TRANSLINK is looking for public comments on plans to change several bus routes on the North Shore.
The changes are being considered as part of the transportation authority's desire to make its service more efficient. That translates into cutting service to some routes with lower ridership, and changing routes to make travel more direct to major centres.
The goal is to take money from areas where transit is not being well used and use it to improve service on busy corridors, said TransLink planner Peter Klitz. Proposed changes are being eyed for later in 2013. But first, the transit authority is holding open houses to get public views on the changes.
In North Vancouver, one of the changes involves cutting out a loop on Fairway Drive for the 211 bus route to Deep Cove. Instead, the bus would travel directly down Mount Seymour Parkway to Deep Cove Road.
Another proposal involves splitting the existing 229 Lynn Valley route between Lonsdale Quay and Phibbs exchange into two separate routes. Under the change, the 229 bus would stop at Lynn Valley Town Centre. A new 227 route would run a smaller community shuttle bus between Lynn Valley Town Centre and Phibbs exchange. Re-routing the final part of the N24 night bus - which runs up Lonsdale Avenue - along 29th Street to end at Lynn Valley Town Centre is another possibility.
In West Vancouver, proposals include replacing the one-way looped routes of the 251 and 252 buses with two-way routes along Queens and Mathers avenues, using a community shuttle bus. Community shuttle buses hold about 24 passengers compared to regular buses, which hold about 60. Under the proposal, TransLink would also improve service along Marine Drive in West Vancouver during peak hours.
The transit authority has used automated passenger counters and GPS technology to track where bus service is being used most. Already TransLink has brought in changes based on that information, said Klitz. For instance, all 246 buses from North Vancouver now go downtown, while they used to stop at Park Royal Shopping Centre. When that change was made, ridership on that route went up 23 per cent, said Klitz.
The first public consultation on the changes proposed for next year is this Thursday, Nov. 29 from 4 to 7: 30 p.m. at Mollie Nye House. A second consultation happens Dec. 11 from 4 to 7: 30 p.m. at West Vancouver Memorial Library.
Members of the public can also check proposed route changes and submit comments online at translink.ca.