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.
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.