LETTER: Like all municipalities, West Van needs rapid transit

Dear Editor:

Critics of the North Shore B-Line claim that West Vancouver is fundamentally different from the rest of the region. They believe that B-Lines – which have had incredible success in other areas – do not belong in West Vancouver.

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But this argument collapses when one takes a closer look at the corridor that will accommodate the new bus route. Marine Drive has the same characteristics that have led to success for B-Lines on Broadway and Hastings in Vancouver and King George/104th in Surrey.

Firstly, B-Lines tend to work well in medium density areas. If the density is too low, the busses will run empty. If the density is too high, then busses will not have enough capacity.

The areas surrounding Marine Drive can be perfectly characterized as medium density. From Dundarave to Park Royal, the corridor is lined almost continuously with duplexes and apartment buildings. Yet, it is not so dense that a B-Line would be overwhelmed.

Another characteristic of B-Lines is that they run on long, straight lines, crossing many other routes. Looking at a map of the current and proposed B-Lines, this is evident. Considering that West Vancouver is covered in short, winding roads, Marine Drive may be the only corridor in the district that is long and straight enough for a B-Line. The new express bus will also connect countless bus lines, as well as the SeaBus.

When it comes to regional connectivity, B-Lines are crucial. These express bus routes are helping to link the many municipalities of Metro Vancouver, forming the transportation armature of the region. One of the main advantages of the Marine-Main B-Line is that it seamlessly connects North Vancouver and West Vancouver. This means that the residents of both municipalities will be able to use each other’s amenities, services, and businesses more easily. People in West Vancouver could attend Capilano University with a shorter commute, and people in North Vancouver could easily go to Dundarave on a Saturday afternoon. This is crucial for developing our local economy.

The Marine Drive corridor is a perfect candidate for a B-Line. West Vancouver has many unique characteristics that make it a lovely place. But when it comes to public transportation, it is not unique.

Like all municipalities in the region, it needs to be connected with fast, frequent transit. For this to become a reality, we must start with a B-Line, from Dundarave to Phibbs.

Elias Rieger

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