T&T COMMITTEE AGENDA
                                           MARCH 11, 1997

                             ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

                                           Date:  February 4, 1997
                                           Dept. File No.  4102-3
                                           CC File No.  5554-1

   TO:       Standing Committee on Traffic and Transportation

   FROM:     General Manager of Engineering Services

   SUBJECT:  Broadway Express Service  -  "#99 B-Line"


        THAT the following temporary motions of Council, originally
        submitted on September 12, 1996, be approved on a permanent basis:

             A.   THAT the use of buses on 12th Avenue between Granville
                  and Fir Streets, and Fir Street between 12th Avenue and
                  10th Avenue, be approved.

             B.   THAT a bus stop on southbound Granville Street at 10th
                  Avenue in the AM peak period only, be approved.

             C.   THAT the approval for recommendations A and B above, be
                  reviewed once express buses can be routed on 10th Avenue
                  after it is improved between Granville and Fir Streets.

             D.   THAT a bus stop on westbound Lougheed Highway at Boundary
                  Road be approved.

             E.   THAT BC Transit be requested to provide additional
                  express bus stops on Broadway at Renfrew Street and Clark
                  Drive, and on 10th Avenue in the vicinity of Blanca

             F.   THAT BC Transit conduct appropriate consultation
                  processes in future with affected communities along new
                  transit routes or facilities (e.g., Richmond/Vancouver
                  Rapid Bus and Broadway LRT).

             G.   THAT the Vancouver Regional Transit Commission not
                  approve any reduction in the frequency of service of the
                  #9 Broadway bus route until a comprehensive ridership
                  review of both the #9 and #99 services is complete and
                  overloads on the #9 are significantly reduced.

        Furthermore, the following are presented for approval:

             H.   THAT further to recommendation G, the proposed
                  discontinuation of the #9 service west of Alma Street
                  this summer in the peak AM and PM travel periods be
                  deferred until ridership information is available to
                  assess the impacts of this proposal on transit riders.

             I.   THAT the 1997 Sanitation Operating Budget be increased by
                  $5,300 in order to provide new litter receptacles at #99
                  B-Line bus stops.

             J.   THAT the Sanitation Operating Budget be increased by
                  $7,400 annually for the emptying of the added litter


   Council approved Transport 2021, which provides a high priority for
   public transit, and specifies express bus routes along a number of major
   corridors, including Broadway.

   That the planned new express services on Granville Street and Broadway
   be implemented as soon as possible

   Council owns the streets and regulates their use for BC Transit buses
   and bus stop locations.

   Recommendations A to G above were approved on a temporary basis in
   September, 1996.


   The #99 B-line Express Bus Service on Broadway, between Lougheed Mall
   and UBC (see Appendix A), started operation on September 3,  1996. 
   Ridership has grown quickly and will soon likely exceed 12,000
   passengers per day.  BC Transit plans to install additional #99 service
   bus stops in Vancouver, including initially on Broadway at Clark Drive,
   and on 10th Avenue potentially at Sasamat Street.


   This report provides an update on the new #99 service.


   On September 12, 1996, Council approved recommendations A through G
   above  on condition that the approval is temporary pending consultation
   and a report back; and, that the General Manager of Engineering Services
   report back to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment in 90
   days on the Broadway Express Services. 

   BC Transit provided a report to the Vancouver Regional Transit
   Commission (VRTC) regarding the new service (available in the City
   Clerk s office) in November 1996.  The report indicates that ridership
   has grown to about 10,000 persons per day.  Original projections
   estimated 12,000 per day after one year.  This is now expected to be
   exceeded within the year.  Most of the ridership is in the peak periods. 
   About half of westbound peak period transit ridership from Broadway
   Station is on the B-Line.

   Reliability for the new service has been a problem.  Cancelled trips,
   crowding and pass-ups have occurred due to a lack of operational buses. 
   At times, over 200 buses, in a fleet of about 975, are not in service. 
   As a result, all services in the region in the peak periods are
   adversely affected.  BC Transit expects to have the number of buses
   restored in the next few weeks.

   Staff had intended to monitor BC Transit s management of the new service
   in order to ensure there is an adequate level of transit service for
   Vancouver riders.  However, because of the vehicle shortages and
   cancelled trips, BC Transit s data collection program planned for
   January and February has been temporarily suspended.  Monitoring will be
   resumed as soon as full service returns.


   The Vancouver Traffic Commission expressed concern about BC Transit s
   process for consulting property owners affected by the new route.  In
   order to potentially improve passenger service and reduce negative
   impacts on local businesses, the existing bus stop locations have been
   reevaluated.  Concerned local merchants were consulted.  Overall, most
   of the locations appear to be satisfactory and reflect a trade-off among
   various factors in achieving a modern Rapid Bus system, including better
   travel times (e.g., separated-stops in order to reduce loading delays),
   transit/traffic operations, transit passenger walking distances,
   on-street loading and customer parking needs.

   In particular, a new review regarding the position of the westbound #99
   stop at Broadway Station was initiated with BC Transit in consultation
   with local merchants east and west of Commercial Drive.  As a result,
   the #99 service bus stop location west of Commercial Drive has been
   improved.  The potential for further improvements at this and several
   other bus stop locations will continue to be considered as the passenger
   loading distribution and volumes change in future.

   The operation of the new short-turn route using 12th Avenue between
   Granville and Fir Streets, and Fir Street, between 12th Avenue and 10th
   Avenue, has been satisfactory and no concerns have been expressed by
   local merchants or residents.
   Bus shelters have been installed at many locations in order to focus
   transit user activity, as well as benefit passengers.  The distinctive
   blue colour of the shelters helps advertise the new service.

   In addition, new litter receptacles are required.  However, no funds
   exist for this purpose.  Therefore, it is recommended the 1997
   Sanitation Operating Budget be increased by $5,300 to pay for new
   receptacles at the #99 B-Line stops and that $7,400 be approved annually
   for emptying and maintaining them (recommendations I and J).


   BC Transit plans to develop the 99 B-Line in phases.  The proposed
   frequency changes are described in Appendix B and discussed below.
   Service changes planned for April to September 1997 include:

   1.   #99 Buses Short-turned at Alma

        In recognition of reduced summer activity at UBC, some of the #99
        service buses will be short-turned at Alma Street rather than
        routed through to UBC.  This will concentrate the frequency of
        service on the core portion of the service east of Alma Street, and
        reduce frequency to UBC during the quieter season.

   2.   #9 Buses Terminated At Alma

        BC Transit is also considering terminating all #9 service trips at
        Alma Street during the summer.  Since service west of Alma Street
        in the peak periods is normally retained in the summer, this
        proposal represents a significant service reduction.  Council has
        indicated the frequency of the #9 Broadway bus route should not be
        reduced until a comprehensive  ridership review of both the #9 and
        #99 services is completed.  The VRTC should be requested to defer
        consideration of the #9 service reduction until after this review
        (recommendation H).

   3.   Additional Bus Stops

        BC Transit plans to install #99 bus stops at Clark Drive, near the
        Vancouver Community College King Edward Campus, and on 10th Avenue,
        potentially at Sasamat Street.  Ultimately, bus bulges (widened
        sidewalks) could be installed at the stops on 10th Avenue in order
        to reduce bus stopping delay and minimize any permanent loss of
        existing on-street parking.  Staff plan to report on the West Point
        Grey stops after discussions with the local business community.

   Future phases will include a number of longer-term measures including:

   1.   Bus Stop Improvements

        Council asked for a new stop at Renfrew Street.  BC Transit is
        studying the potential to add this stop and potentially other
        locations in this area.

        Marketing strategies could include adding distinctive graphics for
        the bus stop signs and shelters.  City staff are reviewing designs
        for larger shelters at major stops. 

   2.   Service Level Improvements

        Service frequency increases are planned in the Fall of 1997, as
        described in Appendix B.  With sufficient ridership increases, the
        route could be extended east of Lougheed Mall.  As well, evening 
        and Sunday service may be added.

   3.   Transit Priority Measures

        Transit priority measures such as transit priority signal
        actuation, HOV lanes, strategic on-street parking changes, and bus
        bulges will be examined in consultation with BC Transit in order to
        improve travel times for the service.  BC Transit and Burnaby will
        be installing a trial transit priority signal system for a portion
        of the Lougheed Highway route this year.

        Staff will discuss potential transit priority measures with the
        local communities affected and report to Council for approval prior
        to installation.

   4.   More Articulated Buses

        Large articulated buses are needed to handle the increasing
        ridership and variable loading patterns for the route.  At present,
        not all of the #99 service buses are articulated.  More articulated
        buses will be used later this year.

   5.   Improved Data Collection

        Ongoing monitoring of ridership levels and origins/ destinations
        will make it easier to ensure service levels are adequate to meet
        passenger needs and reduce the possibility of crowding and


   Preliminary observations confirm the new express service is very
   popular.  BC Transit suggests that a substantial number of motorists are
   switching to transit for some trip types.  Ultimately, service in this
   corridor is proposed to be provided by LRT.  In the interim, the #99
   route will continue to grow in regional importance as more people become
   aware of the service, and as improvements such as the new bus stops in
   Vancouver are introduced.

   It is recommended that Council give final approval to the previous
   temporary motions A to G, and the new recommendations H to J.  Staff
   will continue to work with BC Transit and report to Council as necessary
   regarding improvements and route monitoring. 

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