Wilderness Committee calls for Rapid Bus Service to Relieve Patullo Congestion Immediately
Vancouver, BC — “The solution to the congestion being caused by last weekend’s Patullo Bridge fire is immediate action to increase capacity on our public transit system,” says Wilderness Committee Healthy Communities Campaigner Ben West. “Public transit moves more people per lane and per dollar spent than cars, and we need to take advantage of that right now.”
The Patullo Bridge between Surrey and New Westminster will not re-open for at least a month, resulting in even more traffic being caught in the bottlenecks leading onto the Port Mann Bridge and the other congested areas throughout the region.
According to the Livable Region Coalition’s Eric Doherty, “TransLink and the City of Surrey could easily put a ‘queue jumper’ lane from beyond 104th Ave. to the Port Mann Bridge approach to allow buses to pass quickly through bottleneck points up the road from the bridge. Temporary transit queue jumper lanes have already been used on Broadway during the Canada line construction.”
“We need rapid bus service throughout the region. Our governments must act cooperatively and quickly to get more buses moving across the Fraser River. We don’t need more studies; we need to stick to our existing regional growth strategy which means investing in public transit immediately and strategically,” said West.
The Livable Region Strategic Plan, Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy, called for 1900 buses to be in service by 2006. TransLink’s five year strategic plan called for 1600 buses by 2006 but even now there are only 1100 in operation. The More Buses Now campaign organized by the Canadian Auto Workers union is calling for more buses immediately with 500 more buses in place by 2012. The BC government’s transit plan currently wouldn’t have these buses in place until 2020.
“Now that there are serious concerns about the financing of the Gateway highway project because of the financial crisis it’s more important than ever that we invest our precious tax dollars in transit-based solutions that genuinely help us get around, and are also good for the environment and could be in place many years before new highways could be built,” West said.