Council pushes for longer Broadway buses

Bi-articulated option advocated

Vancouver City council is pushing for extra long buses for the Broadway corridor to address a capacity squeeze along the busy transit route.

At an April 17 meeting, council directed city staff to ask the province and TransLink to remove any rules preventing bi-articulated buses from servicing Broadway.

"There's this outdated transportation rule provincially which says that buses can't be longer than 20 metres," Coun. George Afflecktold Business in Vancouver.

Affleck's motion to tackle the problem of passengers being left behind by full 99 B-Line express buses along Broadway passed unanimously. He said that while there could be many ways to deal with transit volumes on Broadway, longer buses would "be the most cost-effective and quickest short-term solution until a long-term solution for Broadway corridor is created."

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure confirmed that a provincial regulation limits buses to being 20 metres long but added that the City of Vancouver can determine the length of a vehicle on its roads.

The ministry said that if the city doesn't intervene, the provincial legislation is in force.

TransLink spokesman Drew Snider said bi-articulated buses are among the options TransLink is considering for the Broadway corridor.

Affleck's motion also called for the province and TransLink to fund the extra-long Broadway buses prior to the Evergreen Line's 2016 opening.

But Snider said TransLink has had to put any future expansion on hold until its "long-term funding picture becomes clear."

TransLink recently announced that while the Evergreen Line will go ahead, it has halted expansion plans.

The transportation authority has been scrambling to find funding sources after the regional mayors council voted down a two-year plan to raise property taxes to fund its expansion. •