This week, I’ve been going to cover some of the major projects that are planned to be implemented in 5-10 years after a Yes vote to the upcoming transit ballot. If Metro Vancouver residents vote Yes to the 0.5% PST increase, then 2020-2025 will see some of the largest transportation projects ever in the history of our region.
There are more B-Line buses slated to start service between 2020 and 2025.
Metrotown to Capilano University B-Line
This B-Line bus will run mostly along Willingdon Avenue in Burnaby. Currently, this route is serviced by the #130 bus that runs 9 buses every hour between Metrotown and Brentwood – the busiest section of this route. The buses alternate between ending the runs at Hastings and Willingdon or at Kootenay Loop in East Vancouver. In the morning and afternoon rush hours, a few of the buses go to North Vancouver and end at Phibbs Exchange or Capilano University. The #130 is also a milk run that stops at every single bus stop along the way.
A new B-Line may bring a limited-stop express service with hopefully more consistent runs to the North Shore. Major stops include Metrotown itself with the province’s largest shopping complex and the growing commercial and residential towers in the area. BCIT is a major stop along the way with thousands of students pouring onto the campus every weekday. Brentwood Town Centre is growing by leaps and bounds with major new tower developments, such as SOLO and Brentwood. Hastings in Burnaby is home to the charming Burnaby Heights neighbourhood. And finally, Capilano University is a big draw in North Vancouver for many commuting students.
Just from the list of major destinations and the frequency of the current #130 service, this is a route screaming for a B-Line express bus service. There’s already a vanpool/bus lane along parts of Willingdon Avenue. That lane could be extended along more of Willingdon to provide even more reliable bus service along the corridor.
Estimated capital costs for a new B-Line along Willingdon would be $11.2 million. Annual operating costs are pegged at $5.8 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.