City of Vancouver

                          Inter-Office Correspondence

   ENGINEERING SERVICES                         FILE #4252-2

   June 10, 1997

   MEMO TO:       Standing Committee on Transportation and Traffic

   COPY TO:       Ken Dobell, City Manager
                  Maria Kinsella, City Clerk

   FROM:          General Manager of Engineering Services


   This memo discusses enhanced service frequencies and changed Downtown
   trolley route hookups proposed by BC Transit, for implementation on
   September 1, 1997.  The changes will be presented to the Vancouver
   Regional Transit Commission for approval on June 25th.  

   City approval is not required for the changes as no new use of streets
   by transit vehicles or new bus stops are proposed;  therefore, this memo
   is presented for Council s information.  


   On January 29, 1997, the Vancouver Regional Transit Commission approved
   the 1997/98 Annual Service Plan which included new Downtown transit
   services and enhanced service frequencies in the City. 

   On June 3, 1997, Council approved a new route for the West End transit
   services, as illustrated in Appendix A.


   At present, major trolley routes that enter the Downtown are usually
   "hooked up" (i.e. connected) in the Downtown with another major trolley
   route, such that the two routes form one long 
   "interlined" service.  An example is the interlined Granville Street and
   Commercial/Victoria Drive routes (as illustrated in Appendix B). 
   Interlined routes are generally more efficient as the delay and costs of
   turning buses around in the Downtown are eliminated.  As well, transit
   users have more opportunities to travel through the Downtown without

   On September 1, 1997, many of the Downtown route hookups will be changed
   in order to:

        -    allow the new West End route to be separated from the Main and
             Fraser Street services.

        -    facilitate the introduction of enhanced frequencies for
             various City trolley routes (as described below).  The intent
             is to interline routes that have similar frequencies and
             ridership patterns.

   The proposed new hookups are:

        -    #3 Main/Downtown and #20 Victoria/Downtown (see Appendices C
             and D)
        -    #8 Fraser/Granville (see Appendix E)
        -    #10 Kootenay Loop/UBC (see Appendix F)
        -    #16 29th Avenue Station/Arbutus (see Appendix G)


   BC Transit plans to improve service frequencies for a number of City
   routes on September 1, 1997.  The West End improvements were reported to
   the June 3, 1997 Standing Committee on Transportation and Traffic.  The
   other improvements are described in Appendix H.


   With tight deadlines, BC Transit has only recently prepared the
   September transit service plan.  As a result, the City has just received
   this proposal from BC Transit.  There has been no time to review the
   changes in detail nor is there a technical report or data from BC
   Transit to support the proposal.  However, the service enhancements are
   clearly beneficial.  A significant amount of new resources have been
   allocated to the City -- about 46,000 service hours annually, which is
   about one third of the increase budgeted for the Region.  There will be
   9 additional buses operating in the AM peak period, 13 in the midday and
   10 in the PM peak period.

   The changes will improve service quality by reducing waiting times and
   crowding, and increasing reliability.  The new hookups will mean some
   changes in transfers for passengers who currently travel through the
   Downtown.  This will benefit some, where new opportunities to
   through-route the Downtown to other destinations will exist, and
   disbenefit others where existing trips will require a transfer.

   There are two minor concerns about the Main Street and
   Commercial/Victoria services (Appendices C and D).  First, the routes do
   not provide direct service to the western (Golden Triangle) portion of
   the Downtown; the routes divert south at Richards Street to Robson
   Street or Davie Street.  However, this would only affect a small portion
   of riders as most trips to the western Downtown are made by transferring
   to SkyTrain.  The second concern is that the Downtown routings are
   different for each service (i.e. the service from Main Street turns at
   Robson Street and the service from Victoria Drive turns at Davie
   Street).  Some transit users may find this potentially confusing.  The
   routes and travel patterns can be monitored and reviewed in more detail
   after more information is provided by BC Transit in the fall.

   In the longer term, a strategic addition of new transit resources based
   on a comprehensive study of customer needs and public input is required. 
   As per the Transportation Plan, the transit system in the City will be
   reviewed in detail including the potential for new hook ups, and a
   review of current operating conditions such as crowding, passups, and

                                 D.H. Rudberg, P.Eng.
                                 General Manager, Engineering Services



    Transit Corridor          Time Period        Frequency (Minutes
    (connecting to the                           Between Buses)
                                                 original  Proposed

    Main Street               Midday - Monday    8.0       7.5
                              to Friday

                              Midday Saturday    8.0       7.5
    Victoria/Commercial       Midday - Monday    8.0       7.5
    Drive                     to Friday

                              PM peak - Monday   6.0       5.5
                              to Friday

    4th Avenue (#4 service)   PM peak - Monday   12        10
                              to Friday
    Dunbar Street             PM peak - Monday   12        10
                              to Friday

    Fraser Street             Midday - Monday    8.5       8.0
                              to Friday

                              PM peak - Monday   7.0       6.5
                              to Friday

    Hastings street (#10      Midday Monday to   15        12
    service)                  Saturday
    Cambie Street             Am peak - Monday   5 minute frequency
                              to Friday          begins earlier and
                                                 ends later

                              Midday - Monday    12        10
                              to Friday

                              PM peak - Monday   6.5       6.0
                              to Friday

    Oak Street                Midday - Monday    12        10
                              to Friday