New Evergreen Line will serve to further overcrowd Broadway station

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

20 comments

broadway.JPG
The new Evergreen Lline will add even more passengers to these lineups soon

If you are fortunate enough to be able to avoid the Broadway/Commercial Skytrain station as part of your daily commute, count your blessings. On any given day, this important transit node is packed with thousands of passengers trying to get on to a 99 B-Line bus heading westbound. The NPA's Suzanne Anton captured my sentiments when she said "the Broadway station is Vancouver's own transit version of the Port Mann Bridge."

On paper you would think the number one priority for TransLink would be the construction of a new rapid transit line along the Broadway corridor. It has the biggest demand and the highest numbers of "pass ups" of any route in Metro Vancouver. It will also carry way more passengers per day than the Evergreen Line could ever dream of in its wildest dreams.

But as we all know, the top transit priority in Metro Vancouver so happens to be the Evergreen Line which connects Lougheed Mall to Coquitlam Centre. Now that Gregor Robertson and several other mayors have agreed to the new 2 cent gas tax, it appears the project will finally see shovels in the ground relatively soon.

After having missed about half of the Mayor's Council (the body responsible for approving TransLink plans) meetings since he got elected, Robertson has suddenly found religion when it comes to transporation issues. He's been all over the media in the last week talking about how important the Evergreen Line is to him. I suspect his newfound interest has more to do with internal campaign polling data, than it does about a sincere interest in talking transit.

What we have not heard Robertson talk about is whether he secured support from other mayors to place the Broadway rapid transit line as the 2nd top transit priority in Metro Vancouver - after the Evergreen Line. One assumes that Robertson's vote for the Coquitlam line was predicated upon the fact that other mayors would help relieve the current bottleneck in Vancouver?

While I'm not always in favour of this kind of horsetrading when it comes to votes, there is an important reason why it's important in this case. It has to do with the fact that a big chunk of the new Evergreen Line riders will eventually end up at the Broadway/Commercial Station.

Therefore, can someone explain to me how this maxed-out transit node will handle even more transit volume each day? As it stands, there are already hundreds of customers waiting patiently in line each day for the privelege of catching a 99 B-Line bus (see photo above).

I'm all in support of building the Evergreen Line, but it would have been nice if Robertson had raised a red flag regarding what the implications will be once all those new trains start running. If we don't get moving quickly on solving the current transit problems on Broadway, I'm afraid my bus commute will get even longer. Ugh.

- Post by Daniel. You can follow us on on Twitter @CityCaucus or you can "like" us on Facebook at facebook.com/citycaucus

20 Comments

What developers want high rises along Broadway?

Nope- I disagree with this one ...for now....it is important but not priority #2.
Most of these users are UBC destined....many do not have or own cars....I would imagine many of the "profs" drive to work in their Infiniti's, Land Rovers etc....
99B Line style buses, are more than adequate to transport to UBC, (or find an existing rail line to facilitate an express to the point) ....remember the crem de la crem comment...

Transit infrastructure of this magnitude should have a goal of taking cars off the streets - not a school "express" service. It should lessen green house emissions, if billions are to be spent on a #2 priority look south of the Fraser.... ground level electric trains Chilliwack - Vancouver.... ....at a fraction of skytrain costs....also has anyone here been to Edmonton lately - they have a new ground level electric train .... that would also be perfect along Broadway, in lieu of 99 b lines.....cheaper and greener, no driver making 25+ hr + pension and benefits... and not billions in elevated cement tracks .... lets focus on lessening the car traffic first...then give the kids a quicker ride to school - later - what ever happened to the gondola for SFU _ That was also a brilliant (quiet) an efficient idea....saving fuel wages expense bus maint. and more....

Tax and spend, tax and spend...

Another 2 cents,thanks a lot Gregor. what are they going to do when the parasite finally kills the host.I have not bought gas in the city for years and the border line up gets longer every day.What a great funding plan.

Some kind of rail extension of the Millenium Line is in order... On the mean-time a separated bus corridor along Broadway would allow more buses to ease the conjestion at that station.... Also separated tram lines from VCC Clark to both Downtown and South False Creek would be a good thing....

Part of the money is apparently going to be used to increase the number of buses on Broadway, so this article kind of misses the mark.

Looks like we have a new troll. Could it be that Mark has been asked by Vancouver kid to ensure someone from the left side of the spectrum is here countering this blog? I would love to see how many comments are coming in from the IP address at Vision HQ!

I'm new to this site, what's with the hate? Is it only for right wing commentators or something?

Have you heard differently about plans to increase the number of buses on the Broadway corridor?

We need both, don't we? A Broadway corridor line and much much better commuter service along the Fraser Valley. In regard to the latter, I hope when it is put in the planners figure out (i) most people no longer work 9 to 5 jobs and a lot more flexibility is needed and (ii) that it will support bi-modal transit users who combine bikes and trains.

I am not sure how to prioritize between the two but it seems to me that the need is extremely high for both.

You and people like you are the trolls Tom. You insult anyone who does not subscribe to your views. You also demolish the credibility of this site. Do everyone a favour and (i) use your real name and (ii) make comments that move the conversation forward.

Any plan to use skytrain technology should be filed in the dustbin under to expensive and not user friendly,the stations are to far apart and require fleets of buses to bring people to them and their far to expensive,I wonder how much the jetson styled bubble station at lougheed cost,are we building monuments or transit?LRT and street cars are the only thing that should be considered.For every 1 km.of skytrain you can build 10km. of LRT and you dont have to build huge expensive stations.LRT is slower and you can put stations much closer together.If we combine LRT with streetcars and have the common sense to purchase equipment of the same gauge track they could share track where required.Maybe we should look to the past to secure our future. http://www.tundria.com/trams/CAN/Vancouver-1940.shtml

Another thing that drives me crazy is spending billions on new bridges without the forethought of building them to accommodate rail in the future,instead we have to build a whole new rail bridge when we need it.You used to be able to take rail all the way from steveston to chilliwack,its like their trying to screw us.And yes I think we could use both lines that were brought up,but not at any cost.

Hey, we agree on something. We better find an alternative to Skytrain. I would like to see commuter rail on the Arbutus corridor as soon as possible too, but I am guessing it is only 50/50 this happens in my lifetime.

Well Steven I guess stranger thing have happened.Here is some shots that include the chilliwack and mount lehman lines.Pretty cool. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9nlBa-4SIU&feature=related

I agree with Arbutus,the people who bought homes with tracks behind them in a city with a growing transit system might have to just bite the bullet on this one.Its not like it wasnt possible this could happen.

Thanks gman, my parents met in Chilliwack so this has great emotional power for me. We have to think of transit in the context of the Fraser Valley and not just Vancouver.

I like the idea of street cars because they seem user friendly and can run in traffic as well as a bus does in certain areas.And I think if some cars were natural gas electric hybrids we could lessen our installation costs by not having to put up trolley lines where its not feasible.When I started looking at the old films I wondered why we ever got rid of them and found some info that goodyear standard oil,GM and mack truck started buying the privately owned lines and started shutting them down.What happened in LA is very interesting.Some of the old art deco stations still exist under the city.

"can someone explain to me how this maxed-out transit node will handle even more transit volume each day?"

Here's a quote from the commissioner's report on the Transit Plan,

"The total budget for the Evergreen Project is set at $1.4 billion, which will cover the costs for the 11-kilometer ALRT guideway, 5 new stations; modification to the Lougheed Station; 28 MKII vehicles; testing and commissioning; a new maintenance yard; and bus loops at the stations.
In addition, TransLink will expand the Broadway-Commercial Station, as ridership will increase on the current Millennium Line"

Might be worth updating your post.

Only in Vancouver would we spend 3 billion dollars on 2 rapid transit lines (1.1 on Millenium, 1.9 on Canada Line) and leave a 20 block gap between the 2 of them. The fact there's no rapid transit to UBC is and remains a joke. It'll be the #1 issue for my vote this gall.

99-b is the highest demand bus route but people are wrong to assume that it has the highest number of "pass-up". The most "pass-up" title actually belongs to the notorious #49 route (as reported in frontpage of Vancouver Sun earlier this year, and #49 dire situation has been discussed very often in transportation forum). #99-b is not far behind though in this category, and Translink spokensman Ken Hardie has pointed out that both #49 and #99-b are problems that can never be fixed unless using expensive means.

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