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Editorial: Enough talk. It's time to see transit improvements

TransLink says the North Shore will be at the front of the line for bus rapid transit, but without funding, it doesn’t matter where we are in the queue.
An example of Bus Rapid Transit with dedicated bus stations and bus-only lanes in Taiwan. | TransLink

It’s been 19 months since the TransLink Mayors’ Council debuted plans for nine new bus rapid transit lines around Metro Vancouver.

Many on the North Shore greeted the BRT concept as a disappointment because it did not include SkyTrain. But, TransLink and the mayors argued, BRT would be much cheaper to build and much faster to get online.

We learned at a Nov. 16 press conference that the North Shore BRT line from Park Royal to Metrotown would be among the first three to be built. But we still don’t know what routes the buses will follow, where the stops will be, or what infrastructure changes will be required to keep the “rapid” in bus rapid transit.

And the whole expansion concept is still subject to funding commitments from all three levels of government. Until there is money in the bank to get the system built, discussions over which routes are at the front of the line are akin to arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

We are sure that much work is being done behind the scenes on badly needed transportation solutions. But the next time TransLink and the mayors feel a need to hold a press conference updating us on the status of transit expansion, we want to see more tangibles.

Bus rapid transit promises a faster, more efficient way to get around. The process so far isn’t inspiring confidence in a traffic weary public. Here’s hoping the rapid plan starts to picks up some speed soon.

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