This is project #5 in my project-by-project look at the Regional Transportation Investments that will transform Metro Vancouver as we know it. And yes, it’s another B-Line.
Hastings Street B-Line (Downtown to Simon Fraser University)
The Hastings B-Line would be an upgrade of the current 135 SFU/Burrard Station express bus. The 135 is already a fairly frequent bus with limited stop service. The B-Line version would require just a bit of tweaking and some additional buses to make it even more frequent. Perhaps more frequent service throughout more of day would be part of the upgrade.
Connecting Downtown to Simon Fraser University up on Burnaby Mountain is not the only purpose of this route. Hastings Street is one of the busiest east-west streets in the region. It stretches from downtown Vancouver all the way to the base of Burnaby Mountain. The neighbourhoods of Strathcona, Sunrise, Vancouver Heights, Burnaby Heights, and Kensington are all along the way on Hastings. Up on Burnaby Mountain, the new UniverCity neighbourhood has sprouted with residential low-rises, high-rises, and townhouses just east of the SFU campus. A growing population up on the mountain requires more transit to help them reach destinations off the mountain.
The capital costs of upgrading the 135 to a Hastings B-Line are $4.4 million and annual operating costs figure out to be $2.1 million.
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.