
Dundarave/Phibbs Exchange B-Line
One of the early additions to the current transit network would be a Dundarave to Phibbs Exchange B-Line. Currently, there is no direct route between Dundarave Village in West Vancouver and the Phibbs Exchange in the District of North Vancouver. To get between the two destinations, one would currently have to take two buses and transfer either at Park Royal Shopping Centre or at Lynn Valley (which is totally out of the way).
A new North Shore B-Line along Marine Drive and 3rd Street would create an east-west axis of frequent and direct bus service on the North Shore. This B-Line would serve many major destinations such as Dundarave Village, Ambleside Beach, and Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver. In North Vancouver, Marine Drive is a busy commercial strip with shops almost along its entire length including Capilano Mall. There is no mention in the current vision whether the B-Line would make a slight detour to Lonsdale Quay, but that would be a distinct possibility. A Lonsdale Quay connection would allow for direct transfers from the B-Line to the SeaBus.
Currently, the buses serving the proposed route run every 15-20 minutes during rush hour and every 30 minutes during off-peak times. A B-Line would likely bring at least a bus every 15 minutes to this corridor.
This investment in the Dundarave/Phibbs Exchange B-Line would be $9.4 million in capital costs (most likely new bus purchases) and $4.6 million in operating costs (driver salaries and bus maintenance). This investment is expected to start service within the first 5 years. Given that it’s only additional buses that are needed and some reworking of bus stops, it’s possible to see the service start early on in the 5 year period – either this year or next year.
The ballots will be sent out by March 16, 2015 and residents of Metro Vancouver will have until May 29, 2015 to mail in their votes. Voting YES for a 0.5% increase in the provincial sales tax will cost the average household only a 1-2 hundred dollars a year, but it will provide financial stability for a great variety of transportation projects that will transform Metro Vancouver. A YES vote will benefit your mobility and my mobility in the region. Please vote Yes to better transportation.