Project #6 is another university bound B-Line in the Regional Transportation Investments that will transform Metro Vancouver as we know it.
41st Avenue B-Line (Joyce Station to University of British Columbia)
This route is of personal importance to me. I took a bus out to UBC during my uni days and endured many 1-hour bus rides along 41st Avenue. The 41st Avenue B-Line would be another express bus upgrade. This route is currently served by both #41 and #43 buses. The #43 is the current express bus that only runs during rush hour. I would hope a new B-Line along 41st Avenue would bring all-day, frequent, limited-stop service to 41st Avenue.
The eastern terminus of this route is Joyce-Collingwood Station. Since the 1990’s, the area around Joyce Station has been transformed from industrial warehouse space to a high rise residential neighbourhood. A new condominium project along Boundary and Vanness looks to add 3 new high rise towers in the range of 30 stories each. That’s a lot of new people moving into Collingwood.
On the western end is the 30,000 strong University of BC campus. 30,000 is only the number of students that attend the Point Grey campus. There is also the employees and all the residents of the growing residential neighbourhoods. Wesbrook Village is the largest of these new neighbourhoods and it’s still not finished yet.
Demand is high for good, frequent transit on both ends of the route. In the middle of 41st Avenue, you find Oakridge Centre. Oakridge itself is expected to undergo a major transformation as much of the mall’s surface parking will be converted to low and high rise residential buildings. Oakridge is also a crucial transfer point to the Canada Line SkyTrain station to take people into Richmond or Downtown.
Kerrisdale in the rich west side is full of seniors who will want better access to transit. There are also several schools along 41st Avenue which already have high school students overflowing the current buses on 41st Avenue.
The parts of 41st Avenue from Kerrisdale west will prove to be the most challenging logistically. There are only 3 lanes of traffic in this area – 2 going west and 1 going east. Traffic backups are the most severe in this section. It will be interesting to see if any transit priority measures can/will be implemented for a 41st Avenue B-Line.
Estimated captial costs are $10.0 million and annual operating costs are $5.1 million. This and all the other B-Lines I’ve mentioned up to this point are expected to be up and running within 5 years of a YES vote to the upcoming plebiscite.
Disclosure: I live in the Collingwood neighbourhood and stand to personally benefit to any increase in transit service to the area.
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.