TransLink. (Black Press Media files)

TransLink to add more bus, SkyTrain service to ‘chronically overcrowded’ routes

Changes will roll out on Sept. 3, CEO says

Commuters around Metro Vancouver will see an increase in SkyTrain cars, bus service hours and SeaBus rides starting early next month.

A part of fall service changes announced Monday, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said 24 new SkyTrain cars will be added to the Expo and Millennium lines. The addition will lead to a five per cent capacity increase on the Expo Line and a nine per cent jump on the Millennium Line.

The changes, which come into effect on Sept. 3, are part of Phase One of the 10-year-vision brought in by the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.

The first phase funded about $2 billion in transit service and infrastructure through a mix of regional, provincial and federal funding.

TransLink will also add 40,000 bus service hours, including changes to several bus routes in the Fraser Valley.

The biggest change, Desmond said, will come to the 503 Fraser Highway Express. The new bus will come every eight to nine minutes during peak times and every 10 to 15 minutes during daytime off peak hours.

“That’s a major increase during previous service which used to come only every 20 to 30 minutes during the weekday peaks and only every 30 to 60 minutes during non-peak periods,” Desmond said Monday while standing at the Production-University Station.

“On a route like that, which has been experiencing very significant demand increases, we’re more than doubling the service.”

Those routes were selected because TransLink data showed they were “chronically overcrowded,” Desmond noted.

Other changes include adding double decker buses with USB charging outlets to the 301 Newton Exchange/Brighouse Station route, as well as more evening service hours.

The N17 NightBus between Downtown and the University of B.C. will increase its hours, running every 30 minutes. Service towards downtown will end at 5 a.m. and service to UBC will end at 4:30 a.m. every day.

For those community to and from the North Shore, TransLink is bringing in 10 minute sailings weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The changes will bring 50 per cent more capacity during peak hours.

Other changes include increase service on these routes:

  • 5 Robson/Downtown
  • 6 Davie/Downtown
  • 7 Nanaimo Station/Dunbar
  • 19 Metrotown Station/Stanley Park
  • 49 Metrotown Station/Dunbar Loop/UBC
  • 99 Commercial Broadway/UBC B-Line
  • 112 Edmonds Station/Metrotown Station
  • 342 Newton Exchange/Langley Centre
  • 502 Surrey Central Station/Langley Centre

READ MORE: TransLink estimates the entire Surrey-Langley SkyTrain route would cost $3.12 billion

READ MORE: Double-decker buses rolling into Surrey, Delta and Richmond this fall

READ MORE: Taxpayer group questions new salary ranges for TransLink executives


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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