I Singlehandedly Save Transit

Translink, why do you taunt me? You claim that you are “Keeping Greater Vancouver Moving”, but from where I’m standing at the bus stop, that’s not happening. So I spent my time today while waiting for various buses (total: 57 minutes) and actually riding the buses (total: 48 minutes) concocting a cunning plan to help transit passengers in Vancouver, help Vancouver’s economy, and help your own ailing reputation.

Problem times I’d like to address:
8:00-9:30 am. This is Rush Hour. Remember it? yeah.
4:30-6:00 pm. Ditto.
9:00 pm from UBC. Whilst not a big rush hour, you should be aware that there are large numbers of people trying to get off campus at the time.

Solutions: More buses. No, it’s not crazy, it would work. Just think:

Traffic to UBC is highest between 7:30 and 9:30 am. This is because a fair whack of UBC’s student population (35,000, which is 5,000 more than the population of Campbell River) are coming to school between 7:30 and 9:30. With that in mind, it would be a really great idea to put a few more buses on those routes during that time. This morning, 2 B-lines passed me by at Broadway and Macdonald, crammed to the rafters with commuters from Points East. Hey, Alert, Translink! Not EVERYONE West of Granville is going to climb into their Beamer and zip out to B-lot! (Although with the kind of service you provide, I don’t see why not)

Ditto afternoon Rush Hour: Particularly as we’re swinging into the colder season and homeless people have to go somewhere to get warm. More buses make everyone happier.

And finally, heads up, Translink: Lots of people want to get off the UBC campus at or around 9pm. People’s classes end, kids want to go downtown, you name it. An extra bus at about 9:15 or so would ensure that people were not waiting in the dark for too long surrounded (let’s say) by drunk Mexican exchange students shrieking their national anthem.

What? There’s a problem? The expense is too big for those extra, oh, say, nine buses? Listen here: You’re a private company. Diversify. Think of all the tourists flocking to our fair city! You could turn those B-lines into tour buses and charge fifty bucks a head to take tourists on garden tours to Queen Elizabeth Park and Van Dusen Gardens! Or to Grouse Mountain! Or to the outlet malls in Washington State, for Christ’s sake! Come on, Translink, get with my vision! Then after a day of touring, drop people off at B-line points downtown or along Broadway, come up to UBC during evening rush hour, and take students home.

Also, you’ve been taking a beating in the news. Just think of how compassionate Translink would seem if one of those morning buses could easily become a Homeless haven. Vancouver’s homeless people could get on at designated B-line stops and have some sandwiches and a nap in the warm. Wouldn’t that strike a blow in the media? Just think of the photo ops. They might even forget the merciless price-gouging you did earlier this year!

See how easy?

2 Comments to “I Singlehandedly Save Transit”

  1. By Arwen, September 18, 2005 @ 11:37 am

    You win. I await homeless haven B-Lines, and more busses to UBC.
    We may be waiting awhile, in the rain, as the (full) ideas zip past or stop only to unload.

    Actually: although going to UBC was always an issue for me, recently Translink has done a better job in the West End. I like the little charter busses they’ve got with the plush seats, although a few of them have a wheelchair ramp tiedown problem so rattle like hail in Northern Ontario.

  2. By Liz, September 19, 2005 @ 12:32 am

    I haven’t had the chance to ride one of those little ones, but they look like good little jaunts.

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