Faster, yet busier commutes await transit riders today after dozens of bus routes were rerouted or discontinued to integrate the Canada Line into the regional transit network.
TransLink spokesperson Ken Hardie said he believes the people having to make the biggest adjustment are those used to taking one bus to downtown Vancouver from Delta, South Surrey or White Rock.
They now have to transfer to the Canada Line once they get to Richmond.
“What they will probably find, in exchange for having to make a transfer, is that the trip will be faster,” Hardie said.
He expects that morning commutes will be cut by about five to 10 minutes for some transit riders living south of Vancouver.
“The afternoon commute, on the other hand, could be significantly shorter,” he said. “In fact, it’s probably going to be … 20 or 30 minutes shorter in some extreme cases.”
That’s because some long haul buses end up in traffic jams while getting out of Vancouver and over the Fraser River. The Canada Line avoids that congestion.
Also, with several routes no longer going into Vancouver, some are now running more frequently, including the 351, 601 and 603.
“Services that were running every 30 minutes are now running every 15,” Hardie said.
He added that transit riders can expect crowded conditions today.
“The first couple of weeks in September are traditionally the busiest time,” he said. “It’s because the universities haven’t settled into their schedules yet.”
Hardie said people can avoid the peak crunch time — 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. — by leaving about 20 minutes earlier.